Yet another shopping center proposed for Route 25A in Wading River

TIM GANNON PHOTO A 32,000 square-foot shopping center has been proposed for the small parcel where Village Beverage currently sits.

Yet another shopping center is being proposed along Route 25A in Wading River, according to the developer’s presentation before the Riverhead Planning Board Thursday.

This plan, called Knightland, seeks to build 32,518-square-feet of retail space in about 30 small buildings along with a 106-seat “cafeteria-style” restaurant on the triangle of land near the traffic light at Sound Avenue and Route 25A.

The plan for the site also seeks to merge five tax map parcels into one.

The applicant, Ken Barra who owns the adjacent East Wind Caterers, is proposing another shopping center in the Reeves Park area. Mr. Barra said the proposed project also would have parking access in East Wind’s lot.

Mr. Barra’s attorney, Peter Danowski, told the Planning Board Thursday that his client originally planned to build a vineyard and restaurant on the property a few years ago, but the Suffolk County Health Department would not allow the vineyard.

Planning Board member Lyle Wells said he felt the original plan should have been permitted.

“It’s unfortunate that they have driven an out-of-the-box concept that we had originally out the door,” he said. “Now, coming into Riverhead, instead of seeing something such as a country restaurant or a catering facility, with vineyards and what you’d hope to see in Riverhead as you come here, we are now seeing an extension of suburbia.”

Sid Bail of the Wading River Civic Association expressed concern to Mr. Barra afterward that the project would be duplicating services that exist elsewhere in Wading River.

Mr. Barra disagreed. He said the small shops, in buildings no bigger than 1,500-square-feet, would be “specialty retailers” owned by mom and pop families.

He said the buildings will be an improvement over the beverage distributor that’s there now.

The proposal is the second new shopping center currently being proposed along Route 25A. William Zoumas is proposing a 56,272-square-foot shopping center called Central Square at Wading River on Route 25A in Wading River, just east of the CVS pharmacy.

It calls for 31,000-square-feet of medical office or retail in two buildings, a 16,272 square foot two-story office building, a 145 seat restaurant and a 4,000-square-foot bank. It would be located on 17.8 acres that is half zoned commercial and half residential, but the development rights from the residential property are proposed to be transferred to the commercial part of the property, increasing the amount of building permitted there, but eliminating the ability to build on the residential property.

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This post was originally published Oct. 21, 2010