Tax breaks sought for duplex/eatery project

04/22/2010 12:00 AM |

Developer Dee Muma is seeking tax breaks for her proposed conversion of the 81-year-old brick building at the corner of East Main Street and Peconic Avenue into a restaurant/catering facility and apartments.

The Riverhead Town Industrial Development Agency will hold a public hearing Monday, April 26, at 5 p.m. in Town Hall on Ms. Muma’s application for tax breaks related to her Dark Horse Restaurant project.

The application seeks a sales tax exemption on items used during the renovation, as well as a partial property tax exemption that would extend over 10 years and apply only to increases in assessed value attributed to improvements to the property.

Over the years, the building has housed a radio station, hardware store, clock shop and a used furniture store.

The standard IDA property tax exemption for a non-industrial project would start at 50 percent and decrease by 5 percent a year for 10 years.

The Dark Horse project received $150,000 in grants last year from the state Office of Community Renewal’s Main Street grant program.

The estimated cost of the renovation is $1.64 million, according to an IDA notice of the hearing.

The IDA has granted tax exemptions to several high-profile projects in town in the past year, including Atlantis Marine World’s proposed hotel on East Main Street, the Summerwind apartment complex on Peconic Avenue and Bowl 58 at the site of the old Chevy dealership on Route 25 in Riverhead.

Ms. Muma, who owns Dark Horse Catering and co-owns Tweeds Restaurant with her husband, Ed Tuccio, is proposing a restaurant and catering facility with a takeout gourmet food store for the ground floor of the 9,000-square-foot building and five duplex office/apartments for the second and third floors.

The duplex apartments would enable people to live and work in the same building, according to Ms. Muma. She plans to locate the entrance to the catering facility on Peconic Avenue and the entrance to the takeout store on East Main Street. Dark Horse Catering is currently run out of Tweeds.

Several energy-efficient technologies will be used in the renovation, according to Ms. Muma, including solar hot water panels, along with tabletops, bar tops and shelving made from recycled timbers and light fixtures made out of recycled bottles. She’s also proposing to install rooftop planting boxes to collect rainwater and grow herbs.