Supervisor Sean Walter, fresh off meeting with Regal Cinemas representatives upstate, said Friday he’s not at all worried that Apollo Real Estate Advisors has leased one of the storefronts in downtown Riverhead’s former Woolworth building.
Nor is he overly concerned Apollo is marketing the entire building with a local real estate company.
The town has been working with developer Ron Parr and Apollo to bring a movie theater company to the recently vacant Woolworth building, and Regal Cinemas — the largest cinema chain in the country — has shown interest.
Mr. Parr is hoping to buy the Woolworth building from the NYC-based Apollo investment group and build an 8-screen multiplex there — if he can get a movie company to come, Mr. Walter said. Regal Cinemas sent Mr. Walter and Mr. Parr movie tickets to attend the opening of its new, 10-screen multiplex in upstate Clifton Park, near Albany, and Mr. Walter drove up there to meet with company officials and catch a movie Thursday.
Mr. Walter said the meeting was very positive. “I think they’re excited about Riverhead,” he said.
But Apollo has now leased one of the storefronts in the East Main Street building to Knu Style N Temple, a hair salon and barbershop that had been located on Peconic Avenue for the past decade.
Mr. Walter said he was told it was a short-term lease with a clause saying the tenant must vacate if the building is sold.
But Knu Style owner Charlie Green said he has a 10-year lease, with no such clause.
Knu Style is the first tenant to occupy the Woolworth building since Bagel Lovers left in 2006. The entire building is listed with Bagshaw Realty in Riverhead.
Owner John Bagshaw said his agency has the listing for the Apollo building, although he said agent Jeff Mullins has been dealing with Apollo and knows more about it.
“I don’t want to say I have a formal listing, but it’s available, I do know that, and Jeff has been working with Apollo,” Mr Bagshaw said Friday. “We know it’s available and they will lease it.”
Mr. Mullins could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Walter declined to say who told him the barbershop had a short-term lease, but he said he thinks the theater project will work out if Regal agrees that they want to come to Riverhead. He said he speaks with Apollo on a regular basis, and they are also on board with bringing a cinema to town.
“I’m really not worried about that,” Mr. Walter said of Apollo’s recent moves. “We’re working on lining up the stars; let’s get the big stars lined up first. That’s the movie company and Apollo and Ron Parr, and once we get everything lined up, we’ll work with the barbership, I’m not worried about that.
“We’re going to be okay, the barber is going to be okay, the movie theater, if it comes — I mean when it comes — is going to be okay.”
Kevin Davis of Apollo did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The supervisor added that he’s gotten conflicting information about when Regal’s board will decide on whether to come to Riverhead. Yesterday, he said he thought a decision was slated for their December meeting, but now he’s hearing it could happen later in the winter.