Size, scale, architectural aesthetics and vague arrangements with neighbors over shared use of access roads were all issues when a public hearing opened Thursday night on a plan to redevelop the former Edu Comp building at the head of Main street Vineyard Haven.

Real estate developer Xerxes Agassi wants to gut the old brick building and rebuild it as a large mixed-used facility with 15 residential condominiums and seven retail stores. The project would triple the size of the roughly 7,600-square-foot brick building that dates to 1929.

Mr. Agassi has an agreement to buy the building from the owners of Edu-Comp, the art and office supply store that closed last year. The MVC is reviewing the project as a development of regional impact (DRI).

“The real draw for the project is the building itself,” Mr. Agassi told the commission at the hearing Thursday. “I feel it’s an iconic building, a beautful building. We are looking to repair the existing building and keep it in character with the original — that’s a very big part of why we are involved.”

The project aims to better showcase the town-owned Veterans’ Memorial Park, and bring more foot traffic to Main street Vineyard Haven, the developer also said. “I really do feel that the park is hidden in Tisbury, so part of the design process for us was to provide access to the park ... that would be a benefit to the town as well as to the tenants in the buildings,” Mr. Agassi said.

He said the planned first-floor arcade-like retail complex would be an enhancement in the commercial district.

“The idea is to continue the storefront vibe on Main street,” he said.

Five of the 15 condos would be set aside for what is being termed workforce housing, with two of the units designated as affordable. Initial plans described an arrangement for the hospital to lease the five units, but on Thursday Mr. Agassi amended that slightly, saying he had since learned that the hospital may not be able to lease the two affordable units due to legal and other constraints.

From the outset he was peppered with questions from commissioners, many of them seeking more clarity on the details, including parking and the legal structure for the condominiums.

“To what extent are you going to sell and to what extent are you going to retain ownership and rent?” commissioner and hearing officer Doug Sederholm asked. “That’s a decision we would like to make when it is finished,” Mr. Agassi replied. “Whether they turn into rentals or sales is a decision our investors would like to make. It’s a market decision, we would like to make it later.”

Mr. Agassi did not name the investors, but responding later to a question from commissioner Trip Barnes, he confirmed that the hospital is not one.

Commissioner Michael Kim offered a light architectural critique of the proposed new building, which Mr. Agassi said complies with town zoning rules.

“I sympathize with your willingness to comply with town zoning, but the [plan for] the rear of the building, I think, is a poor interpretation of a good law,” Mr. Kim said. “You’re taking an architecturally significant building and throwing its massing way out of whack. Have you considered changing the massing?”

Mr. Agassi said he was open to changes.

“We are willing to review the renderings and break it up . . . I think that is worth discussion, ” he said.

An MVC staff report found no significant issues with traffic from the project; a count done on State Road in early August found an average of some 17,000 vehicles traveled the stretch of road daily. The project calls for 17 parking spaces, but the hearing saw confusion and disagreement over how many spaces exist presently behind the building.

During public comment there was lengthy testimony from abutters about easements over the in-and-out access driveway that circles the building. Joseph Grillo, who with his family owns property on both sides of the project, confirmed that negotiations are under way with the developers about future use of the road. He described a longstanding informal easement with the owners of Edu Comp, and raised concerns about the amount of excavation that would be required during construction.

“We look at this as being a massive project that takes up a great deal of the Edu Comp space . . . it’s critical to come up with something that works,” said Mr. Grillo, who is also a longtime Island contractor. “To build the footprint out, it requires more than what you see on the plan,” he said. He continued: “The easement we’ve been using . . . is word of mouth. We do have a working relationship [with the developer], we are talking and the conversation is sincere.”

But Erik Hammarlund, an attorney whose law office abuts the project, was more blunt in his criticism.

“Unlike Mr. Grillo, I’m not quite as confident that we’re going to be able to work this out,” Mr. Hammarlund said. “This is an extraordinarily large building, larger than any building that’s been proposed in Vineyard Haven . . . overall I think it’s both inappropriate for the site and sets a poor precedent for the town of Vineyard Haven. It’s something that would reasonably belong in a large mill or factory, not next to Veterans Park. The parking is ridiculous, frankly.”

The hearing was continued to Nov. 4. “We’re going to continue this because there are a lot of open threads,” said Mr. Sederholm.

Commissioner Linda Sibley advised Mr. Agassi to get his ducks in a row.

“There are aspects of this that are so tentative . . . like the business of easements or sharing a loading zone with your neighbors,” she said. “I hope you realize you have to actually resolve those issues because we have to approve a particular plan. You sound so tentative about many of these things, and they can’t be tentative when we decide on it.”