Woolworth building owners confirm sale is in the works

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The back of the former Woolworth building on East Main Street.

The owners of the former Woolworth building in downtown Riverhead confirmed Friday afternoon that a sale of the building is indeed in the works.

The response came after Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter told the News-Review he believed someone was interested in buying the East Main Street property.

The building is owned by Manhattan-based Apollo Real Estate Advisors, which has since changed its name to AREA Property Partners. The investment group bought it in 2006, when it had plans to build a multiplex and other stores there, but the plan never came to fruition.

“It’s not sold yet,” said Kevin Davis of the AREA group. “I have a party doing its due diligence on the property and we’ll see if it ends up going to contract. I’m not entirely sure what they want to do, but I know it entails at least a renovation of the property,  which would dramatically improve it.”

Mr. Davis said the potential buyer, who he declined to identify, is considering buying the entire building, which has one tenant now.

“I think they are open to anything and everything,” Mr. Davis said. “My understanding is they just want to lease up the space. And quite frankly, we have interest from potential tenants in almost every space in the building. I don’t see why the whole building couldn’t be leased up in short order.”

Mr. Davis said he hasn’t seen interest in putting a movie theater there, and that in general, he thinks the movie theater industry has been cutting back on expansion.

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