A rendering of a mixed-use building proposed for Route 25A in...

A rendering of a mixed-use building proposed for Route 25A in Centerport. Credit: Hoffman Grayson Architects LLP

A Huntington-based developer plans to raze the shuttered Jellyfish restaurant in Centerport and replace it with a three-story, mixed-use building with nine apartments.

Development company RT 441 Owner LLC is preparing an application it plans to submit as soon as possible to the Huntington Town planning board for site plan review, said Michael McCarthy the attorney representing the developer.

“This plan is a wonderful opportunity to beautify the streetscape and provide much-needed housing,” McCarthy said.   

The building at 441 East Main St., also known as Route 25A, is in the general business district zoning category so permission of the zoning board of appeals is not needed to add apartments, the town attorney for the zoning board of appeals John Bennett said.

The development company, whose principals include those who own the Mill Pond House Restaurant, purchased the property on March 14, 2022.

Jellyfish restaurant opened in 2012 with support from the community after a legal battle with the town over permits and variances for such things including parking and outdoor dining. It went through a series of high-profile chefs, but eventually closed. Owner Ralph Colamussi, who also owned the Thatched Cottage catering venue next door, in 2018 pleaded guilty in federal court to forced labor charges for his treatment of staff from the Philippines that he used at Thatched Cottage. He was incarcerated at the time of his plea and in 2022 was sentenced to time served.

The proposal calls for a building that features six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom apartments on the top two floors with nonmedical business use on the ground floor, McCarthy said.

Route 25A fronts the building with the Mill Pond in the back. It sits between the Mill Pond House Restaurant and Water’s Edge catering venue. The project would be connected to the Centerport sewer district, McCarthy said.

On Aug. 17, at the request of the developer, the zoning appeals board lifted seven previously recorded covenants and restrictions on the property, all dealing with the operation of a restaurant.

The board also voted to continue a special use permit for a business depth extension for a residentially zoned piece of the property, without enlargement, that was used for parking.

Judy White, vice president of the Centerport Harbor Civic Association, which she said has a membership of about 125 people, said McCarthy gave a presentation to the group on July 24. 

“We have not taken any general consensus of the general membership,” she said. “We are at the point where we are gathering information.”

She said the group plans to reach out to the state Department of Conservation because the location is in mapped wetlands and the application includes a bulkhead replacement. She said the group also plans to reach out to the state Department of Transportation because Route 25A is a historic road.

McCarthy confirmed the state DEC has jurisdiction and will either have to approve the project or a letter stating that a permit or variance is not needed. Regarding the bulkhead, the DEC must approve it.

He said that because Route 25A is a state highway, the DOT will have to approve such things as curb cuts.

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