Featured Story

Former Kmart building to become new home for Suffolk County Department of Social Services

The Suffolk County Department of Social Services plans to move its office in Riverhead from its current East Main Street site to the former Kmart building on Route 58 and Northville Turnpike. 

The Suffolk County Legislature approved the leasing of the former Kmart site at its Tuesday meeting. 

The current location at 893 E. Main St. has about 25,000 square feet of office space, but the county’s lease on the property expired on Nov. 13, 2021. 

The former Kmart building, which has been vacant since 2018, has over 38,000 square feet of office space, officials said. 

The former Kmart site’s landlord — the Feil Organization — is converting the building from retail to office space for the county.

The landlord plans to enter into a 20-year lease with the county, with a 10-year option to renew from an initial base rent of $19.75 per square foot, according to the agreement. 

The county resolution also calls for rent escalations every five years.

The county’s Space Management Steering Committee recommended approval of the lease. 

The Riverhead Town Board had also considered renting the Kmart building earlier this year, with the goal of it housing most town offices other than the police department and courts. However, the town eventually dropped that plan. 

The county bill still awaits the signature of County Executive Steve Bellone.

The proposal calls for an annual base rent of $761,461, beginning on the seventh month after the county begins the lease. 

The county will pay the landlord a fixed annual rent in accordance with the following schedule:

• $19.75 per square foot for years 1 to 5 

• $21.73 per square foot for years 6-10

• $23.90 per square foot for years 11-15

• $26.29 per square foot for years 16-20

The total recent will be $1,013,505 in year 20, according to the agreement.

Kmart’s Bridgehampton store is one of only five still operating nationwide, according to the company’s website.