08/10/13 8:00am
08/10/2013 8:00 AM
Riverhead, Taco Bell, Nathan's Famous, Route 58

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | A two-story restaurant is being proposed for a sliver of land between the Route 58 Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue.

Can you fit a restaurant on the tiny piece of land between Taco Bell and Harrison Avenue in Riverhead?

A Westhampton man is going to try, and his application will be the subject of a public hearing before the Riverhead Planning Board at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, in Town Hall.

Chuck Chockalingam of Westhampton bought the 3/10 of an acre parcel just east of Taco Bell from Suffolk County several years ago on a tax default. He’s looking to build a two-story 24-seat restaurant there and was recently granted three property line setback variances by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Mr. Chockalingam said he has not yet picked a tenant for the restaurant.

In 2009, he leased the property to a tenant who applied to build a Nathan’s Famous hot dogs outlet there, but Mr. Chockaligam took that tenant to court to remove him from the project because he was unhappy with the pace of the proposed development.

At the time, the Suffolk County Planning Commission had called the application an “over-intensification” of the property.

07/16/13 1:20pm
07/16/2013 1:20 PM
Riverhead Town Board members and representatives from Saber Real Estate Advisors, LLC break ground at the new 119,000 square-foot shopping center on Route 58.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO  |  Riverhead Town Board members and representatives from Saber Real Estate Advisors, LLC break ground at the new 119,000-square-foot shopping center on Route 58.

A Route 58 shopping center that will include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Buffalo Wild Wings and Starbucks is inching closer toward completion later this year.

Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony today to commemorate the construction of the final businesses being built in the 119,000-square-foot Riverhead shopping center.

Representatives from Saber Real Estate Advisors, LLC and members of the Riverhead Town Board, including Town Supervisor Sean Walter and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, attended the event.

The shopping center, which is adjacent to the Riverhead Raceway, will house Christmas Tree Shops, ALDI’s and Five Below. Construction is expected to be completed later this year. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Christmas Tree Shops will open in November and the remaining stores will open early next year, a Saber spokesperson said.

Charles Kwon, who owns Buffalo Wild Wings franchises in Suffolk County and Connecticut, said the restaurant’s Riverhead opening will be his sixth overall.

“I’m probably the most excited about this location,” he said. “I anticipate it will be very successful.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

11/08/12 5:35pm
11/08/2012 5:35 PM
Dick's, Route 58, Riverhead

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | The Dick’s Sporting Good store in Lake Grove.

The Riverhead Planning Board on Thursday voted 4-0 to approve a proposed 122,000-square-foot shopping center on 13 acres adjacent to Riverhead Raceway and Glenwood Village on Route 58.

Rick Decola, a representative for the applicant, Saber Riverhead LLC of Armonk, N.Y. said after the vote that the group hopes to begin construction in February and have the center open by the fall of 2013.

Saber Riverhead principal Martin Berger has said its tenants will inched Dick’s Sporting Goods, Christmas Tree Shops, Buffalo Wild Wings, an ALDI supermarket, Five Below and a Starbucks with a drive-through window.

The applicants are proposing to build a new traffic signal which would be shared with a 271,000-square-foot proposed shopping center on the north side of Route 58 that would have a Costco as its anchor store.

That project, called Shops at Riverhead, was approved by the planning board last month.

Saber Riverhead also agreed to provide cross easements with its neighboring properties, including Maximum Motorsports, the Holiday Inn Express and a 7-Eleven/gas station.

The cross easements would allow traffic to flow between the sites without having to come back on Route 58.

Saber Riverhead also agreed to build a sound wall to block noise from the development from impacting residents at Glenwood Village, and they agreed to eliminate a loading dock that was near homes at the community.

The wall would cover a 200 foot stretch on the east part of Saber’s property, where there are about four homes, according to Charles Cuddy, the attorney for the applicant.

The 13-acre property has previously been owned by Riverhead Park Corps and Larry Oxman and was involved in a protected legal fight after the town accused Riverhead Park and Mr. Oxman of illegally clearing the land and filling in wetlands.

Mr. Oxman eventually won the litigation, but lost the property to foreclose last year.

Planning Board member Lyle Wells, a farmer, left the room during the discussion and vote on Saber Riverhead, which plans to use five development credits transferred from preserved farmland in order to increase the amount of development permitted on the site. Mr. Wells said afterward that he was advised to recuse himself from the discussion and the vote because he may sell development credits from his farm to the applicant.

tgannon@timesreview.com