11/19/13 7:14am
11/19/2013 7:14 AM
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Suffolk County and Riverhead Police released visual images from an armed robbery which occurred on Route 58 in mid-September, asking the public’s help in finding the two men they say held up the store.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers are also offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case, giving up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

According to police, two men entered the Hess station at the corner of Ostrander Avenue and Route 58 about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 13, a Friday. The duo reportedly robbed an employee at gunpoint, fleeing the convenience store with $200 in cash and $100 in Newport cigarettes.

No injuries were reported at the time of the arrest, police told the News-Review in September.

The Route 58 Hess wasn’t just the only Hess in the area to fall victim to an armed robbery recently, but also one of over a half dozen gas stations targeted throughout Suffolk County by an alleged serial armed robber. At the end of October, a Hess on Edwards Avenue in Calverton was robbed; police arrested Manorville resident Paul Tromblee on Nov. 10 in relation to the robberies. He remains held on bail.

Anyone with information about the arrest is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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11/17/13 4:02pm
11/17/2013 4:02 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Two men were transported to an area hospital following a four car crash Sunday afternoon, police said.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Two men were transported to an area hospital following a four car crash Sunday afternoon, police said.

Two men sustained minor injuries following a four-vehicle collision which included a school bus on Route 58 in Riverhead Sunday afternoon, police said.

A green Volvo unable to stop because of slippery road conditions rear-ended a red Mustang, pushing it into a school bus operated by Towne Bus Corp., near the intersection of Northville Turnpike about 2:40 p.m., police said.

The school bus, which was not carrying any passengers at the time, was then pushed into a fourth car, police said.

A man from the Mustang and a man from the Volvo were transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by Riverhead Ambulance volunteers, police said.

11/15/13 10:00am
11/15/2013 10:00 AM
IKE ISRAEL COURTESY PHOTO | An artist's rendering of the Northville Commerce Park.

IKE ISRAEL COURTESY PHOTO | An artist’s rendering of the Northville Commerce Park.

While three major construction projects on Route 58 within a quarter-mile have hummed along over the past couple of months, farther east up the road, progress at the Northville Commerce Park is moving along as well.

And new tenants are expected by the spring.

Sited at the corner of Northville Turnpike and Route 58, businesses at the planned 28,000-square-foot office complex are expected to start moving in come May, said Richmond Realty realtor Ike Israel, the property’s co-developer.

Work on the complex, which Mr. Israel said will ultimately contain four 7,200-square-foot buildings, began earlier this year.

The structural steel for one building has been erected and the foundation for another building is in the ground, Mr. Israel said. The exterior shell of a third building has also been constructed.

The building’s uses are still being determined, Mr. Israel said, but they will likely house medical and professional offices.

“We are negotiating with various types of tenants,” he said, adding that there are still some available spaces in the complex.

Mr. Israel’s vision for the complex, he said, is “Office space that has high exposure and is convenient to the hospital and the rest of Riverhead.”

Mr. Israel, who is developing the industrial park with his father – Richmond Realty broker and owner Richard Israel – said he hopes the complex will be completely finished by fall 2014.

“Our speed of construction is weather-dependent,” Ike Israel said.

Work on the project first began in 2010, when Riverhead-based Richmond Realty entered into a contract for the property. They began submitting site plans for approval in 2011.

Northville Commerce Park is one of several active commercial construction sites on Route 58. A Walmart Supercenter, located across the street from Tanger Outlets, is expected to open early next year, and a Costco is being constructed further east, across the street from the Riverhead Raceway.

Just east of the Riverhead Raceway sits another recently-completed shopping center, which contains a just-opened Dick’s Sporting Goods and Five Below. Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings and Christmas Tree Shops — all located in the plaza — are slated to open in the next few months.

ryoung@timesreview.com

11/06/13 9:00am
11/06/2013 9:00 AM
TIM GANNON PHOTO | A fence and vegetative berm bordering Foxwoods Village.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | A fence and vegetative berm bordering Foxwoods Village.

To the relief of some, construction has started on a vegetative berm and buffer abutting homes in Foxwood Village, on the northern end of The Shops at Riverhead, where nearby residents have been infuriated by the clear cutting of 41 acres of trees at the proposed shopping center, saying it increases dust and noise at their properties and creates security concerns.

While the town Planning Board had threatened to pull the permits on the Route 58 project as a result of the original berm plans, they were never revoked after recent changes were made to the board’s satisfaction.

Jeff Murphree, the town planning and building administrator, said the new information submitted by the developer “clarifies” the previous information.

An evergreen buffer and fence also is planned along part of the eastern boundary of the property, near the Millbrook Community, a mobile home park on Mill Road, officials have said.

The berm under construction is about four feet high and has evergreen trees being planted on top of it that are about eight feet high. Additional trees are proposed. There also is a six foot wooden fence along the property line with Foxwood Village; however, residents there have called it inadequate.

Residents have also questioned why the developer needed to cut down all the trees near their homes in the first place, since there is no building planned in that area in the approved site plan.

Peter Danowski, the attorney for the project – which will feature a Costco Warehouse as its anchor tenant – has said the project is a “balanced cut and fill,” whereby no sand would be imported or exported from the site, but would instead be moved around to regrade the land.

He said that once the berm and buffer are constructed, residents will be happy with it.

“In certain parts, it’s good,” said Marylee Feldman, president of the Foxwood Village Homeowners Association, which has been critical of the plans. “For some of the residents, it’s good. It’s fine, because it’s way higher than the fence. Once they put the trees on, it will be very good if they space them correctly.”

However, she said the trees won’t provide an adequate buffer if they’re not spaced correctly.

Robert Hall, a Foxwood Village resident who has monitored Planning Board meetings on the Shops at Riverhead application for the past four years, says he believes the trees that are being planted are too far apart to provide adequate screening, and are too small.

Foxwood Village residents still plan to go back to the Planning Board on Nov. 7 to ask for a better fence.

“I think this one will fall down by itself. It’s very rickety and not constructed properly,” Ms. Feldman said.

Residents have questioned the need to cut all the trees that were there initially, saying the “balanced cut and fill approach” was merely intended to save money for the developer.

“Some questions will never get answered,” Ms. Feldman said. “I just hope it’s okay” in the long run, she said.

Following the negative reaction to the project’s clear cutting, the Riverhead Town Board last week adopted new regulations that would require large commercial projects adjacent to residences to retain 50-foot natural buffers, or to construct a 50-foot vegetative buffer if one doesn’t exist naturally.

Supervisor Sean Walter said that requirement will apply to Shops at Riverhead only if the developer attempts to build more stores in the northern part of the property.

The Shops at Riverhead, which is now owned by Brixmor Property Group of New York, would be required to buy transferred farmland development rights in order to be able to build any more than what is currently proposed.

tgannon@timesreview.com

10/29/13 10:00am
10/29/2013 10:00 AM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Starbucks, pictured, is set to open at the Target in Riverhead early next month.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Starbucks, pictured, is set to open at the Route 58 Target in Riverhead early next month.

Target has targeted Starbucks to open up inside its Route 58 store.

“Target is pleased to offer our guests a new Starbucks location in our Riverhead store beginning in early November,” said Anne Christensen, a Target public relations spokesperson. “In addition to Starbucks food and beverage options, soda and ICEE beverages will also be available for purchase.”

This isn’t the only Starbucks coming soon to Route 58: a brick-and-mortar version of the popular Seattle-based coffee chain is slated to open Jan. 2014 at the new Saber Riverhead shopping center on Route 58, said Hank Russell, public relations director with PRMG. Located just east of the Riverhead Raceway, the Starbucks will feature a drive-through window.

Dick’s Sporting Goods opened up at the plaza last week, and a discount shop – Five Below – is scheduled to open up this coming week.

The only Starbucks currently operating in Riverhead Town is located in the Tanger 2 section of Tanger Outlets in Riverhead.

ryoung@timesreview.com

10/27/13 6:00am
10/27/2013 6:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Many attendees to Saturday's races wore Jason Trinca memorial T-shirts and sweatshirts.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Many attendees to Saturday’s races wore the Jason Trinca memorial sweatshirts and T-shirts that were on sale.

If you heard three load roars parceled out after 3 p.m. on Saturday in Riverhead, then you heard the local racing community’s way of remembering one of their own.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | 25 drivers participated Saturday.

Organizers said 25 drivers participated Saturday.

The third annual Jason Trinca Memorial Go Kart Event was held Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.

The event is run in memory of Jason Trinca, a racing enthusiast who died at the age of 7 in a car accident.

His mother, Keri, 30, also died in the Oct. 8, 2011 accident. Jason’s siblings, Marialena and Christopher, now 6 and 4, survived the crash.

The family was on its way to the Route 58 raceway that morning.

The East End Kart Racing Club and East West Marine in Manorville organized Saturday’s memorial, in which 25 drivers participated. The 48-lap race — to commemorate Jason’s racing number — was broken down into three segments so that drivers would have an opportunity to refuel.

Jason’s father, Jay, attended Saturday’s event with his children, friends and family, many of whom were bundled up in black memorial hoodies. Purple and yellow balloons — Jason’s colors — adorned the raceway.

Mr. Trinca walked onto the racetrack holding his son Christopher’s hand and climbed to the official spot where the two got to wave the green flag during the race.

TRINCA FAMILY COURTESY PHOTO \ Jason Trinca in an undated photo.

COURTESY PHOTO | Jason Trinca in an undated photo.

Shortly before the race began, Mr. Trinca told the News-Review that auto racing was always family affair.

“I’m here every Saturday in the spring and summer,” he said. “I got my son involved with racing and it’s something that’s been a part of our family. It’s what we do.”

Mr. Trinca said that he’s grateful for the racing community’s support — and for their prayers for his children.

“We’re two years into it and everybody is still with us,” he said. “Their support is overwhelming.”

A trust has been set up to help support the Trinca family.

Donations can be made to Trinca Family Memorial Trust, 41 East Main St. in Riverhead.

jennifer@timesreview.com

10/18/13 4:06pm
10/18/2013 4:06 PM

 

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Dick's Sporting Goods will hold its grand opening form Oct. 25 through Oct. 27.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Dick’s Sporting Goods will hold its grand opening form Oct. 25 through Oct. 27.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will be opening its doors next week on Route 58 next to Riverhead Raceway, with a special appearance by New York Mets Hall of Famer John Franco.

The nationwide sporting goods retailer, set to share a plaza with Starbucks, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Christmas Tree Shops, will be celebrating a weekend-long grand opening, from Oct. 25 through Oct. 27, to mark the first store in the Route 58 shopping center to open its doors.

Franco, who ranks fourth in Major League Baseball History with 424 saves, will make an in-store appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, signing autographs to the first 350 fans to show up at the store, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Dick’s will soon be followed by 5 Below, a retailer that only offers products for $5 or under. The store has said its grand opening is scheduled for Nov. 1.

One shop that won’t be opening anytime soon, however, is Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which will apparently be replaced by The Vitamin Shoppe.

The plaza – the subject of years-long litigation – gained its approvals from the Riverhead Town Planning Board just under a year ago.

10/17/13 2:09pm
10/17/2013 2:09 PM

GRANT PARPAN PHOTO | A customer eats a burger at the Five Guys location in Huntington. For now, the closest Five Guys to Riverhead is in Port Jefferson Station.

Sorry, burger lovers: Five Guys Burgers and Fries has reportedly backed out of plans to open a franchise on Route 58 in Riverhead.

Riverhead Town planning and building administrator Jeff Muphree said Oct. 16 that the popular fast-food joint “changed their mind” about opening a store in Riverhead just one day after the planning board approved an amended site plan for them in August.

“They didn’t give a reason,” Mr. Murphree said of the change.

The Five Guys was originally set to be located near the front of the Saber Riverhead shopping center, which is currently being constructed on Route 58, just east of Riverhead Raceway. It was to join Starbucks, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Christmas Tree Shops and Five Below, a representative of the developer said in August.

Mr. Murphree said The Vitamin Shoppe is expected to fill the space Five Guys was originally set to occupy.

Multiple attempts to reach Rich Decola, a representative for Saber Riverhead, were unsuccessful, and a Five Guys company spokesperson did not return repeated phone calls. Charles Cuddy, the Riverhead attorney representing Five Guys, could also not be reached.

Currently, the nearest Five Guys location is in Port Jefferson Station. The chain has doubled its number of stores to more than 1,000 open in the U.S. and Canada, according to a 2012 article published on Forbes.com. And it has more than 1,500 additional locations in the pipeline, making it the fastest growing burger chain in the U.S., according to the Forbes article.

ryoung@timesreview.com

Five Guys Burgers and Fries