05/14/15 1:13pm
05/14/2015 1:13 PM
A rendering of the Peconic Crossing project planned for West Main Street. (Courtesy)

A rendering of the Peconic Crossing project planned for West Main Street. (Courtesy)

A five-story affordable housing project planned for along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead has received $5.49 million in grants from New York State.

“This is huge; I can’t underscore that enough,” explained Marianne Garvin, the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Community Development Corporation of Long Island, which is teaming up on the West Main Street project with a Rochester-based, for-profit developer called Conifer Realty. “Without the financing, you can have a concept and a dream and an aspiration, but you don’t have the project being built.

“This gives us the financing and the ability to actually build what we’re dreaming about building.” (more…)

07/09/13 12:18pm
07/09/2013 12:18 PM
Bank of America and Blue Duck

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A production crew prepares to begin filming a mini-documentary Tuesday morning at Blue Duck Bakery Café in downtown Riverhead.

A production crew set up shop at Blue Duck Bakery Café in downtown Riverhead Tuesday to film a mini-documentary for Bank of America and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island.

The documentary will highlight lending efforts that are helping transform beleaguered areas across the region.

The bakery’s owners, Nancy and Keith Kouris, said they turned to the CDC to help secure funding for the eatery’s Riverhead location after their bank was unable to get them a loan.

Then Bank of America — a supporter that helps fund the CDC, a HUD-certified housing agency based in Centereach — provided the money needed to help fund the store’s launch, through the CDC. The bakery opened last December.

“They realized that Riverhead was a community that was up-and-coming and trying to be revitalized,” Ms. Kouris said of the CDC. “That’s how we finished our project – they lent us the money.”

The mini-documentary will be appearing on the Bank of America website, Ms. Kouris said.

John Bozek, the vice president of small business lending at the CDC, said Mr. and Mrs. Kouris, who also operate Blue Duck Bakery Café locations in Southold and Southampton, approached him about opening a third location in Riverhead.

Plans for a Greenport store are in the works.

“I saw their passion and dedication to the community,” Mr. Bozek said of Mr. and Mrs. Kouris, who are husband and wife. “I could definitely tell there were opportunities for growth in their business and that it was going to be a successful endeavor, so we decided to go ahead and fund them.”

“They saw us as a local business in the resurgence of Riverhead and it was a project the CDC was happy to do and very interested in,” Mr. Kouris said. “Bank of America saw that and figured [this] was a good place to tell our story.”