A rendering of the Huntington Hotel is seen in an...

A rendering of the Huntington Hotel is seen in an image from March 4, 2013. Credit: Joseph Scarpulla

Huntington is a step closer to getting a namesake hotel.

The town board has voted 5 to 0 to give a certificate of approval to a developer to move forward with a plan to build a 54-room hotel using the old Town Hall at 227 Main St.

"They're ready to go in terms of approvals," Jim Margolin, the attorney for the Huntington-based hotel developer, Old Town Hall Operating LLC, said. "They've got their planning approvals, building permit sign off, and they are just going through the mechanics of pulling the [building] permit."

In March, the developer applied for a building permit for the project. But the project is in a historic overlay district and had to go through the Historic Preservation Commission, which recommended, also in March, that the town board issue a certificate of approval. Since the town board signed off with its unanimous vote on May 6, the developer can now apply for a building permit.

The hotel will include two buildings connected by a glass atrium, with the existing building used for a lobby, reception area, office space, conference room and bar. The new building will be built above an existing parking lot on Stewart Avenue.

"It's a very active and healthy town, so we feel there is a need for a hotel because the only alternatives are pretty far away; so we're excited to bring this to the village," Emerson Dobbs, a partner in the project, said.

He said the project has been in the works for about six years, and he hopes shovels will be in the ground in the fall.

Robert Bontempi, co-chairman of the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, said the group supports the addition of the Huntington Hotel.

"This project would continue to add real value to what is already a world-class downtown and be an additional incentive for individuals to stay and enjoy our beautiful community," he said.

A new hotel is also being proposed for Huntington Station near the railroad station as part of revitalization efforts in that hamlet.Old Town Hall, built in 1910 and featuring a four-faced clock tower, ceased operating as town hall in 1979 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Town board member Susan Berland, sponsor of the certificate of approval resolution, said the hotel will be welcome. "This is an opportunity to provide a place for people who want to visit the village and stay in a beautiful boutique hotel," she said.

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