Moped Man fixes main street? Blocktown RI

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Moped Man fixes main street? Blocktown RI

Postby Micronaut » Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:41 pm

http://www.blockislandtimes.com/news/20 ... e/002.html

Willis Brown, owner of the Moped Man, came before the Historic District Commission on Monday, Jan. 7, to familiarize the group with his proposal to build a 3-floor, 15,932-square-foot commercial building on Water Street, in the area between the Figurehead Building and Seaside Market, where Rebecca’s Take Out and the Moped Man currently stand.

HDC likes the look of plans for 3-floor building on Water Street
By Peter Voskamp

An illustration of the Water Street building proposed to the Historic District Commission this week.
Armed with a plan to fill “the missing tooth in the smile of Main Street,” Willis Brown, owner of the Moped Man, came before the Historic District Commission on Monday, Jan. 7, to familiarize the group with his proposal to build a 3-floor, 15,932-square-foot commercial building on Water Street, in the area between the Figurehead Building and Seaside Market, where Rebecca’s Take Out and the Moped Man currently stand.


Architect Herman Hassinger, who designed the building jointly with Tracey Dillon, recused himself as a commissioner in order to present the plans.


He explained that the total Water Street frontage for the lot in question (Plat 6, Lot 100) is 87.61 feet; 67.1 feet of which would be devoted to the proposed building complex, with the remaining 20 feet to be dedicated to the Moped Man (which amounts to a smaller swath than it currently fills).


The first floor of the building would contain two retail units, as well as a new Rebecca’s, a café, and a ground-floor, handicap-accessible motel room.


The second floor would house one 2-bedroom/2-bath motel suite, three 2-bed motel rooms, and an 8-bed employee housing suite with two toilets and a kitchen/living area.


The third floor would contain four more motel units (two suites and two rooms) and a 2-bedroom apartment and office for the owner.


In addition, a 1,560-square-foot outdoor courtyard is planned, as well as an observation cupola.





The height of the structure would be 42 feet to the ridge without the cupola, Hasinger said. It would be site-built, not modular.


Hassinger explained the Victorian design would be augmented by decorative stickwork — boards placed at different angles on top of the clapboard. This style was popular in the Northeast and Northwest of the United States between 1860-1890. The metal roof would be deep forest green, the stickwork white, and the sides gray or beige stain.


Brown said the current 20-by-25-foot building used for moped storage would move to another part of the property, while the rental booth would be removed entirely. And of course the existing Rebecca’s structure would go, too.


Commission member Cindy Lasser asked what would be done with the existing restaurant building, and mentioned the town’s demolition regulations. Brown’s attorney Joseph Priestley assured the commission any demolition would be conducted within the law. Brown also noted he is open to suggestions as to what to do with the current restaurant building, though both he and Hassinger said age has taken its toll on the structure.


Lasser asked where the restaurant exhaust fan would go, and Hassinger said between the structure and the Figurehead Building. Acknowledging that color is not under the HDC’s purview, Lasser suggested that after a recent visit to the Hamptons, dark red with green trim was a very fetching Victorian combination. Hassinger said, however, that annual paint maintenance would be too costly.


Priestley asked if at first blush the commission found the massing and siting of the building acceptable. Commission member Champ Starr said he found the “design very in keeping with the Victorian feel of Water Street.” Chair Claire McQueeny agreed, saying “the concept is excellent.” She added, “It’s going to be a very good-looking big building.”


Brown must now visit the Planning and Zoning boards for approval before returning to the HDC. The group asked if next time they could see arc imaging to show how the building would look in relation to other buildings.


Hassinger said after the meeting that if various zoning issues are worked out, the project could begin as early as next fall. replace a window with a door at the Blue Dory Tea Room on Dodge Street, which she plans to open for this upcoming season. The door would facilitate better movement, supply delivery, as well as handicap access, Stevens said. The group approved it, with McQueeny calling it “an appropriate change.”


Ferdinand Steyer officially resigned from the commission, McQueeny reported, and she asked the others to think of people who might be interested in serving on the commission, preferably someone who knows construction and how to read plans.
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