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Former Swezey’s building on East Main Street may be demolished

An application has been submitted for a permit to demolish the former Swezey’s Furniture Store at 117 East Main St., according to Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith.

The building was adjacent to the main Swezey’s building, which has different ownership.

Both buildings have been largely vacant in recent years, but 117 East Main St. had been home to the weekly indoor Riverhead Farmers Market. The Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association opened the market 2014, and officials said it was very successful initially, despite the fact that the building lacked heat and used space heaters.

Owned by Riverhead Enterprises, it was one of three downtown buildings cited by the town in March for numerous violations.

Ms. Jens-Smith said the demolition permit application has not yet been approved.

Riverhead Enterprises principal Sheldon Gordon confirmed Thursday that they have applied for a demolition permit. Over the last decade, it’s been difficult to rent due to the size of the building, and the fact that Main Street is no longer conducive for retail department stores, he said.

The property is more valuable for the land than the buildings, he said.

By demoliting the building, almost anything could be built there by a prospective buyer or tenant.

“They could build their own structure,” he said. “The stores on Main Street are doing reasonably well.”

He said 127 East Main, the building next to East End Arts, is almost completely rented. The building that once housed Robert James Salon, which also was cited by the town in January, is partially rented, Mr. Gordon said.

75 East Main St. has the Peconic Ballet Theater and is doing well, he said.

Photo Credit: Tim Gannon

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