Supervisor looks to ‘rebrand’ downtown Riverhead

05/17/2011 9:13 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | Downtown Riv..., ahem, The District as it appeared last month on East Main Street.

Just as people tried to combat the bad reputation of the Riverhead neighborhood long known as The Greens by changing its name to Millbrook Gables years back, Supervisor Sean Walter is hoping to do away with the practice of referring to downtown Riverhead as downtown Riverhead.

Mr. Walter said there’s a certain negative connotation connected with that term, and he wants to change it by coming up with a new name, or “rebranding,” as he termed it.

The supervisor initially wanted to call the area formally known as downtown — if he’s successful — the “Bay District.”

He sprang that idea on students from SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse as they made downtown master plan proposals to town officials last Wednesday. Most of the students then called it the Bay District as they made their presentations, although some of them had to stop short as they were just about to say “downtown,” and instead said “Bay District.”

The supervisor said on Tuesday that some people he’s spoken to since didn’t like “Bay District,” and instead just want to call downtown “The District.”

He said he’s hoping to come up with logos for The District and to start getting people used to the new name.

[email protected]



71 Comment

  • Branding is a powerful tool, but to re-brand you have to START with a brand…NOT a textbook definition: “Downtown–of, relating to, or located in the business center of a city.”

    Instructions to meet in “The District” will invariably need to be followed by “You know…downtown.” Much merriment will ensue, at the further expense of Riverhead’s reputation.

    Build something on the water, & you can name THAT, as Rouse & others have successfully done. And a logo for the downtown area could be unifying & helpful. But attempting to expunge this descriptive term from common usage would be folly.

  • How about the Empty District. What a fool. Why don’t we rebrand the Supervisor and get Sean replaced instead.


  • So, the guys heart is in the right place, downtown needs help. However, what a dumb idea this is! Local residents will not stop calling it ‘downtown’. To force people to do so is just weird and kinda big brother ish. Places end up with names for a reason. Like “River”head. It’s not “Bay”head!

  • Branding is a potent tool…but to re-brand, you need to START with a brand, not a definition: “Downtown–of, relating to, or located in the business center of a city.”

    Build something by the water, & THAT can be branded–as Rouse & others have done successfully in other locales. And, a well-crafted logo could be useful in boosting our image.

    Any attempts, however, to change language in common use will only add to Riverhead’s embarrassment.

    Besides–it would fail: directions to “the District” would have to be followed by “You know…downtown!”

  • Nothing wrong with throwing an idea out there.

    The Theater and Restaurant districts in Buffalo, New York have been successful, as has “New Market” in Baltimore and the waterfront district in Philadelphia. I say be open to new ideas, branding and logos and hype works. Maybe the Supe could have used some better phrasing but remember this was just general discussion at a meeting. No harm, no foul.

    Could be a good idea here.

  • Those districts actually have something!! Why not refer to Main Street near the circle as Times Square and call downtown “Manhattan II”. This makes the town look even more ridiculous, if that’s possible. Sean is just reaching for something to make it look like downtown is alive!!! ha ha

  • A rose by any other name smells as sweet, or not, as in the case of our current “downtown”. This reminds me of the people in Mastic/Shirley trying to break away from that stigma and coming up with the name Floyd Harbor. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it is still not a place you’d choose to live. These attempts always seem somehow pathetic. “Downtown” Riverhead conjurs up alot of happy memories for us old-timers, and the nickname of the area is not the problem. It is the lack of stable businesses. A catchy logo or slogan does seems like a good idea, though, for uniting residents towards the common goal of a better downtown. How about “Downtown, everything’s waiting for you”?? It might be copyrighted, who knows, but it acknowledges the past while bringing a sense of hope for the future. Long live Riverhead!!

  • How about “the Project”, like the new restaurant? @@

  • Rebranding alone will NOT revive downtown.

    Besides the example offered above is actually a suggestion of a simple “renaming” and not “rebranding” at all. Rebranding might include things like “trade dress”; like making the big “golden arches” into a “blue star” but not just changing the name “McDonald’s” to “Donald’s” alone.

    So let’s deal with “renaming” downtown to “The District”; does renaming a vacant, blighted, hooker infested downtown with oddly engineered traffic (signals) to “The District” (as in “red light district”) seem cool?

    If Riverhead paid for this “rebranding” advice then we deserve a refund. If the board wants my advice on the solution for downtown, I have a multi-point plan I have crafted and I can be called on to offer it in a Town Hall meeting in October as a gift to my friends in the community.

    In the interim, the name “downtown” is not negative, and it can be cool, so don’t wast time changing it:

    The better message, as in the song “Downtown”, is “you can always go downtown”. Promote fun, safety, and value — that is some of the nature of rebranding.

    Greg Fischer: 3 degrees in business, over 25 years in consulting, lecturer in business strategy.
    [email protected]

  • Three things that must be done for Riverhead to improve :

    1. Force the landlord(s) who own(s) all the empty buildings to do something constructive with them, like sell them to someone who is an investor, not a hoarder of buildings.

    2. Move the jail (that will never happen obviously)

    3. Get our esteemed neighbor to the south, the town of Southampton, to lift the rug they’ve swept all their detritus under and clean up their own freaking town. They have conveniently placed all the low income of the south fork in one corner, and it’s in our school district, smack up against our downtown.

  • Ever think of flipping the businesses on the river-side towards the river? or dividing the buildings equally between owners to form a complementary atmosphere and utilize the rear parking lots for more than the crack alley it has come to be known as.. Every business, and yes this town is a business.. needs to spend money wisely to make money. The Mermaid will make a killing when the hotel is finished.. Atlantis will make even more of a killing.. Just an idea..

