Calverton retail center to be built in phases

A proposed Calverton retail development to be anchored by a Tractor Supply Company store will likely be built in phases, since the applicant doesn’t have any other tenants lined up yet, according to Riverhead Town officials.

New England Retail Properties Holdings received approval in July for a three-lot subdivision of the 51-acre site, a former sand mine owned by Calverton Industries and partially used by Sky Materials as a construction and demolition processing center.

The applicant previously received preliminary site plan approval and proposed the phased-in development as part of its final site plan approval.

“The Planning Board agreed that it wasn’t appropriate to have them build buildings just to lay empty,” Riverhead planning aide Greg Bergman said at last Thursday’s meeting.

The subdivision created a 5.1-acre parcel where the retail development will occur in four proposed buildings, and two other lots of 4.6 acres and 41 acres. NERP plans to buy the 5.1 acres. No development is currently planned for the 4.6 acres.

The 19,097-square-foot Tractor Supply building will have an attached outdoor sales area of 15,000 square feet, according to the plans. 

Also proposed for the 5.1-acre lot is a 9,450-square-foot retail building and two buildings of 4,000 square feet each. 

The undeveloped building pads will be covered in grass until tenants are found, Mr. Bergman said. 

Sky Materials will continue to operate on the 41-acre parcel in the south part of the property, which abuts Riverhead Town’s recreational trail. 

That company is under a state Department of Environmental Conservation consent order to bring the site into compliance with state regulations, as the state claims Sky Materials brought in more materials than its permit allowed. 

The company was made to pay a $5,000 fine and a $15,000 payment toward a Long Island Groundwater Study.

The town and Calverton Industries had been involved in numerous lawsuits over the legality of the previous sand mine operation. One court ruling allowed Calverton Industries to develop the property under its prior zoning, which permits retail, rather than its current zoning, which does not.

Tractor Supply Company is a national chain with more than 1,700 locations. It sells items including farm equipment, pet supplies, hardware and tractor supplies, but not tractors.

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