10/20/14 9:00am
10/20/2014 9:00 AM
Brian Gurley behind the counter at the soon-to-open "Two Brothers Take and Bake Pizza" in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Brian Gurley behind the counter at the soon-to-open “Two Brothers Take and Bake Pizza” in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Brian Gurley is hoping the people of eastern Long Island, long-accostumed to the convenience of gooey, piping hot to-go pizzas, will embrace a West Coast approach to takeout.

His venture, Two Brothers Take and Bake Pizza, is expected to open on East Main Street in Riverhead by the end of the month, he said. Unlike a traditional New York pizzeria, the eatery makes fresh, uncooked pies to be cooked at home or frozen for later.

Read more at northforker.com

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…)

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.


05/03/13 5:00pm
05/03/2013 5:00 PM
Papa John's in Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Craig Viana, owner of Viana Signs of Oceanside, installing a Papa John’s sign Friday morning at the East Main Street location.

Papa John’s Pizza will be coming soon to downtown Riverhead.

Franchise co-owners Sean LaValle of Selden and Alfred Fico of Manorville are just awaiting the OK from the Suffolk County health department and are hoping to open May 16, about a week before the busy Memorial Day weekend.

The business partners chose Riverhead because, they found, a lot of people in the area know about Papa John’s but never tasted the product, Mr. LaValle said.

Mr. LaValle is familiar with Riverhead, having graduated from Mercy High School in 1984.

The two have hired staff for the storefront but are still looking to hire delivery drivers. The delivery jobs pay $9 an hour and $1 per pizza delivered, plus tips.

The shop is located in the same building that houses aBlue Duck Bakery Cafe and a Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices.

There are about 4,200 Papa John’s franchises in every state in the U.S. and 35 countries, according to the pizza company’s website.


11/30/12 2:38pm
11/30/2012 2:38 PM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Jerry Romano of 4Wall Entertainment tests out the theater’s new spotlights.

February 2. That’s the date that those behind the transformation of the Suffolk Theater, originally a Depression-era movie palace, say the restored entertainment center will make its grand public debut.

The long-awaited project, which in recent years has failed to meet multiple completion deadlines, is indeed coming together, said owner Bob Castaldi. Construction crews were busy installing a radiant heating system in the Main Street building Friday and concrete is expected to be poured for the floors in a week’s time, he added.

“It’s going really fast now,” Mr. Castaldi said.

When the construction is done the sloping floor will be replaced with level terraces, a design permitting a dinner theater business.

Earlier in the fall the theater set an opening date of New Year’s Eve. Production director Jim Vignato said he remains confident the project’s completion is not far off.

“The fact that we’re here is proof,” he said. “We’re rocking and rolling now.”

Read more about this story in next week’s Riverhead News-Review.