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PLANS FOR HISTORIC DISTRICT BUILDINGS AIRED

Buildings in the historic district consumed the lion's share of negotiations during a meeting of the Dunkirk Planning Board Wednesday night.

The board approved changes to the facade of the former Puerto Rican Social Club at 201 Central Ave., which will become Tito's, a sports bar, lounge and dance club. The bricked-in windows on the first floor will be converted to glass. Grills also will be installed over the windows with awnings coming later.

Tito's, according to Hector Rosas, one of the principals in the Sasor Corp., owner of the building, which will undergo an estimated $160,000 in interior renovations, will serve Mexican and Caribbean food. The restaurant is expected to open July 1.

"It will be the hot spot for the minority community," Rosas told the board.

The board also:

Approved a window project for Neftali and Aida DeJesus, at 200-202 Central Ave., across the street from Tito's.

DeJesus also told the board he is seeking a retail tenant for the first floor. Patrick Wawro, acting director of development, noted that if a shop opens, the building could be eligible for the city's facade grant program.

Board members asked about improving architecturally ornate third-floor windows, which are boarded up. DeJesus, however, said custom windows would be too expensive

DeJesus is in the process of converting the third floor into apartments. The Zoning Board of Appeals approved that conversion Tuesday night.

Denied the application of United Refining Co., Warren, Pa., to demolish a house just north of the Kwik Fill station and convenience store on the northwest corner of Central and Lucas avenues.

The company has owned the two-family building since 1985, said Christopher Mack, company representative. Currently the unoccupied building is considered unsafe.

The vacant land would be used for additional parking.

Board member Edmund Schober said he is concerned about the precedence of demolishing a residential building in a residential zone. Board member Ronald Burnside added that property values might be adversely affected by the demolition.

Chairman Gregory Catalano also said that children from School Four, north of the Kwik Fill Business, would be able to use the property as a shortcut.

Schober also was concerned about preserving housing stock in the city.

Approved plans of Four Points Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, to construct a volleyball court and a concrete pad for a tent on the Lake Erie side of the facility.

The Harbor Commission previously approved the project and a building permit must be issued by the Common Council.

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