Developer in contract to purchase former Homeside Florist says it ‘has a lot of options’

A pair of Mattituck-based developers have plans to purchase the Homeside Florist property at the corner of Main Road and County Route 105 in Riverhead.

Paul Pawlowski confirmed Monday that he and business partner Kenneth Ballato are in contract to purchase the 4-acre site and expect the closing to take place next month.

“The main reason we moved forward with the purchase is the location — the corner piece is a really good gateway heading west into Riverhead and has access to both forks,” Mr. Pawlowski said.

He and Mr. Ballato said they haven’t come up with a use for the property yet. “It has a lot of options for future development,” Mr. Pawlowski said. 

The property is located in a Commercial/Residential Campus zoning district, which allows for a variety of uses including offices, banks, restaurants, homes and apartments and recreation facilities, among others.

The parties are in contract for sale at an undisclosed price. Once the deal is closed, Mr. Pawlowski said they’d be willing to work with the Riverhead Planning Board on ideas for the site. He didn’t discount the idea of reusing existing buildings on site as opposed to building new.

“We haven’t thought of that as of yet. It’s early,” he said.

Homeside Florist & Greenhouses closed Dec. 31, 2018, after 64 years in business. It was founded in the 1950s by Ernest Olsen and run by his children Andrea and Kris after he passed away in 2018.

The property was listed on the market in February 2019 for $3.5 million.

Mr. Pawlowski also developed the three-story medical office building at the Riverside traffic circle. The property, once home to a Howard Johnson’s and then the Riverboat Diner, had been vacant for 15 years.