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A rendering of The Menhaden, a three-story hotel planned for the corner of Front and Third streets in Greenport. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Construction at The Menhaden in Greenport began Monday, nearly two years after the new hotel was first proposed for the corner of Front and Third streets.

The three-story building, which overlooks Mitchell Park, will include 16 hotel rooms, a 49-seat restaurant and retail space, said Kristen Pennessi of Front & Third LLC, the company behind the proposal.

There will also be a rooftop lounge with a grill and firepit, she said.

“It’s really special for the hotel to offer something that is pretty unique,” Ms. Pennessi said. “It’ll be a nice place for guests to enjoy the sunset and a glass of wine.”

Her husband, Dan, also of Front & Third LLC, said when they visited Greenport a few years ago, they were inspired by the village’s vibrant energy and surprised to see a vacant lot near the beginning of Front Street.

Soon after, they looked into constructing something that would become a part of Greenport’s maritime community.

“This space was also built as the Peconic Hotel in the late 1800s, so we’re hoping to return it to its roots,” Mr. Pennessi said.

The building’s exterior will be black and white, in a style consistent with village architecture, and guest rooms will be “more of a neutral, calming feel, with blues,” she added.

As for the hotel’s lobby, Ms. Pennessi said, “It’s going to be different and a little modern and really stand out.”

The Pennessis decided to name their first hotel The Menhaden as a way of honoring Greenport’s history. It is scheduled to open for summer 2018.

“Menhaden, also known as bunker fish, are arguably one of, if not the most important fish in the sea,” said Ms. Pennessi, adding that Native Americans in the area used menhaden to fertilize their crops and the fish were also used for lamp oil. “We just felt the connection of menhaden to Greenport’s roots as a fishing village — we really liked the connection and we thought it was a perfect fit.”

Excavation at the site started Monday and a ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for Friday morning with local construction companies Condon Engineering in Mattituck and Heidtmann & Sons in Cutchogue.

The proposal had six variances approved last year, including allowing just 10 off-street parking spaces rather than the 30 required by village code. The other five variances granted by Greenport’s Zoning Board of Appeals included allowing a third story on the building and lot coverage 1.6 percent above the code limit, and increasing the permissible building height to allow for an air conditioning unit, elevator bulkhead and a trellis above the 35-foot maximum allowed by code.

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Courtesy image: A rendering of The Menhaden, a three-story hotel planned for the corner of Front and Third streets in Greenport. Work on the hotel began Monday and is expected to be complete in summer 2018.

Courtesy photo: A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning.