Top Stories 2022: Plans unveiled for Railroad Avenue redevelopment 

The Town of Riverhead took another step towards revitalization this year as plans were unveiled to redevelop the long-blighted area surrounding the Long Island Railroad station.

In February, the Town Board named RXR Realty and Georgica Green Ventures as master developers for the project, which will bring a mix of apartments and shops to Railroad Avenue.

The plan calls for a five-story mixed-use building with 243 market rate apartments, 2,340 square feet of retail space, 12,800 square feet of flexible commercial space and 176 “podium” style parking spaces on a town-owned parking lot between Railroad Avenue and Court Street. The parking would be enclosed internally on the ground floor of the building, according to project renderings. 

Another mixed-use building would contain about 35 workforce apartments, small retail and office space and a public parking garage with approximately 332 spaces at the corner of Railroad and Griffing avenues. 

Developers have estimated the total project cost at $135 million.

Local officials hope the transit-oriented development will help reinvigorate the area that has become rundown in the last two decades. Dawn Thomas, who heads the town’s Community Development Agency, described the project as “the culmination of 25 years of planning work and public engagement by the town in an effort to bring the most blighted area in our town back to life.”

At a meeting on Oct. 4, the Town Board voted unanimously to designate both RXR and Georgica Green Ventures as qualified and eligible sponsors for the purchase and development of the town-owned property.

The developers will acquire the town-owned site for approximately $7.29 million and the plan also calls for Suffolk County to transfer two parcels to the Town of Riverhead which would then be transferred to the entities for development.

The town is also slated to receive $2.75 million for the mixed-use development project as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that as one of eight projects the grant monies will help fund in late December.