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Town seeking bids for demolition of two downtown buildings for Town Square project

The Riverhead Town Board voted unanimously Thursday to seek bids for demolition of two buildings as part of its Town Square project, which aims to open a view from downtown East Main Street to the Peconic River.

The town described the Town Square as being “a public gathering space with pedestrian connectivity and open vistas from Main Street to the Peconic River.”

The buildings to be demolished are the former Twin Fork Bicycles store at 121 East Main St. and the former Swezey’s furniture store at 117 East Main St.

The town also purchased a third building, which houses Craft’d and other businesses, but has yet to decide what to do with it. The three purchases totaled $4.85 million. 

The bike shop was open at the time the town announced the purchases; the Swezey’s store had been vacant for some time, and had most recently been used as a farmer’s market.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said more than 20 years of planning studies support the concept of a town square in downtown Riverhead.

Sealed bids for the demolition will be received at the town clerk’s office until 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, when they will be publicly opened and read aloud. 

The town is currently seeking state and federal grants of up to $45 million, which officials say could benefit the Town Square project as well as transit-oriented development by the railroad station.

The Town Board’s vote came during a special meeting Thursday prior to the regular work session.