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Medical building and apartments proposed at Riverside traffic circle

Riverboat Diner, Riverside traffic circle.

A proposed medical building with two apartments gained support from local civic leaders during a public hearing before the Southampton Town Planning Board last Thursday.

An application called 20 Riverleigh LLC, submitted by builder Paul Pawlowski of Mattituck, calls for demolition of the former Riverboat Diner building at the traffic circle in Riverside and construction of an 8,000-square-foot, two-story medical building that will also have two apartments.

The apartments will be on the southeast side of the property, along Riverleigh Avenue, according to Mr. Pawlowski.

The medical offices will be a primary care facility, he said. 

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association voiced support for the project, as did two representatives of Riverside Rediscovered, the group leading Riverside revitalization plans.

“We’re basically expressing our overwhelming support for this building,” said former FRNCA president Vince Taldone.

He said the project will be built under existing zoning, rather than Riverside’s newly proposed overlay zone, but still conforms with the provisions of the new zone, which allows greater density in exchange for stricter environmental and visual requirements.

Mr. Taldone said Mr. Pawlowski actually came to the FRNCA for advice before submitting his plans to the town.

“This is why you see all this support and no opposition, because all of the problems were worked out before this application got here,” Mr. Taldone said, adding that there weren’t any problems to begin with. 

He said a medical office is a perfect use for this location because it won’t be a high-traffic use during peak traffic times.

It will also be the first new building on the traffic circle in decades, he said. 

“Everyone is excited and happy this building is coming here,” said Siris Barrios, community liaison for Riverside Rediscovered. “It’s going to change the way the whole community looks, and we’re here to express our overwhelming support.”

In March, Southampton Town received a $1 million state grant to help with demolition for Mr. Pawlowski’s project as well as with the proposed redevelopment of the former Peconic Paddler site. 

The Planning Board voted last Thursday voted to hold the public hearing open for 10 days for written comments only.

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Photo credit: The former Riverboat Diner building on Riverleigh Avenue. (Paul Squire file photo)