    And what is Riverhead’s “brand” that we are marketing to the locals as well as to the tourists who pass through this town to make their happy way to their summer homes?


  • There are ladies of the evening tho… Don’t believe me? Take an excursion along the strip in the late evening hours to the wee ones of the morning. Bet you’ll see ’em then!

  • Alergic: I saw them too and it bothers me that they are there in the daylight hours too, and on weekends, even around other parts of town including the Library and Court buildings.

    Definition of infested: To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious.

    In my mind, considering the subject matter, even on consitiutes “harmful, threatening, (and) obnoxious” to the businesses downtown.

    Thanks for being with me on this.

  • I did not insult any business; I did insult and attack the condition of blight intentionally. You have my full appology if you took any personal offense at my observations or comments.

    The Supervisor also serves as the “Commissioner of Police”, a position which requires watchfulness and not ignorance, and of course any condition or issue of the town comes into play as I either consider running myself or finding candidates to run.

    I believe open goverment also includes an open forum for more candidates to appear and the NYS primary system helps to provide that forum. Additional candidates usually means that more issues will be explored and to greater depth. The best person does not always win an election but if committed persons are part of the debate then the voters win by having an open electoral process. That said, at this time, I continue to reach out to discover other candidates to help run for supervisor (that invitation is open to you) and I can be contacted by them (or you) at: [email protected]

  • hey watcher11901 maybe it wasnt the dump trucks fault, most of these accidents are people over the age of 70 and maybe shouldnt be driving and before u start jumping to conclusions on what happened wait for the investigation report to come out and says whos at fault and maybe u just might have to stick ur foot in your mouth. PS the last couple of accidents ive seen it was the old person who caused the accident and took the life of someone

  • oh suffolktimes by the way Sound Avenue starts west of Cox Neck Rd going west, the accident happened on County Route 48

  • How sad. Judy was a much loved, long-time member of the community and an invaluable person at the North Fork Community Theatre.

  • funny how the june 4 accident that closed route 48 between elijah’s and alvah’s lane has still never been mentioned! any comments on that one?

  • I do not know which driver, if either, was at fault, but I will say that I find that the Corazzini trucks DO drive way too fast on Sound Ave. They are quite scary! I have been passed by them like I’m standing still, when I am doing my usual 60-ish. Of course they are not the only trucks going too fast, but I have notice the Corazzini trucks speeding many times. Sorry, but it’s true.
    I am guessing that the between the truck’s likely high speed and the victim’s likely slower response time, a miscalculation was made. Both drivers may be (have been) at the extremes of what would be considered a safe driver.
    Also, why the hell don’t people slow down when they approach the traffic lights? One is meant to go through an interstection at a safe speed, say 45ish or so, even if the light is green. It just amazes me that people don’t have the sense to slow down when they are approaching a potentially hazardous situation.
    Just drive at a safe speed, and be reasonably cautious. It’s not difficult.

  • You mean like the accident on Sound Avenue a couple of weeks ago when another speeding dump truck flipped over onto the Maryhaven van killing someone?

    There is NO WAY a dump truck going the 45 mile per hour speed limit could have flipped and skidded. There is also NO WAY for a station wagon to cause a filled dump truck to flip over. A station wagon could crash into a dump truck at 100 miles per hour, and the dump truck wouldn’t flip over, because of it’s mass.

    I have personally witnessed Corazzini’s trucks speeding and driving recklessly on a near daily basis. Their trucks are a menace and I hope they are sued into oblivion.

  • And here you have it, multiple safety violations and a 73 year old truck driver hauling ass in a 20,000 pound rolling killer. Let’s hope a data recorder picked up his speed just before the crash.


    Truck driver Richard W. Corazzini Sr., 73, of Cutchogue, was treated for minor injuries and released.

    The Suffolk County Police Motor Carrier Safety Unit responded and Corazzini was issued summonses for ******equipment violations*****, police said. Utter’s Car was impounded for a safety inspection.

  • Actually it’s sad.. poor woman, 96 years old.. On another note, when people drive a respectable speed of 55-60, then… o dear lord the abuse starts from other drivers who are so impatient to get where they’re going! 99.9% of the time because they didn’t leave enough time to get to their destination at a normal pace… The tailgating, the light flashing, the honking, the bird after they pass you on a double yellow.. Impatience and lack of observation kill.

  • What a major coincidence; back in 2004 soon after I moved here, Corrazini guy, slim, was doing driveway across the street and went walking around the west side of my house looking around the back yard near the fence. Trouble is, the driveway is on the east side. I copped an attitude about him for snooping around my house. Quite a few times over the last couple of years I saw the dump truck in Riverhead around the route 24 circle when I was there. The last couple of years I have been transmitting a favorite joke via amateur radio through the international space station. It goes like this; It’s Utter chaos on the dairy farm! I must be a prophet. What a coincidence!

  • Oh, I forgot to mention, I drive an old white car too.

  • Another close call came to mind; three or four years ago, while travelling westbound beyond cox lane, I passed a Norsic truck in the right lane. As I was abreast of him in the left lane, he drifted into my lane and I nearly drove into the center median ditch. I slammed on the brakes and the Horn, he quickly sped forward and I followed behind trying to get the plate and he made a hard right turn off the highway northbound onto a road. I continued home and gave Norsic an earful on the phone about it. There should be guard rails in the center median. It was a rainy day and my lights were on.

  • No, actually Sound Ave. begins at the corner of Love Lane and the Main Rd ( Rt 25) and Sound Ave. starts between them @ Mattituck village.

  • actually thats called Old Sound Ave

  • Man, that was just plain rude… Some people aren’t capable driving at 21… 35… 48… and the list goes on.