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Three-story hotel pitched for heart of Greenport Village

Sweet Indulgences in Greenport, closed after nearly 30 years of business, has sold to hotelier Erik Warner, who plans to convert the Main Street building into a 22-room inn. 

Mr. Warner, who said he purchased the property in December, presented his plans to the Greenport planning board on Wednesday under the business HF2 Hotel Owner LLC. The project, dubbed Greenport Inn, involves demolishing the existing one-story building and constructing a three-story development on the retail commercial zoned 0.19-acre parcel.

The planned rooms would be on the smaller size, starting at $199 per night, although they’ll be designed to maximize space, Mr. Warner said. He cited his lifelong history in the hospitality industry. Mr. Warner owns 12 hotels across the United States, including Sound View and Harborfront Inn in Greenport. 

He described the inn as an extension of his other Greenport hospitality businesses, geared towards encouraging visitors to walk to businesses in the village. He does not plan to sell alcohol at the inn. The inn will allow him to hire more full-time team members in the village.

“The overarching concept is giving back as best we can to the vibrancy of that area of the village. We want people out,” Mr. Warner said.

The design is meant to reflect the architectural context in Greenport, according to Mr. Warner, who said he’s consulted with a Columbia University preservationist to help make sure “we weren’t missing any historical details.”

Mr. Warner said he does not have all the parking spaces village code would require for the inn, and said he’s willing to “pay a pilot in order to offset that.” When pressed by planning board members, he described a potential check-in and check-out process for guests, whom he said could potentially park in the “village park areas.” Harborfront Inn down the street also has a large parking lot.

His businesses have had a lot of success in encouraging guests to use public transportation, he added. He has a partnership with Hampton Jitney and sells rooms with tickets.

Photos of a proposed rear building shown during a Planning Board meeting Wednesday.

Greenport Planning Board members expressed concern about traffic congestion, parking and safety at the neighboring intersection. They also questioned overnight staffing at the inn. 

Greenport planning board member Tricia Hammes said she has “some serious concerns about safety” at the intersection near the site, especially if an inn was added there.

“I have seen way too many accidents and potential accidents and now the parklets not being there slowing down traffic, the kind of moving up of the building and also the intensification of use as well as the nature of hotels, people loading and unloading, gives me serious pause,” she said.

Mr. Warner responded that hotels on the North Fork tend to be highly seasonal, so there would likely not be a high impact in the off-season. “During the peak season, because there are so many people out here to begin with, and I know all of us complain about it because I spend a lot of my summer out here, everything sort of slows down,” he said.

Mr. Warner’s attorney said traffic at the intersection can be worked out through the SEQRA process.

The site plan needs to be fleshed out with further details and the application needs to go to other boards, the Planning Board said. 

“I really enjoy spending time in the village and I know that our guests love being in the village and I saw an opportunity to add more rooms to accommodate more people and share my love of the village,” Mr. Warner told The Suffolk Times after his presentation. 

Rich Vandenburgh, president of the Greenport Business Improvement District, expressed support for the inn. 

“We’re always interested in supporting projects that are going to bring vibrancy and more jobs to the village,” he said, adding that the inn “underscores the real interest I see in making the downtown corridor more walkable.”

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