Costco Wholesale on Route 58 in Riverhead may soon be getting some neighbors.
Brixmor Property Group has submitted a site plan application to build five more retail buildings on the eastern section of the property, totaling an additional 120,000 square feet of development. The property abuts Riverhead Dodge and the Millbrook Community on the east.
The Riverhead Planning Board scheduled an Oct. 6 public hearing on the proposal at its meeting Thursday night.
Brixmor has yet to identify any tenants involved in the proposal, according to Chris Kent, the property group’s attorney on the application.
The 151,000-square-foot Costco opened in the summer of 2014 on land is purchased from Brixmor, which owns the rest of the shopping center property, which currently has no buildings on it. Brixmor developed the roads and infrastructure for the entire site, but the Costco store was built by other contractors.
Brixmor caught the ire of neighbors in 2013 when it clear-cut all the trees on the 41-acre property, causing dust to blow onto neighboring properties to the north and east. The clear-cutting was done with Town Board and Planning Board approval, as Brixmor had told the town it would do a “balance cut and fill,” meaning that sand excavated on the property would be reused elsewhere so that no sand or materials would be imported or exported.
The town had required Brixmor to build a fence and berm on the northern part of the property to protect homes in the Foxwood Village community, but those neighbors said the fence was inadequate and the trees that were planted were small or had died, so the town required a different type of fence and new trees.
Robert Hall, who represented Foxwood Village residents at Planning Board meetings about Brixmor, said Tuesday that the new fence is “satisfactory” but the berm is untended and full of weeds. Town planning and building administrator Jeff Murphree told the Planning Board last October that the development “substantially complies with the approved site plan and the only remaining items that need to be corrected are the two dead trees located in Costco’s parking lot, and the lack of wildflowers in the future development area.”
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said Monday that he believes all of the conditions have been met but added, “I think we will still hold the bond a little longer because some of the trees have died. But for the most part, I believe they are in compliance.”
The town had required Brixmor to post a $100,000 bond to ensure its compliance with the requirements of the site plan approval.
Photo caption: A view of the property next to Costco Wholesale. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)