East Lawn Building is on the market — again


Riverhead Town just can’t seem to get rid of the East Lawn Building.

After trying to sell the dilapidated East Main Street building to Suffolk Theater owned Bob Castaldi earlier this year, the town was left with the property when parking concerns forced Mr. Castaldi to back out of the deal.

The town then put the property out to bid, and Business Improvement District member Isabelle Gonzalez and her sister Mary offered $130,000 — an offer the town accepted.

On Thursday, the Town Board revealed at its work session that Riverhead is left with the building yet again: The Gonzalez sisters slashed the price they originally offered because of parking issues as well.

Isabelle Gonzalez said in an interview on Thursday that they were told the property had three parking spaces when they agreed to buy it and later learned it had none. Because of this, she said, they wanted to drop their offer to between $70,000 and $80,000.

She said she never received a response from the town, which is now expected to allow Cushman & Wakefield to market the property for sale.

The town has been trying to sell the 165-year-old building for years, first issuing a request seeking proposals in 2013, when it received four proposals all of which were rejected by the town.

According to the RFP issued by the town, the “premises presently has no on-site parking but it has legal use of three parking spaces on the premises.”

In addition, Supervisor Sean Walter said the Gonzalezes wanted the town to repair the roof of the building.

Ms. Gonzalez said she originally was told the town was fixing the roof, but later learned the town would be selling the building as is.

The East Lawn building has been home to Riverhead Town Historian, the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, Riverhead Community Awareness Program and the Riverhead Housing Development Corporation for years rent-free.

The town is still looking for a new location for the town historian and the Housing Development Corporation is moving into a building on East Avenue.

The Chamber of Commerce and CAP also are moving into new locations.

 Caption: Barbaraellen Koch