The former Armory on Route 58 now belongs to Riverhead.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday night giving the town the now-vacant building, after bills sponsored by Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Dan Losquadro (R-Shoreham) passed in their respective houses earlier this year.
“The acquisition of the armory is an enormous feather in Riverhead’s cap,” Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said.
The town wants to use the building to house its police department and justice court, which both are now in a building next to Town Hall that officials say is too small for either function.
Mr. Walter would like to free up that building by moving those departments to the armory, and then bring back some of the town offices that are now housed in “Town Hall West” on Pulaski Street to the current police building.
There is still price estimate for how much it will cost to retrofit the armory, Mr. Walter said.
“We’ll probably have an analysis done and then issue a request for proposals from companies to design the building,” he said, but added that probably won’t happen until early next year.
He said the work will be done on a “pay as you go” basis, adding, “we’re not in a position to be floating bonds for millions of dollars.”
The Route 58 armory and the 5.7-acres it sits on were originally owned by the town, which sold it to the state in 1953 for $500 in an agreement that stated stated that the land could go back to the town if it ever ceased being used as an armory and the town wanted it back.
The Armory has been vacant since earlier this year when the New York Army National Guard’s 133rd Quartermaster Company was relocated to a new facility in Farmingdale that consolidates many Army National Guard units.