Stores, apartments eyed for East Main Street in Riverhead

03/22/2011 3:22 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO A private developer wants to purchase vacant East Main Street buildings, like the one pictures above, and turn them into apartments and retail space.

A private developer is seeking to purchase a block of vacant buildings along downtown Riverhead’s East Main Street with the goal of demolishing them and building retail stores and apartments, Supervisor Sean Walter told the News-Review this week.

Mr. Walter did not name the developer, and that plan has not been formally proposed, but the supervisor said it has been in the discussion stages for about a year.

“It has not come to fruition yet,” he said.

The supervisor said talks about a mixed-use development project began not long after a “downtown summit” he held in early 2010, at which developers and business people were invited to exchange ideas and hear pitches from government officials.

Mr. Walter organized the summit hoping to jump-start development in the long-struggling downtown area.

“The developer seeks to acquire a block of property on the south side of Main Street,” Mr. Walter said, adding that the exact buildings or number of apartments or exact buildings have yet to be determined.

The proposal is similar in nature to one proposed in 2006 by Apollo Real Estate Advisors in that it involves building stores and apartments on properties between the former West Marine building and the former Dinosaur Museum building, although Mr. Walter said the current plan is not as large in scope as Apollo’s.

Apollo was unable to strike a deal with the owners of any of the properties on this section of Main Street and eventually dropped its proposal.

Mr. Walter said the new developer is dealing with many of the same property owners.

“And therein lies the rub,” he said. “It seems that no matter where people own property, every property owner thinks they have gold.”

The downtown zoning that resulted from the town’s 2003 master plan update permits up to 500 residential units on the upper floors of buildings in what’s known as the Downtown Center-1 zone, and allows buildings in that zone to be up to five stories high. Retail and restaurants are permitted on the ground floors.

The DC-1 district extends roughly from Ostrander Avenue to Griffing Avenue along Main Street.

Mr. Walter said he’s also working to bring a multiplex to East Main Street, across the street from the possible apartments and retails buildings. Developer Ron Parr is seeking to buy the former Woolworth building from Apollo, and demolish it to build the theaters, the supervisor said.

The Woolworth building was the one downtown property the Apollo group — which at one point was designated as the downtown’s “master developer,” and thus had preference in obtaining any condemned properties — was able to acquire. The NYC-based Apollo group also sought to build a multiplex there.

Mr. Walter said two movie theater companies are being considered. One is Regal Entertainment Group, which is the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., with 537 theaters in 37 states, and owns the United Artists and Regal Cinemas brand. The other is Clearview Cinemas, which is owned by Cablevision and operates 47 theaters, mostly in New York and New Jersey.

Mr. Walter said Mr. Parr is negotiating with the two companies.

Mr. Parr has declined to comment publicly on the issue until it is settled.

The supervisor also had declined to discuss specifics of the deal publicly until recently. “My [town] council members let the cat out of the bag,” he said.

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Comments

comments

18 Comment

  • Shelley it’s time to let go of the things that are of no use to you……………..

  • THEY ARE NOT YOUR TOWN COUNCIL..THEY ARE OUR TOWN COUNCIL WE VOTED THEM IN…AND MR.WALTER YOU EQUAL TO THEM…ONE VOTE EACH .EQUAL POWER……ALL YOU DO IS PUT THE JOHN HANCOCK ON THINGS.
    ONCE AGAIN THIS WEEK HE LIKES THE MASTER PLAN..LETS SEE WHAT HE LIKES NEXT WEEK..
    KNOCKING DOWN MORE STORES ..WHERE IS THE OLD TOWN LOOK?TIME TO START LOOKING JERRY I’M GOING WITH YA…

  • Not that it would get off the ground (nothing else has) but I would NOT want to see another behemoth rise on Main St, like the hotel.

  • I agree why five stories three is more……..

  • I agree why five stories three is more……..

  • ….And where are those people going to work and pay rent on these new apartments? K-mart? Home Depot? Office Max? Lowe’s?

    Hardly…….The Town needs good quality jobs to attract good quality people who can afford to pay rent or buy a home in the Main Street neighborhood.

  • agree re jobs, but also-higher income retired and 2nd home residents who can pay taxes and consume few resources ( no kids) are gold for riverhead- amenities eg downtown restaurants etc are key.

  • Unless they are retired TEACHERS they aren’t going to be able to afford the rent or taxes here. And even the retired teachers move to a lower tax state.

  • Unless they are retired TEACHERS they aren’t going to be able to afford the rent or taxes here. And even the retired teachers move to a lower tax state.

  • I am retired here and not a teacher. I came from the city and westchester. Other will do the same. , if conditions are right.

  • Hi,

    Its really great that Stores, apartments eyed for East Main Street in Riverhead, I really liked to read this article. Its really so interesting.

    Thanks for this great article.

  • Get rid of these old buildings….out with the old and in with the new.

  • Get rid of these old buildings….out with the old and in with the new.

  • IF YOU WANT NEW BUILDING AND EVERYTHING ALL NEW AND SHINY MOVE TO DUBAI

  • Sad but weird story. sad that she was in the accident..sadder yet is she was “airlifted to Peconic bay medical center” and not Stony Brook. Sad that she is so obese now so she went from one eating disorder to another…and this time she relies on other people to feed her according to the story so shame on them. sad and weird that she was allowed to discuss the cutting,bulimia,maternal hate,etc with kids at a school the she attended years earlier. Ok I am sure she is thankful for being alive and I am thankful for her but it’s not like she has done something with her life that these kids should look up to her or take advice from her…she is not even stable “after many years of therapy”…”still moments when she wants to cut herself”. It is great that she aspires to become a therapist and do something in interior design but the truth is she hasn’t done anything to achieve that so how is that positive? I think we should be more careful about who speaks to the teens especially, and that they should be REAL rolemodels.

  • What I think is SAD is your ability to judge Kim….

  • Wow, Claire ~ why all the hate?????
    I’ll never forget the night of Kim’s accident. It was my daughter and her (then) boyfriend that found Kim and called 911.

  • Claire, before you speak and say such horrible things about Kim maybe you should get to know her. You have no background information on this at all and are judging the whole thing on this article. If you had ANY idea what a wonderful person Kim was you would NOT be saying those things. Think before you speak.