HUDSON FALLS — The historic Masonic Temple building has had a variety of occupants over the years, including town government offices, retail stores, a post office, a police station, a law office and a barbershop.
Now, plans to turn the five-story building at 214 Main St. into 22 senior apartments on the second through fifth floors, with commercial uses on the ground floor, are in the works.
But a variance is needed first.
Specifically, the zoning variance is for a manager’s office in order to supervise the building 24/7, according to Village Attorney William Nikas.
The village’s Main Street code doesn’t allow residency on the first floor of a building, Nikas explained. He hopes to put the apartment unit near the entrance, which is in the rear corner of the building.
The variance will be discussed at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the old courthouse.
Nikas noted that he doesn’t think granting the variance will be troublesome because the rule against residential occupancy on Main Street was designed to avoid a street-level entrance, whereas the manager’s apartment does not enter from Main Street. Instead, it’s on the adjoining Locust Street.
That, and Nikas thinks residents will be in support.
“I think the variance will be granted because the project enjoys strong public support to renovate a building that was deteriorating badly, and which will bring people into our downtown,” Nikas said.
The Masonic Temple is neighbor to the historic Strand Theater, which has also been under major renovation. The temple, built in 1901, has been neglected since the 1970s. The previous owner before Nikas bought it in 2005, but he was losing it to foreclosure.
Nikas bought the building nearly three years ago.