Company offers STR makeovers for shuttered buildings | News, Sports, Jobs
LAKE PLACID – A New York-based property management company wants to renovate three derelict buildings in Lake Placid and turn them into short-term vacation rental units.
Katrina Peralta, Frank Hax and Albert Gjonbalaj proposed two separate renovation projects before the Lake Placid-North Elba review board last week.
Hax and Gjonbalaj are the co-founders and COO of Stay at Lina, a New York-based property management company; Peralta is the design manager of the company. Stay at Lina has converted two other Lake Placid properties to STR – one on Sentinel Road and one on Wilmington Road.
The Stay at Lina team offers another Sentinel Road property conversion. Peralta said the team wanted to take the site of the former Subway and Nice n’ Easy gas station and convenience store, at 6157 and 6163 Sentinel Rd., and convert the two existing buildings into townhouses.
Stay at Lina is currently under contract to purchase the 1.59 acre property, which includes property at 58 Spring Road, according to the company’s project application.
Each building would have three townhouses of two stories each. The old Nice n’ Easy building would be extended to accommodate larger units. The first building would have a kitchen, living room, five bedrooms and three bathrooms per unit. The second building would have a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms per unit. That is a total of 24 bedrooms and 15 bathrooms between the two buildings.
Hax said Stay at Lina intends to retain ownership of the property, establish a homeowners association there, and rent out the units for short-term use. He said visitors could likely book the units for up to 28 days a month. Hax mentioned that Stay at Lina might sell the townhouses, but he said that for a while – “a period of time which is unknown at this point” — the company plans to own and use them as STRs. Hax said that’s what they’ve done with all of their other properties.
The properties make up six tax parcels, although surveyor and Stay at Lina consultant Robert Marvin said the company wanted to treat them as one. The project application indicates that each townhouse would have individual tax identifications. Marvin said the properties cross from Sentinel Road to Spring Street.
Stay at Lina has no plans yet to develop the part of the property behind the Sentinel buildings, he said, adding that the company wants to do this first.
Stay at Lina proposed landscaping for the facade of the buildings. The company has also included two color options for the townhouses, one in off-white and one in dark gray.
The review board scheduled a site visit and asked the Stay at Lina team to send notice to neighbors. There will be a public hearing for this project, as the proposal includes a change of use from a mixed-use commercial property to a conditional-use multi-family property.
The public hearing is scheduled for the April 6 meeting of the review panel.
Gjonbalaj wrote in the project application that Stay at Lina has a welcomed presence in Lake Placid, and the company believes the new Sentinel Road property would help welcome more tourists.
“As residential developers, we have been very involved and supported in creating affordable housing for visitors to the Lake Placid community,” he wrote. “We know that the city’s management understands that as the city’s reputation as a world-class tourist destination expands, it is a real challenge to meet the need for pleasant and affordable short-term accommodation. well appointed.”
Stay at Lina also wants to renovate an old metal shed at 5184 Cascade Road into a two-story, single-family home with eight bedrooms and four bathrooms. The company also wishes to use this property for short-term vacation rental.
The barn would be reduced by about two-thirds, according to Peralta, and the company would add windows to the structure. The barn would be painted dark gray.
Marvin said the company calls the renovated structure a “single family Home” because he said “short term rental” is not in the land use code as a building definition. The term “short term rental” is in the land use code, but it is a permitted use, which means that someone who wanted to use their property as a short-term rental would have to obtain a permit – this is a separate process from this review by the examination committee. Marvin said that once Stay at Lina is approved for a single family building, they will deal with STR laws and permits.
The review committee has scheduled a site visit and Stay at Lina is required to send notice to neighbors. This proposal does not require a public hearing.
After the company’s presentation, Chip Bissell, member of the review committee, asked the board why Stay at Lina’s two existing properties in Lake Placid had not been reviewed by the board in the past. Code Enforcement Officer Darci Whitney said these were renovation projects that did not require council review.
Council chairman Rick Thompson said he wondered why the council did not consider the two project properties to be hotels. He said council has already approved projects, like Lake Placid Ski and Board on Main Street, as a conditional change of use as a hotel.
“I’m just a little curious why we don’t even, at this point, think of these properties as hotels, especially given their capacity,” said Thompson.
Board member Laura Yerkovich asked if there were any limits on how much Stay at Lina could rent out the properties for short-term use. The Village of Lake Placid and the City of North Elba have different limitations on the number of days an STR can be rented per year, depending on the location of the STR.
Whitney said the Sentinel Road property – which is in the center of the village – could be rented for an unlimited number of days, while the Cascade Road property – which is in a rural countryside corridor – would be limited to 120 days per year.
The city and village this month began a six-month moratorium on issuing new short-term rental permits as municipalities consider changes to their STR laws. Stay at Lina would not be able to apply for STR permits for its properties until the end of the moratorium. Whitney said the company is aware of the moratorium, and she said that’s why they’re offering the renovation as a single-family home. She added that the Stay at Lina team knows they could be denied an STR permit depending on how the municipalities’ STR laws change, and she said the company is aware that they would have to come up with a plan. different at this point.
The council briefly discussed whether the two properties could meet the land use code definition of a hotel. Council counsel, Tim Smith, then advised council to end their conversation on the case, which he did.