09/19/14 11:43am
09/19/2014 11:43 AM
The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead Town in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

A brewery is one of the uses Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi says he’s considering for the Second Street firehouse, which he has offered to buy from Riverhead Town for $500,000.

But he says he doesn’t have a deal in place just yet; that’s just a use being considered.

“There’s a lot of things up in the air and nothing is concrete yet,” Mr. Castaldi told the News-Review. “I’ve got a lot of ideas and that is one of the things floating around.”

Mr. Castaldi didn’t identify the brewer, though a co-owner of a company called Long Beard Brewing later confirmed they were looking at the location. (more…)

08/05/14 12:34pm
08/05/2014 12:34 PM
The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

There will be no townwide referendum on the town board’s decision to sell the Second Street firehouse to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi for $500,000.

The 30-day permissive referendum period, during which residents could have submitted a petition challenging the sale and forced a public vote on the issue, ended last Wednesday. (more…)

07/05/14 12:00pm
07/05/2014 12:00 PM
After opting not to sell the Second Street Firehouse earlier this year to Sufolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, Town Board members decided on Tuesday to sell it to him for $500,000. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

After opting not to sell the Second Street Firehouse earlier this year to Sufolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, Town Board members decided on Tuesday to sell it to him for $500,000. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

In February, amid concern about the high cost of finding a new home for the town’s Justice Court, a majority of Town Board members backed out of a deal to sell the Second Street firehouse to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi.  (more…)

07/01/14 2:00pm
07/01/2014 2:00 PM

The Second Street firehouse finally appears to have a willing buyer — and a willing seller.

After a previous attempt by Supervisor Sean Walter to sell the house failed earlier this year, the Riverhead Town Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to authorize the sale of the building to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi for $500,000. (more…)

06/06/14 2:00pm
06/06/2014 2:00 PM
SecondSt_Firestation_BE_R

The Second Street firehouse was obtained by Riverhead in 2011 in a land swap with the Riverhead Fire District. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch file)

Forget about moving Town Hall to the Second Street firehouse.

The new plan is to sell that building to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi. Which, ironically, was the old plan too.

After Town Board members hastily passed a resolution at Thursday’s work session to sell the firehouse to Mr. Castaldi without his knowledge — and at a higher price than what he had previously offered — Mr. Castaldi said Friday that he’s still interested, but he has to determine if it will make sense economically for him to do so.

The resolution passed Thursday would sell the building to Mr. Castaldi for $500,000, whereas his prior proposal — a proposal made in February that the town board seemed to embrace before three council members changed their minds — was to buy it for $375,000.

The Town Board also is planning to apply for grants to turn the firehouse into a Suffolk County Regional Agritourism Visitors Center, although the resolution to sell the building to Mr. Castaldi includes no restrictions on what he could use the building for.

“I’m looking into it to see if it’s a workable situation,” Mr. Castaldi of the agritourism proposal in an interview Friday. He was not present at Thursday’s work session where the issue was discussed, and said he didn’t even know it was being brought up until afterwards, when he got a flood of phone calls.

Town Board members had informally agreed to sell the firehouse to Mr. Castaldi in February for $375,000, which was the highest offer the town got through a request for proposals for the site.

At the time, Mr. Castaldi had proposed to lease the building to “Dino A-Live,” an interactive dinosaur theater company from Japan.

But when an engineering study on the cost of renovating the town-owned Route 58 armory building into a justice court and police headquarters found it would cost $13 million to make that conversion, three Town Board members backed off that plan and some suggested that an alternate plan might be to move Town Hall to the firehouse. In turn, the idea was to use the current Town Hall building as a justice court, with the police taking over the entirety of the building they now share with the court.

That also meant support waned for selling the firehouse to Mr. Castaldi.

During a presentation on the armory project last month, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio asked that a similar study be done on the cost of moving Town Hall to the firehouse and justice court to Town Hall, rather than the armory proposal. She said on Thursday the cost for such a study would be $175,000, ”which we don’t have.”

That being the case, she said at Thursday’s meeting that she would now support selling the building to Mr. Castaldi, although she still thinks the $13 million armory project is too expensive. To fix space woes at the justice court, she suggested putting a modular building behind the current court for use as court space, with a sally port for transporting prisoners.

02/26/14 6:51pm
02/26/2014 6:51 PM
Barbaraellen Koch file photo | The Second Street firehouse

The Second Street firehouse. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Not so fast with those dinosaurs!

A majority of Riverhead Town Board members now say they oppose selling the Second Street firehouse, which recently was being proposed as the site of a dinosaur theater featuring people in realistic-looking dinosaur costumes that interact with audiences.

(more…)

02/13/14 6:48pm
02/13/2014 6:48 PM
Bob Castaldi, left, and RIck Takemoto at Thursday's meeting. (Photo by Tim Gannon)

Bob Castaldi, left, and RIck Takemoto at Thursday’s meeting. (Photo by Tim Gannon)

After Riverhead Town Board members watched a video of a “dinosaur theater” presentation for the old Second Street firehouse on Thursday, they said they plan to move forward with selling the building.

(more…)