New tenants, including ice cream shop and restaurant, planned for Riverview Lofts apartment building
Four new tenants are planning to move into the ground floor at the Riverview Lofts apartment building, ranging from a selfie picture studio to a Mexican ice cream shop. A fitness studio and restaurant are also proposed.
The tenants introduced themselves before the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency Monday. Riverview Lofts, a project from Georgica Green Ventures, had previously received Riverhead IDA incentives, but the IDA requires the tenants to also meet IDA criteria.
The IDA had already granted approval for some tenants, such as the Peconic Bay Brewery.
The tenants were:
American Muscle Studios
Jeannie Brady is the owner of American Muscle Studios on West Main Street. She said she’s looking for a smaller space.
“I’m looking forward to relocating my studio more east on West Main Street,” she said. “We are looking for kind of a different composition. The layout of the space I’m using now is too big for me.”
Ms. Brady has been in business since 2009 and she purchased the company from her business partner about three years ago.
“As of right now, I’m the full-time employee, but we have independent contractors who are trainers,” she said.
Her current building lacks air conditioning, so it’s difficult to get people to come in the summer months.
“Moving into a smaller space is more conducive for the different activities and re-branding that I want to do,” she said.
She said she is hoping to be in the new space by June.
Christopher Aguilar, the owner of Paleteria Mexicandy, described his business as an ice cream shop — but not in the traditional sense with flavors like chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
“We have flavors from Mexico that we haven’t seen here,” he said.
Mr. Aguilar said he’s traveled all over the country to find new flavors.
“It’ll be the first of its kind, basically, on Long Island,” he said.
He plans to do edible arrangements, ice cream, ice pops and fruit cocktail. He plans on offering as many as 50 different flavors of ice cream.
“More of a natural approach,” he said.
Mr. Aguilar’s background is in construction, although he said he always made “snow cones and stuff.”
He anticipates having about five employees and he hopes to be open in six months.
Long Island Selfie Studio
Alex and Dioniser Rodriguez are planning to open The Long Island Selfie Studio.
“We’re going to divide the area into 25 or 35 different spaces and each space will be decorated differently,” Ms. Rodriquez said. “So families and kids of any age can go and take pictures like for holidays or Easter or Christmas.”
Video creators from TiKToK or Instagram also can record themselves and take pictures.
Customers would pay a fee of about $40 per person and would get to take pictures for an hour, taking as many pictures are they want.
Mr. Rodriquez owned a deli on West Main Street for 14 years and his wife is a well-known TiKToK personality with almost 1 million followers.
Mr. Rodriguez said they change the background often, except for holidays.
“We will operate it, both of us, on a day-to-day basis,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “We will probably hire two to three more people. It’s something new. Riverhead is up-and-coming and there’s a lot of tourists and traffic on East Main Street. I think it’s a perfect location and will be happy if you give us a chance.”
Raul de Jesus Dorado and Xiomara Guevara are planning to open a restaurant.
“What we’re going to do is Mexican food,” Mr. Dorado said, adding they’ll make a variety of food such as tacos and burritos.
He and his wife have about seven years experience in the business, he said.
Mr. Dorado said he thinks many restaurants are too slow, and he wants to provide faster food.
He will not be selling alcohol.
“We want to be more of family environment,” he said.
The IDA did not vote to accept the tenants at Monday’s meeting, and will likely do so next month.
IDA director Tracey James said the tenants, if approved, will be obligated to meet requirements that their landlord has in order to retain the IDA exemptions.
“This includes an annual report, where we want to know the capital investment for the year, the payroll for the year, how many employees you have and any reports that will be due at a certain time and you’re required to respond in a timely manner to keep that landlord‘s benefits in place.”
Connie Lassandro, a consultant for Riverview Lofts, said the ground floor is now full, although there are 10 people on a waiting list.