Riverhead Town has identified a location for a new Town Hall that will provide office space for multiple departments in downtown Riverhead.
The Town and Peconic Bay Medical Center Foundation have “entered into a period of agreement” for the Town to purchase the Robert Entenmann Campus in downtown Riverhead that had once been the Suffolk County National Bank building. The town and foundation announced the agreement in a press release Wednesday afternoon.
“The entire Town Board is excited to make this announcement and take a concrete step toward realizing a long-held ambition of this town for a new town hall, with a facility that will house many of our departments in a modern and professional atmosphere,” Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said in a statement.
PBMC plans to reinvest the funds from the sale into its emergency department expansion, women’s health services and further ambulatory expansion.
PBMC had used the former bank building, located at 4 West Second St., as its administrative headquarters.
Amy Loeb, PBMC’s executive director and president of the PBMC Foundation, said in a statement that the hospital is excited to partner with Riverhead Town and assist “Riverhead in realizing its development and revitalization goals.”
“As we look to the future, Peconic Bay Medical Center is devoted to continuing to develop and provide the community of Riverhead, and the entire East End, with a world-class facility that provides essential, next-level care,” Ms. Loeb said.
In 2020, the PBMC Foundation acquired the neighboring Mercy High School property after the school shuttered. The 24-acre site provides an opportunity for the hospital to expand closer to its main building.
“The legacy and generous contributions made by the Entenmann family will be honored as PBMC shifts its focus to revitalization and investment on our newly expanded main campus, formerly Mercy High School,” Ms. Loeb said.
The press release said an agreement is currently being developed by the Town and PBMC for the sale of the property, but no specific figures were disclosed.
The new town hall will provide space for the town historian, tax receiver, town clerk, assessor, community development, code enforcement, building and planning, town supervisor, councilmembers, town attorney, IT, accounting, human resources, purchasing and more.
Under the proposal, Ms. Aguiar said in an interview, the police department will stay where it is and will expand. She saiid the courts will move to the Town Hall building. The current building department building will be sold, she said.
“We signed a letter of intent and it’s going to be discussed at work session,” Ms. Aguiar said. “If the board agrees to move forward, we can close in about two to three months.”
Finding a new home has been a target for several Town Boards over the years and several different sites have been explored as a possibility. As recently as late May, the Town Board discussed several proposals for a new standalone town hall, a standalone court building and police department and a combination of the three. Each proposal came with an estimate of more than $30 million. Town officials last year also considered the former Kmart building, but an agreement could not be reached with the property owner.
In 2018, PBMC formally named its administrative building after the late Robert Entenmann, who was a founding member of the PBMC Foundation. One year after his death in 2016, his children donated $5 million to PBMC’s New Era Campaign benefitting cardiac care for the region.
In 2017, PBMC announced the purchasing of the former bank building from People’s United Bank, which had formally acquired Suffolk County National Bank earlier that year.
WITH TIM GANNON