A Huntington developer is looking to build a 36-unit, four-story rental apartment building on East Main Street on the former Subway sandwich shop site.
G2D Group plans one- and two-bedroom, market-rate apartments — meaning, unlike the other multifamily apartments built downtown so far, the rentals would not be subsidized and tenants’ incomes would not be limited.
The site at 331 East Main Street is located on the south side of the street, roughly opposite Union Avenue. It is presently improved with a pair of two-story, wood frame buildings.
The proposed new building would stand just over 58 feet tall and would occupy 89% of the .36-acre site, according to the Riverhead Planning Department staff report. The developer proposes to provide 37 parking spaces, though the site is within the public parking district and no off-street parking is required by town code. Thirty-three of those spaces would be provided on the ground-floor of the building, with four additional spaces outside, on the south side.
The ground floor will have two “display windows” on Main Street that could be used as displays by local non-profit organizations, the staff report said.
The building will also have a private rooftop deck for tenants to enjoy the outdoors, an amenity that’s popular with residents at the company’s other buildings in Huntington, according to G2D principal Greg DeRosa.
Company officials presented their plans to the town board at its weekly work session yesterday.
The developers are “very mindful of the… living environment as it relates to daily needs,” DeRosa said. “We make it simple, convenient and luxurious to live here. That’s why people come to our product.”
He said he believes there’s a “pretty big market” for the type of rental housing they’re planning to build — especially among empty-nesters and retirees looking to scale back.
DeRosa said he anticipates a one-bedroom apartment to rent for $2,300 to $2,400 per month, which would include a parking space.
The developer’s attorney, Christopher Kent, asked the board to have a public hearing on the special permit application as early as Oct. 15.
“To minimize impacts on downtown, with staging and construction, it would be best if we could start construction around March,” Kent said.
The developer will likely seek a temporary easement over the town roadway adjacent to the property that provides parking and access to Heidi Behr Way, the road that runs along the riverfront. It will need to use a portion of that roadway for staging during at least some of the construction period, Kent said.
He noted that the developer will not be using “pounded pilings,” which produced complaints of noise and vibrations among Main Street property owners when Georgica Green was driving pilings for its Riverview Lofts project on the corner of East Main Street and McDermott Avenue, east of the G2D construction site.
DeRosa said construction would take 10 to 14 months.
“We’ll take it under advisement. We will try to accommodate if we can,” Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said.
Kent said the applicant first met with planning staff last October and has reworked its proposal to incorporate staff comments and suggestions, as well as the changes to downtown zoning rules currently being discussed by the town board.
Planning aide Greg Bergman and town board members reviewed details of the proposal with the developers, as well as his comments on the plan and comments made by the fire marshal’s office, N.Y. State Department of Transportation and the county health department.
Councilwoman Catherine Kent said she liked “the look of the building” but questioned whether the things on display in the windows would be visible from the street. She said she was disappointed that the artwork on display in the Peconic Crossing gallery can’t really be seen from the street.
Jens-Smith told the developers she thought the building design was “very attractive” and she was “very excited” they were proposing market-rate apartments in a four-story, rather than five-story, building.
Councilman Tim Hubbard noted that G2D Group has done a “substantial amount of work in Huntington.”
“Your work up there was really nice looking and you’ve carried it over to this, too,” Hubbard said.
DeRosa encouraged board members to visit their buildings in Huntington to see what they’re like.
After the meeting, the supervisor said she is “very happy with the plan” presented by G2D.
“It’s what we’ve been asking for — four stories, market-rate apartments, parking for residents,” she said.
The plan will need a special permit from the town board, which intends to classify the action as a Type I action pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act and seek lead agency status for coordinated review.
We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.