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Deli and barbershop planned for former auto parts building

The former BJ Auto Parts building on East Main Street is slated to become a deli, a barbershop and an office.

The structure has been vacant for several years and Nigel Robert Williamson, a representative for the owner, JLL Properties Corp., says that upper East Main Street is largely commercial now, so the proposed uses will fit in with those surroundings. 

The application before Riverhead’s Zoning Board of Appeals last Thursday night seeks permission for a change from one use that doesn’t conform to zoning, but existed before zoning, to another use that is allowed with ZBA approval and a special exemption from the Town Board. 

The property is owned by Carquest Auto Parts, which took over BJ Auto Parts. Carquest later merged with Advanced Auto, which already had a Riverhead location on Route 58, so the East Main Street site was shuttered. 

Ike Israel, the broker for the property, estimated that it’s been vacant for about three years. 

“We would like to transform this derelict eyesore into a viable business,” Mr. Williamson said. 

The plan calls for a barbershop on the south portion of the property, the office space in the middle and the deli to the north, according to Mr. Williamson.

Timothy Wilson, who owns the house immediately south of the property, voiced some opposition to the plan.

“There are too many delis in one area,” he said, citing the Royal Dorado, the OK Petro station and the 7-Eleven by the Department of Motor Vehicles, among others.

“In a 1,000-foot section, there are four running delis,” he said. “I’m not a fan of having a deli next door.”

“We can’t see any problems with it,” said ZBA chairman Fred McLaughlin.

Mr. Williamson said landscaping will be planted around the property to create a buffer for neighboring properties. 

Asked if they have any tenants lined up, Mr. Israel said the contract vendee, Jose Arias, is a deli operator by trade and has several locations in Suffolk County.

Mr. McLaughlin said the ZBA will likely make a decision on the proposal at its May 10 meeting. 

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