Hotels for humans and daycare for dogs topped discussions at Monday’s Source the Station meeting about revitalizing Huntington Station.
Also discussed was the Columbia Street project, which has transitioned from a plan for eight homes, each with and accessory apartment, to 14 condos with no apartments, and set aside for veterans.
Downtowns, master developer for the revitalization project, is now overseeing
in the Columbia project, which sits at the intersection of Railroad Street,
Lowndes Avenue and Columbia Street, for the Community Development Agency.
Renaissance is looking to add a hotel in the commuter parking lot on the southwest corner of Railroad Street and New York Avenue. A zoning change is required on town-owned property before a builder could apply to build a hotel; a Dec. 10 public hearing will consider that change.
A small crowd of residents also heard a proposal for a doggie day care center, one of several ideas floated by entrepreneurs and business owners that would become part of the broader revitalization project.
Skip Barrett, who would like to open a doggie daycare center, outlined his idea and took questions about possible objections, such as waste disposal and barking.
“I know without a shadow of a doubt that a gigantic market exists” for a dog care center in Huntington Station. He said he believes that commuters heading to the Long Island Rail Road station would drop their dogs off for care before returning home in the evening.
Sean McLean, a Renaissance vice president, said selecting and supporting the right ideas could mean economic success for others. “It’s not just that business that does well; does it work well in conjunction with others?
“It’s important to bring people here to spend money here,” he said.
McLean took questions about the Columbia Street project, explaining how the project evolved. One of the issues was the difficulties prospective buyers could face in counting on accessory apartment income when applying for mortgages, McLean said, when permits could be canceled or not granted in the first place. That decision to knock accessory apartments out of the plan led to a brief debate among attendees about whether there was need for more apartments in town.
The hotel plan would cut into parking used for special events at the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, McLean acknowledged, adding that Renaissance would work on finding parking alternatives for the squad. “We need to get creative,” McLean said.
At issue for the hotel are the C-6 and C-6 overlay zones. While neither allow for hotels, changing the town’s C-6 portion to C-6 overlay, which McLean said exists only in Huntington Station, would allow Renaissance to apply for the hotel construction while not leading to the development of hotels in other parts of town.
The state owns the adjacent land, which is already zone C-6 overlay.
Source the Station is collecting ideas and listing them on its website, encouraging people to vote for their favorites. Those winning enough support will be vetted by Renaissance Downtowns for feasibility.