Featured Story
10/02/15 10:48am
10/02/2015 10:48 AM


A proposed five-story, 45-unit affordable apartment building on West Main Street received preliminary site plan approval from the Riverhead Planning Board Thursday night — but that approval came with 26 conditions, including one that requires that the Riverhead Fire Chief be satisfied that the building has sufficient emergency access along the rear of the building, which abuts the Peconic River on 11 West Main St. READ

07/23/15 4:21pm
07/23/2015 4:21 PM

Main Street

We have all been waiting and hoping for downtown Riverhead to be revitalized. We strongly believe in Riverhead’s potential and it seems, finally, like it might be realized after so many false starts. New stores have opened, the Suffolk Theater is attracting great acts and we seem on the verge of actually making things happen. READ

01/30/15 12:18pm
01/30/2015 12:18 PM
Michael Butler (center) cuts the ribbon Thursday at the E. Main St. apartment complex. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

Michael Butler (center) cuts the ribbon Thursday at the E. Main St. apartment complex. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The second of three new affordable apartment complexes in downtown Riverhead officially held its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, as leases are in place for all but seven of its 19 apartments, with tenants expected to move in on Sunday, according to Michael Butler, the owner and developer of the project. (more…)

10/08/14 2:42pm
10/08/2014 2:42 PM
Michael Butler, managing partner with Woolworth Revitalization, LLC, said Riverhead has "all the components."

Michael Butler, managing partner with Woolworth Revitalization, LLC, said Riverhead has “all the components.” (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Michael Butler and his wife launched an environmentally sustainable eco-lodge in the Costa Rican rainforest 13 years ago, so opening 19 units of affordable housing on East Main Street in Riverhead doesn’t seem quite as daunting.

“That’s why this doesn’t seem as crazy, right?” he said (more…)

05/19/14 10:00am
05/19/2014 10:00 AM
The corner of Roanoke Avenue and East Main Street downtown. (Credit: Tim Gannon, file)

The corner of Roanoke Avenue and East Main Street downtown. (Credit: Tim Gannon, file)

A new study indicates downtown Riverhead doesn’t have enough parking or infrastructure to support the maximum number of apartment units allowed in the town’s existing master plan.  (more…)

02/26/14 11:12am
02/26/2014 11:12 AM
Supervisor Sean Walter at Tuesday night's State of the Town address.

Supervisor Sean Walter at Tuesday night’s State of the Town address.

Supervisor Sean Walter again hinted at big things to come in downtown Riverhead in his annual State of the Town speech on Monday.

The supervisor, breaking from his written speech, told the tri-club meeting of the Riverhead Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs, “We are not ready to announce plans today, but there are actions being taken right now behind the scenes, to fill the remaining vacancies downtown. We believe those actions are going to bear fruit.”  (more…)

06/04/13 12:58pm
06/04/2013 12:58 PM
Blue River Estates in Riverhead

TIM GANNON PHOTO | A rendering of Blue River Estates on display at Monday night’s IDA meeting.

The owners of Blue River Estates, a 48-unit apartment building proposed for downtown Riverhead, will seek tax abatements and other incentives from the town Industrial Development Agency, according to architect Martin Sendlewski.

Mr. Sendlewski addressed the IDA at its meeting on Monday.

A hearing on the application would likely take place in August, IDA officials said.

The Blue River Estates project is being proposed by Brooklyn-based Tricon Development and would involve the purchase and demolition of the building where the Long Island Science Center is located.

The project’s footprint would also stretch into the existing parking lot west of the Science Center on West Main Street.

Tricon’s president, Rafi Weiss, recently announced that Simshabs Capital Partners Ltd., a company that Mr. Weiss leads, has finalized the approximately $10 million in funding for the project, which is being billed as “upscale luxury apartments.”

Mr. Sendlewski made a presentation on Blue River Estates, which will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments, before the Town Board earlier this year.

The IDA can give exemptions on mortgage recording tax, sales tax on building materials used for a construction job, and real estate tax exemptions on the value of the improvements to the property once construction is complete. The standard IDA property tax exemption starts at 50 percent and drops five percent each year over a 10-year period, at which point the property owner would pay full taxes on the land’s assessed value.

The taxes on the land or whatever existed before a project starts is not exempted, and the exemptions only apply to town, county, school district and fire district taxes.

Blue River Estates is the third large apartment complex project proposed for downtown Riverhead.

Summerwind Square on Peconic Avenue is close to opening and will contain 52 affordable apartments. The owner of the former Woolworth building on East Main Street is proposing  about 20 apartments on the second floor of that building, with a gym and retail stores on the first floor.

The Riverhead Enterprises group, which owns many downtown parcels, has also discussed building more than 100 apartments on the site of the former Sears building but has yet to file a formal application.

“This adds to the mix,” Mr. Sendlewski said of Blue River Estates Monday night, and how it fits in with the proposed apartment complexes.

“These are more market rate, upscale rental units,” he added.

Each apartment would have one on-site parking space on the ground level, and each apartment would have one or two bathrooms and a washer and dryer, he said.

The one-bedroom apartments would be between 800 and 900 square feet and the two-bedroom apartments would be between 1,250 and 1,400 square feet, Mr. Sendlewski said.

The tower would be built at an elevation of 10 feet in order to avoid flooding in downtown, he said.

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