By Kathryn G. Menu
Sometimes size does indeed matter.
During a Sag Harbor Village Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, July 27 local developer James Giorgio’s architect Chuck Thomas presented an expansion plan for 127 Main Street, once the site of the highly criticized 5,500 square foot building proposed by Gruen Optika founder Jon Gruen half a decade ago.
Gruen had hoped to tear down the former Main Street, Sag Harbor dentist’s office and replace it with a three story building boasting two retail spaces and three apartments, but was met with sharp criticism by neighbors and residents alike who questioned whether the project would fit into the character of Sag Harbor’s historic Main Street.
Giorgio’s plans are much less grandiose.
Thomas said the developer, who was recently granted approval to expand another historic building next door, at 125 Main Street, hopes to add 740 square-feet to the rear of the existing 810 square-foot building.
According to Thomas, after consulting with Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Timothy Platt, he expects a total of seven proposed parking space — just one new — will be enough to satisfy the village code’s requirements for the expansion.
Thomas added that Giorgio’s plans for the building are at the request of its current tenant, LifeStyle, knowing the developer was already planning on adding to the neighboring property.
Sag Harbor Village Planning Consultant Richard Warren said the board still needs elevations, floor plans and details on how Giorgio’s neighboring properties will work together with a shared, public brick walkway planned for the rear of the properties off Church Street. However, as a whole, Warren said the plans were not inconsistent with development on that side of Main Street.
“Have you had any conversations with the neighbor,” asked planning board chairman Neil Slevin, to which Thomas said he had not.
“I think that would probably be a wise move before taking any more steps knowing what transpired over the years with that property,” said planning board member and former mayor Gregory Ferraris.
“We are not looking to max out the site,” said Thomas. “We are responding to a tenant and trying to get square footage that works for the site.”