Demolition begins at former diner building in Riverside

The former Howard Johnson’s/Riverboat Diner building — depending on how old you are — is coming down.

Developer Paul Pawlowski of Mattituck received site plan approval in June to demolish the vacant structure on the south side of the Riverside traffic circle in June, and to replace it with an 8,000-square-foot building containing medical offices and two apartments.

That work began Tuesday morning.

The project had received support from members of the Flanders Riverside and Northampton Community Association and from representatives of Riverside Rediscovered at a public hearing in May. They said it was the first new project to be built under the new zoning adopted by the town as part of its Riverside revitalization plans.

A group called 20 Riverleigh LLC, headed by Mr. Pawlowski, acquired the property in November from the Scheinberg Family Trust, which had owned it for many years, although it’s been vacant for about 15 years.

The project had received a $500,000 grant from the state’s Restore New York Community Initiatives program to offset demolition costs.

Photo caption: Demolition crews at work Tuesday morning. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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