The former Toys R Us location on Route 58 in Riverhead will be taken over by a Raymour & Flanigan furniture store, and the new building under construction at Brixmor/The Shops at Riverhead will be occupied by a Sleep Number store and a T-Mobile cellular store, according to town officials.
The former Toys R Us is one of several vacant buildings along Route 58 being filled by other businesses, although proposals to build new retail centers in Riverhead are still pending.
The Toys R Us location, which opened in the 1990s, has been vacant since mid-2018, after the company declared bankruptcy and closed all of its stores.
Raymour & Flanigan is a Northeastern chain that reportedly has more than 100 stores in seven states.
Sleep Number, based in Minnesota, sells mattresses, bedding, pillows and other furniture. It reportedly has more than 500 stores across the U.S.
Other stores that have already opened at The Shops at Riverhead include Costco, PetSmart, Ulta Beauty, HomeGoods, Marshalls and Home Sense.
The former Sports Authority building, which has been vacant since that company went bankrupt in 2016, is being split into three smaller storefronts. That subdivision will be the subject of a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Planning Board on Thursday, June 6, at 7 p.m.
The proposal calls for dividing the existing 45,085-square-foot building at 1160 Old Country Road into three retail spaces of 14,800, 20,075 and 10,210 square feet, respectively.
Sons Riverhead LLC, the applicant, told the town Architectural Review Board in December that tenants would include a Dollar Tree and a Planet Fitness, but a third tenant had not yet been lined up.
While town officials have encouraged the reuse of older vacant buildings, the Sports Authority application brings up another concern: whether dividing former “big box” stores into smaller retail spaces will lead to the creation of “strip malls,” an approach they have opposed.
The Town Board recently discussed updating its master plan, and some officials feel that revision should start with Route 58.
The growth of internet commerce has dealt a blow to traditional big-box retail centers that began to appear on Route 58 in the 1990s and were popular until recently.
Just last week, however, clearing began for a new 60,046-square-foot shopping center just east of Riverhead Centre.