June 26, 2013

Lewis Heights plan takes step forward

DAN HEATH Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — A proposed apartment complex on the former Air Force Base hospital property took another step forward Monday night.

The 88-unit Lewis Heights would be built on New York Road near Lake Forest Village with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. 

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The City of Plattsburgh Planning Board agreed that the project, as presented, could move forward for detailed plan approval.

The applicant is officially listed as Lewis Heights LLC. After the meeting, local developer James Latinville confirmed that he is the person behind the project. 

“There is a need for upscale apartments in the city,” he said.

While there many two-bedroom apartments exist in the city, there aren’t a wealth of one- and three-bedroom units, Latinville said.

“There is a need for one-bedroom apartments. Nobody is building them anymore,” he said. “Most are in older buildings.”


The plan calls for four large buildings, with two breezeways used to allow them to be considered two buildings for zoning purposes. The two structures would be 135 feet apart, with that space targeted for a large courtyard-style common area and some of the parking.

The project would be built in four stages, Latinville said, with the timetable driven by demand. The first building would include a number of model units, so prospective tenants can see the amenities available.

Units would come equipped with tile and/or wood floors and with carpeting in the bedrooms. Possible upgrades include amenities such as a gas fireplace and extra-large refrigerator.

The plan also calls for community rooms and a large common area.

Latinville said he is looking at a colonial-style design, with a New England-type feel. Each unit would have either a patio or deck. A rent scale has yet to be developed, he said.


Details on the project were again provided by Robert M. Sutherland PC President Aaron Ovios. He said one of the goals all along was to maximize separation from the neighboring residential properties.

The project is being developed as a Planned Unit Development. That allows for more than 24 units on one parcel, Ovios said, but also permits one owner to manage the apartments.

Several neighbors voiced concerns about the project at previous meetings, but no one offered any Monday night.

City Engineer Kevin Farrington said, “It looks like the developer and yourself (Ovios) have responded to the comments from the public.”

The property would include 160 parking spaces. One new detail would see 50 garages in the parking area. 

Those would be available as part of a tenant’s lease, on a first-come, first-served basis. They want to include storage areas above the garages, Latinville said, but that must be done in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

There would also be storage available underneath the four buildings.


Latinville said the complex would provide a nice transition from the commercial properties to the north and east to the residential areas to the west and south.

Tuesday, Ovios said they hope to present the detailed plans at the July or August Planning Board meeting. That will include details such as landscaping, lighting, utilities and architectural materials.

Latinville said the goal is to create an apartment community where people would be pleased to live.

“These will be quality, upscale apartments to which you can be proud to come home.”

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