A plan to renovate and expand the former Edu Comp building in Vineyard Haven remains a work in progress as the developer who recently bought the property attempts to pass muster with the town and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for the large commercial expansion.

Decreased commercial space, a downsized floor plan and a murky definition of workforce housing were all topics for discussion at a continued hearing before the MVC Thursday night.

Xerxes Agassi bought the distinctive red brick building at 4 State Road in February for $2.4 million. The redevelopment plans have been under review by the commission as a development of regional impact (DRI) since late last year. Thursday marked the third hearing, but at the outset commissioner Doug Sederholm said it would be continued, among other things at the request of the Tisbury planning board.

“We will continue this public hearing as long as it takes to address all the issues,” Mr. Sederholm said. Mr. Agassi, who owns the Island-based construction and property management company Delano & Co., wants to gut-renovate the existing brick building and construct a 13,062-square-foot addition. The original portion of the building, which would mostly be for condominiums and some office space, would have three floors once renovated while the new structure would have four floors. The renovation and addition would increase the floor plan by 165 per cent, making it the second largest building in downtown Vineyard Haven.

At the town level the Tisbury planning board has expressed concerns about traffic and the emphasis on residential instead of commercial space. In addition Mr. Agassi is in an ongoing dispute with neighbors over access road easements. As a partial workaround, last week commissioners allowed the owner of 10 State Road to cut down a handful of trees in order to expand an existing driveway.

Previous iterations of the plan included seven commercial units and 15 residential units with two of those restricted for affordable housing and three workforce units. The most recent plan, which shaves about 4,000 square feet off the floor plan, calls for three commercial and 14 residential units, with one restricted as affordable. The residential units would be a combination of one and two bedrooms for a total of 22 bedrooms. Mr. Agassi told commissioners he is in talks with the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Vineyard Wind to lease up to 13 of the units to the two organizations.

He reiterated that he believes the project would be a good fit and an economic benefit to the town. “I think just the fact that you have all these people living and spending their money in Tisbury . . . I think all that’s going to be a plus, and the proximity to [Vineyard Wind’s] proposed site on Beach Road I think just makes this a natural fit,” Mr. Agassi said.

The plan calls for saving a cherry tree that graces the front of the building, but questions surfaced at the hearing about whether changes to the access driveway would compromise the root system of the tree.

There was lengthy discussion about calling the residential units workforce housing, since they would be rented at market rate.

“What they really are in, our terms, are market rate housing that could be rented to people working, but they should not be confused with what we’re calling workforce housing,” commissioner Fred Hancock said.

Responding to questions from commissioners, Mr. Agassi attempted to assuage any concerns that the units could be converted to short-term rentals. He said none of the tenants renting through the two groups would be allowed to rent the apartments out as short-term rentals. The other market-rate units could be subletted for at least one week at a time, or more than 60 days per year.

“We’re adamant about having language in our leases with the companies that prohibit [short term rentals],” Mr. Agassi said.

“But if it doesn’t work out [renting to the hospital and Vineyard Wind], you will be free to rent at market rate?” commissioner Christina Brown asked.

“It’s a possibility,” Mr. Agassi replied.

He later expanded on the type of need he expects the units to address.

“What seems to be lacking is good quality housing for the part of the workforce such as engineers, doctors, nurses . . . but we don’t get involved with who the tenants are. Our leases are with the business owners,” he said.

The hearing was continued to May 12.