Blighted building to make way for Summerwind Square

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter operates a backhoe at Monday's press conference downtown.

The demolition of the old Club 91 building on Peconic Avenue began Monday, as Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter was allowed to operate a backhoe being used to tear down the building to make way for the much-anticipated Summerwind Square project.

Summerwind, whose principals include local builder Ray Dickhoff, Councilwoman Jodi Giglio and architect Martin Sendlewski, is expected to complete a closing with Suffolk County on Wednesday.

After that, the group can proceed building a new, four-story tower that will contain 52 workforce housing rental units and 8,000 square feet of retail space, according to Ms. Giglio.

The Club 91 building, which operated for years as a social club, and another smaller building next to the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall will be demolished to make way for the project.

Ms Giglio said the group plans to have another groundbreaking ceremony at the downtown Riverhead site later in the year, at which concrete with be poured and county officials will be present.

“We hope to have Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy here then, because this would not have happened without him,” Ms. Giglio said, adding that the county’s downtown revitalization program helped the project along.

Suffolk County will provide the funding that will allow the rents of the apartments to remain affordable, officials said.

Ms. Giglio said the building is expected to be complete in about 10 months.

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