Shops at Riverhead proposed for Route 58 receives final approval

Map of proposed development. With Costco at the bottom and the northern portion of the site on the left.

Brixmor Property Group received two final approvals Thursday from the Riverhead Town Planning Board, paving the way for 120,450 square feet of additional retail construction at the 41.55-acre Route 58 shopping center currently occupied only by Costco Warehouse.

Dubbed The Shops at Riverhead, the project was given both final site plan approval and approval for a commercial condominium map of the property, and needs no further Planning Board approvals to proceed.

The first part of the development began in 2012 with the approval of Costco, which owns the land on which its store sits.

Proposed tenants that have been identified for the new construction include Ulta Beauty, PetSmart, Marshalls/Home Goods and Sierra Trading Post. Additional leases are expected, according to Chris Kent, the attorney for Brixmor.

The Shops at Riverhead Preliminary site plan approval from the Planning Board in January, which included a number of conditions that must be met before final approval could be granted.

Chief among them was the requirement that the applicant construct a 10-foot sound wall along 200 feet of the property’s eastern edge to protect residents in the adjacent Millbrook Community, who suggested the wall, from noise and dust.

Back in 2012, the developers cleared all trees from the 41.55 acres with approval from the Town Board and the Planning Board, having said they would do a “cut and fill” development, in which no sand would be brought to the site or excavated from the site, and would instead be used to evenly grade the property.

At the time, Brixmor argued that this would be less disruptive when they eventually sought to develop the rest of the property. Brixmor claimed it could have built over 500,000 square feet of retail by purchasing development rights from farms within Riverhead’s Agricultural Protection Zone, which it ended up not doing.

The clear-cutting angered neighbors in Millbrook Community and north of the development at Foxwood Village, who said their properties were then exposed to noise and dust.

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