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As Town Board weighs special permit for proposed apartment building, concerns raised about vibrations

Vibration caused by construction, staging areas needed for construction and whether or not the building has historic value were three of the issues Riverhead Town’s planning department raised with regard to a proposal on 331 E. Main St.

The project, in the building that previously housed a Subway restaurant, was discussed at Thursday’s Town Board work session.

The applicant, G2D Development of Huntington, headed by Greg DeRosa and Bobby Walsh, proposes to demolish the existing structures on the site and build a four-story, 58-foot residential apartment building with 36 market rate dwelling units, 10 of which would be one-bedroom the rest two-bedroom units. The developer has described them as “luxury apartments.”

There are 36-parking stalls proposed on the ground-level floor for use by the residents of the apartments.

The roof level of the proposed building will have a rooftop elevator and a semi-covered patio area for use by the residents.

The project requires a special permit approval from the Town Board.


Town Planning Aide Greg Bergman raised a number of issues in his staff report on the project, which he read during the work session. Vibration impacts was one of them.

The concern comes in light of the construction of Riverview Loft’s construction of its 116-unit affordable apartment complex to the east of this project. Pile driving meant to stabilize the building was blamed by some residents for damage caused to three historic buildings across the street, including the United Methodist Church of Riverhead.

In this case, the applicant proposes to use “vibro aggregate piers” to support the foundation of the building.

The applicant claimed it would not cause a vibration problem and G2D said that any damage to adjacent buildings will be repaired by G2D. It also sought to document the condition of neighboring projects before work began.

Chris Kent, the attorney for the applicant, said the buildings near the United Methodist church are too far away from this project to feel any vibration.

Town Board members said they wanted to have a monitor on site to measure the vibrations and the possible impact on neighboring buildings. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the impact on other historic structures like the Preston House and the Howell House should be monitored. She said it is a minimal expense to the applicant.


Staging areas, where construction equipment would be kept during construction, was another area brought up by Mr. Bergman’s report.

The applicant is proposing four different phases of construction with different levels of impact to the surrounding area.

In one phase, which would last 60 to 100 days, 19 parking spaces in the town lot and two on East Main Street would be temporarily eliminated during construction, Mr. Bergman said.

Another phase, which would last six to eight months, requires temporary two-way traffic on McDermott Avenue as the only way to access the town’s parking lot along the Peconic Riverfront. It will not be accessible from East Main Street. 

Mr. Kent said they are looking for off-site areas where workers can park. Once the slab for the parking garage is installed, workers can park on site, he said.


Another concern was brought up by the town’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, which stated that both buildings on the property are contributing resources in the Downtown Riverhead Historic District created by the Town Board in 2006. The structure facing Main Street is the 1855 Richard A. Norton House, built in 1855, and is one of the three oldest houses surviving on Main Street.

Mr. Bergman said that G2D has proposed moving the structure to an alternate location if one can be found.

Mr. Kent said they don’t have a determination yet from the State Historic Preservation Office as to the significance of the building.

Photos of the building show that the interior of the building has been gutted. Mr. Kent said the upper floor, the windows on the second floor and the roof line appear to be the only parts of the building with historic value.

He said relocating the building to another location would cost $85,000 just to get the building off one side of the road and on to another. There would be a lot of additional costs involved as well, and it would take years to renovate the building, he said.

The Town Board plans to request that it be the lead agency in the review of the application, but officials said they want more time to review the plan.