The owners of Hotel Indigo East End on West Main Street have filed plans to add a catering hall and retail stores on a 4.2-acre plot of land next to their property, just south of Tanger Outlets.
The plans on file at Riverhead Town Hall show three buildings in total: a proposed catering facility with two floors at 11,000 square feet each, a two-story building with 2,600 square feet on the first floor and 400 square feet on the second floor, and a 9,200 square foot retail building with six storefronts.
The site plan application, called Indigo Village, requires a permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, since it’s located within the state’s Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act. That legislation limits development near the Peconic River to protect the waterway. Town planners, however, won’t begin reviewing Hotel Indigo East End’s site plan until the project gets the OK from New York State.
Town planning director Rick Hanley said the DEC has indicated it will issue a permit for the project once the Planning Board passes a resolution to take the lead in reviewing it, which it did July 17. The Planning Board also determined in that resolution that the hotel’s plans don’t require an environmental impact study.
“When the DEC issues a Rivers Act permit, they actually approve a plan, so we don’t begin our review until the applicant gets a DEC permit,” Mr. Hanley said.
But Lou Salvatico, vice president of Jaral Properties, which owns the hotel, said the site plan before the Riverhead Town Planning Board is just a conceptual plan at this point.
“We’re not really sure what we’re going to build there,” he said.
One change they do plan on making is to connect the hotel, as well as the new project, to the town’s sewer district. Currently, he said, the hotel uses conventional cesspools. Connecting to the sewer district will be better for the environment, he said.
The DEC plans to hold a 15-day public comment period on the application and will make a determination on it when that’s complete, according to DEC spokesperson Aphrodite Montalvo. She said the new plan mitigates negative environmental impacts to the area by connecting to the sewer district, preserving numerous natural areas, creating wildlife travel corridors and restoring natural habitat at the Weeping Willow Park farther east on West Main Street.
Hotel Indigo East End is located on a 7.8-acre property outside the boundaries of the Rivers Act. In the past, hotel owners had sought state permission to turn the neighboring 4.2-acre lot into a parking lot but those plans were rejected by the DEC.
The hotel and the undeveloped property are located in the Destination Retail Center zone, which was created in the mid-1990s to attract large shopping centers to build in Riverhead.