At a recent Huntington Town Board meeting representatives presented plans for a group that is planning a project to build a new 80-room hotel on the property that currently houses Huntington’s old town hall.
The project comes as the hotel industry has been coming off a red hot growth phase that has cooled lately due to the global spread of coronavirus. The industry has seen occupancy rates decline over the last few fews because of this.
In the meantime, alternative types of hospitality choices have been cropping up to offer more choices to travellers, including smaller, local hotels that have a distinction that makes them stand out from the rest.
The Huntington project, being developed by Hunting Village Hotel Partners, will be on two combined lots at 227 Main Street on the northeast corner of Stewart Avenue. The property goes back to Gerard Street. The combined site size is 18,580 sq. feet according to Joseph Buzzell, a Melville-based attorney representing the developers who spoke at the meeting.
The site is on a busy corner in the heart of Huntongton It is located across from the Old Burial Hill Cemetery and next to the Huntington Arts Council building.
Reviewing the timeline of the project, Buzzell said that in 2010 the Town board approved an application to rezone one of the lots for a prior project that never materialized. In 2018, the current owners went into contract and in 2019 the board approved adding the second adjacent lot to the Historic Building Overlay District.
The developers plan a boutique, 80-room hotel. The Old Town Hall will serve as part of the structure and a new portion will be built to house the guest rooms.
The existing Old Town Hall will be preserved as the hotel lobby and the new building will be complementary to the style of the old town hall, yet leaving it distinct.
Reports say the hotel will be a Hampton Inn & Suites.
The historical commission had reviewed plans and determined that the new building would be appropriately set off from old town hall and the addition would not have adverse effect, according to Buzzell’s presentation.
Huntington’s old Town Hall - built in 1910 - had been in disrepair and will be restored.
The hotel will feature 40 spaces of valet parking under the building. According to representatives, an additional 20 parking spaces will be licenses with the town.
A major concern is parking and one resident said at the board meeting that with the size of the hotel, they should consider reducing the number of rooms to around 30. He said that searching for parking in Huntington is already a problem and the hotel will only add to the issue.
Previously, a smaller hotel of around 50 rooms was proposed.