Lidl approved for former Toys ‘R’ Us site on Route 58

A proposal to convert the former Toys R Us building on Route 58 into a Lidl supermarket received unanimous administrative approval from the Riverhead Town Planning Board last Thursday. 

Lidl, a German discount grocery chain, purchased 27 Best Market stores earlier last year, including 24 on Long Island. 

Riverhead Best Market, which totals 15,000 square feet, is located diagonally across the street from the 35,167-square-foot Toys R Us building, which had originally been proposed for a Raymour & Flanigan furniture store before those plans fell through.

The space has been vacant since Toys R Us closed in 2018, shortly after the entire chain went bankrupt.

The current Best Market store will close once Lidl opens.

The Planning Board said in November that it planned to fast-track the project, since the site originally was a supermarket.

“This is a vacant store. It’s been there a very long time, let’s get it occupied,” Planning Board chair Stan Carey said at last Thursday’s meeting. “The site doesn’t look horrible. We can put a requirement in the resolution saying they have to maintain what’s on site now.”

The administrative site plan approval means that a public hearing is not required.