Downtown landlord making push to rent, develop space on East Main

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO Twin Forks Bicycles owner Nick Attisano with two Cannondale mountain bikes in his Polish Town Store. He couldn't be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

The owner of Twin Forks Bicycle, currently in Polish Town, has just signed a lease for 5,400 square feet in downtown Riverhead, a partner in the company that owns the building, Riverhead Enterprises, told the News-Review.

The partner, Sheldon Gordon, said the lease is set to start on Jan. 1, but that some work has to be done before Twin Forks can fully move in.

“The lease averages out to $7 a square foot over the first year,” Mr. Gordon said. “And if any other responsible tenant comes along, I’m going to make them an equivalently good deal.”

This comes as Riverhead Enterprises is making a push to fill the rest of the company’s available space in its portfolio of East Main Street buildings, many of which are now empty. The company — which has been criticized in the past by this newspaper and town officials for not doing more to sell the land or attract renters — is looking for tenants or developers for its seven buildings on either side of the East End Arts property.

The bike shop lease has a provision in it that if a developer does want to buy the building — the former home of Crave Computers, which closed in 2007 — Riverhead Enterprises “would give them a very substantial sum to relocate,” Mr. Gordon said.

“It covers ourselves and the town” if officials are courting a potential developer, he said of the lease agreement.

Gary Epstein, a Riverhead Enterprises accountant, said it would make sense to bring a movie theater to the south side of East Main Street — where Riverhead Enterprises buildings are — if the reported deal between Regal Cinemas, Apollo Real Estate Investors and developer Ron Parr falls through for the former Woolworth property on the north side of the road.

“With 100,000 square feet downtown, on the south side of Main Street, we certainly would be willing and able to accommodate a movie theater,” Mr. Epstein said.

Riverhead Enterprises has already begun exploring the feasibility of bringing a movie theater to the south side, Mr. Epstein said.

And he said the group pledged in writing during a meeting with Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter in June in Brooklyn that it would be willing to work with any developer seeking interest in its properties.

“In order to kick-start the town’s revitalization, we would be willing to sell one of our development sites for a price that we may consider to be less than its market value,” the letter reads. “We would also entertain alternate details, including long-term land leases and equity in a development project.”

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Check back at or the Dec. 8 newspaper for additional information.