Plans Laid Out For Station Hotel
Renaissance Downtowns is taking the initial steps toward building a boutique hotel that could become the anchor property in a revitalized Huntington Station hub.
The hotel, which would be built at the corner of Railroad Street and New York Avenue, calls for 125-150 rooms in three to five stories, a catering facility and event space. Currently, the property is a municipal parking lot, said Ryan Porter, vice president of planning and development for Renaissance Downtowns, the company chosen as the town’s master developer for Huntington Station.
Porter said that a number of historic hotels located along New York Avenue near the train station inspired members of a public-involvement campaign called Source the Station to champion the concept. The new hotel would be built at the former site of the North Side Hotel.
While “nothing is set in stone at this point,” Porter said catering would be a major priority.
“We know we want to have a catering capacity with the absence of the Huntington Townhouse now,” he said, referring to the former catering hall on Jericho Turnpike, which is now a Target opening Oct. 13. “We want to have the opportunity to host business events.”
Thanks to its location in what is slated to become a revitalized downtown community and its proximity to the Huntington LIRR station, Porter said the hotel should stand apart from larger properties along Route 110 in Melville.
“We think we can provide a very differentiated product that has more of a downtown setting,” Porter said. “Obviously, those hotels are there and successful for a very good reason… It’s probably largely due to the population and business that exists south of Jericho Turnpike.”
Huntington Station historian and community advocate Alfred Sforza said the boutique model would echo the service provided by the previous North Side Hotel.
“It looked like a regular colonial style building… It was more boutique style – the same thing they’re trying to reestablish there,” he said.
Once a hotel is approved and under construction, it should serve as a catalyst for mixed-use development along the Route 110 corridor before the hotel opens its doors to guests, Porter said.
Renaissance has met with officials from the adjacent Huntington Community First Aid Squad, which has raised concerns over potential parking impacts. Spokeswoman Andrea Golinsky said their facility has 42 parking spots, and they use the adjacent lot for overflow crowds.
“We use the town parking next door when we have classes, seminars and meetings, and we were told that when we built that building we would have that parking,” Golinsky said. “We should be proactive instead of reactive.”
Porter, who said Renaissance is hoping to break ground on the hotel in late 2014 or early 2015, is committed to replacing the parking they consume by developing municipal lots.
“We need to make it very clear that we have an obligation to provide the commuter base with the parking that’s utilized today in some form or fashion, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said.