The much-anticipated Summerwind apartment tower planned for downtown’s Peconic Avenue has received a building permit from Riverhead Town, enabling the project to move forward with financing, said Riverhead Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, one of the property-owners.
Ms. Giglio and the others behind the project also believe they are moving closer to reaching a deal with Suffolk County to help keep the apartments affordable.
“We hope to [break] ground in the next month,” Ms. Giglio said of the expected construction. “We hope to take the Club 91 building down as soon as closing with the county takes place.”
She said 8,000 square feet of retail is already leased at the site. The project has been praised by town and county officials as a project that can help revive downtown Riverhead by bringing in needed foot traffic.
Martin Sendlewski, another property owner, said he believes construction will be started well before summer.
The proposed four-story building will include a restaurant, a cafe, a food market and retail on the ground floor, and 52 “workforce housing” apartments on the top three floors, according to Ms. Giglio.
Applicants must have incomes under the median income for Suffolk County, although a small percentage will be at 80 percent of the median and another small percent at 120 percent of median, she said. First preference will go to Riverhead Town residents and second preference will go to people who work in Riverhead, Ms. Giglio said.
The county will offset the construction costs of the plan to make the units affordable.
In addition to Ms. Giglio, the other owners of the project are builder Ray Dickoff and architect Mr. Sendlewski. Those three own the former Club 91 building, which will be demolished, while Ms. Giglio owns a small building to the north of Club 91, which also will be demolished. Mr. Dickhoff owns a vacant lot south of Club 91.
Once the closing with Suffolk County is completed, the three lots will be merged under the name Eastern Property Investor Consultants, LLC, Ms. Giglio said.
Having the permit allows the group to move forward with bank financing, since its a construction loan and the banks required a building permit, Ms. Giglio said. The loan will be about $7 million, and the county will offset those costs with $1.9 million.
The Long Island Housing Partnership will manage the selection of applicants and determine whether they comply with income guidelines. The rents must meet those guidelines for a 30 year period and can only be raised by the percent increase of the Consumer Price Index, Mr. Giglio said.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “We’re moving ahead and it’s going to bring new life into downtown Riverhead.”