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Riverhead IDA: Twin Fork Beer seeks tax breaks for brewery, tasting room

Twin Fork Beer Company, which received final site plan approval last month for a brewery and tasting room on Raynor Avenue, now hopes to get tax incentives from the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency.

Formed in 2014, the company has been producing and warehousing its product at two local breweries and has its own distribution system, which allows it to sell beer in many restaurants across Long Island as well as in New York City and the Hudson Valley.

Riverhead’s Planning Board has approved Twin Fork’s plan for an 11,480-square-foot building on 2.18 acres at 807 Raynor Ave., which will be used for brewing, warehousing and a tasting room, according to Dan Chekijan, who owns the business with his twin brother, Pete.

He said having to brew their product elsewhere is a “hardship.”

The total cost of construction is estimated at $1.3 million, the brothers said.

“The location of the property makes it conducive to tourism, as well as being a portal to Polish Town and downtown Riverhead,” Dan Chekijan told the IDA Monday.

He said they could build even without IDA incentives, but need those incentives in order to give their building a “cutting-edge design” that will attract people.

He noted that when he’s on the road, people often ask where his brewery is going to be. When he tells them Riverhead, the usual response is “that area is really turning into a destination.”

The Chekijan brothers’ Monday presentation was informal; their request for IDA benefits will also be subject to a formal public hearing before the IDA.

They said they are seeking the IDA’s standard benefit package, which includes a sales tax exemption on building materials used in construction, a county mortgage recording tax exemption and a partial real property tax exemption that starts at 50 percent of the value of the improvements in year one. That exemption then decreases by 5 percent per year until year 10, at which point the full taxes begin to be paid.

Twin Fork’s site plan approval includes a condition that prohibits outdoor music and prohibits operating past 9 p.m.

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