TIM GANNON PHOTO | Town and county officials at the Summer Wind Square site Thursday.
Outgoing County Executive Steve Levy gave the ceremonial “go” sign to two large projects in Riverhead Town Thursday, announcing that the county had formally closed on the purchase of the 300-acre North Fork Preserve property in Northville, and then holding a groundbreaking ceremony on the 52-unit Summer Wind Square project in downtown Riverhead.
Summer Wind Square, a mixed-use workforce housing project, will use county funds to ensure that the apartments meet affordability guidelines.
The North Fork Preserve, which had once been slated for development, was purchased for $17.3 million and will become a county park. The 180 acres on the property’s southern portion will be used for active parkland, such as camping and sports, while 120 acres to the north will remain undisturbed for use as passive recreation, such as hiking.
“This is a historic day both for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and the development of new parkland for all of our residents,” Mr. Levy said.
The groundbreaking at Summer Wind Square, on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead, may seem like deja vu.
Town officials had a ceremony on the day before Election Day to begin tearing down the two structures on the property, including the former Club 91. On Thursday, with the buildings now gone, Mr. Levy and other county officials joined Town Board members for a groundbreaking ceremony.
Summer Wind Square is a 52-unit mixed use rental community that will include a 100-seat restaurant and 5,700 square feet of retail and commercial space on the first floor of the four-story complex.
The county is providing $1.96 million to keep the rents affordable and another $313,000 in infrastructure improvements on the site.
The developers of the project are builder Ray Dickhoff, architect Marty Sendlewski and Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio.
“Summer Wind Square will be a turning point for bringing patrons and residents back into downtown Riverhead,” Mr. Levy said.