07/13/13 11:00am
07/13/2013 11:00 AM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A construction crew works at Joe’s Garage & Grill in downtown Riverhead Friday.

Delays in construction have pushed the opening date for Joe’s Garage & Grill to late summer, the downtown Riverhead restaurant’s executive chef said Friday.

Eddie Gallagher, who is professionally known as “Chef Eddie G,” said “a little bit of everything” contributed to the hold-up, including inclement weather and the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The car-themed eatery on Peconic Avenue was originally slated to open this spring, but in May the launch was pushed to July. The restaurant could open as soon as the first week of August.

The restaurant will be located below the Summerwind Square apartments.

A construction crew was at Joe’s Garage & Grill Friday working on finishing the back bar, sound systems and lighting and testing equipment, Mr. G. said.

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06/05/13 3:50pm
06/05/2013 3:50 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | We’ve all seen the exterior of the Summerwind Square apartments in downtown Riverhead. Now we get a peek inside some of the actual units.

The Summerwind Square apartments in downtown Riverhead are almost ready for occupancy.

Developer Ray Dickhoff said Wednesday that construction in the 52-unit complex on Peconic Avenue is nearing completion and tenants can begin moving in this July.

“We’re getting young, professional people,” Mr. Dickhoff said of Summerwind’s 35 applicants. “We have an architect, we have people from Peconic Bay Medical Center, and we have local managers from retail stores.”

The apartment complex is located next to Bridgehampton National Bank. Joe’s Grill and Garage, a restaurant slated to open in July, is housed beneath the apartments.

Mr. Dickhoff said noise from the car-themed restaurant shouldn’t pose a problem.

“The floor separating the commercial space from the living space is a concrete floor,” Mr. Dickhoff said. He added that all floors and walls are fully insulated and the windows also help keep out street noise.

The building offers studio, one and two-bedroom apartments. Each unit comes with a personal balcony and many feature views of the Peconic River and Grangebel Park. All apartments feature stainless steel appliances, oak-colored Pergo floors and tiled bathrooms. Most units have walk-in closets, and two-bedroom units have 1 1/2 bathrooms.

Hot water is included in the cost of rent, Mr. Dickhoff said, and there will be a coin-operated laundry room on the first floor, behind the main lobby. (Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported heat was included.)

Mr. Dickhoff said there are surveillance cameras “throughout the entire building,” and an office manager will be on duty in the main lobby six days a week. To gain access to the building, residents will need to enter a punch code. Each apartment door has its own unique code, Mr. Dickhoff said.

Apartment applicants must meet income guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s area mean income for Nassau-Suffolk, which would be $74,125 for one household. Twenty-six apartments will be rented to tenants with household incomes of up to 80 percent of AMI ($59,300). Monthly rents at this income level will be $905 for an efficiency and $1,042 for a one-bedroom.

James Britz, senior vice president of the Long Island Housing Partnership, has previously said that twenty-three of the apartments are for households making between 80 and 100 percent of AMI. Monthly rents for these units are $1,137 for an efficiency and $1,300 for a one bedroom. Three apartments, all two-bedroom, will be available to households making between 100 and 120 percent of AMI, Mr. Britz has said. These will rent for $1,559 per month.

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05/29/13 3:35pm
05/29/2013 3:35 PM
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Joe's Garage and Grill is opening in the ground floor of the Summerwind Square complex.

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Joe’s Garage & Grill is opening in Summerwind Square’s ground floor.

Joe’s Garage & Grill is under construction and won’t open its doors on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead until July, but until then, you can get a first look at exclusive photos of the car-themed restaurant. Eddie G, the restaurant’s executive chef, said Wednesday that the casual-style eatery will seat 189 people indoors and on a heated outdoor patio. Instead of windows, the restaurant has glass garage doors that open up.

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05/26/13 12:00pm
05/26/2013 12:00 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Summerwind Square apartment and retail complex on Peconic Avenue in Riverhead as it appeared Tuesday.L

In the Long Island Housing Partnership’s recent lottery for the 52-unit Summerwind Square apartments in Riverhead, only 22 applications were submitted, 17 of them from people living or working in Riverhead, according to LIHP senior vice president James Britz.

Mr. Britz said the May 8 lottery determined the order of preference for the 17 Riverhead residents first, followed by the five non-Riverhead residents. Those applicants will now be screened to make sure they meet eligibility requirements for the Peconic Avenue project, he said.

After that, he said, the remaining apartments will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis with no residency preference, so long as the applicants meet income requirements, until the 52 units are filled.

The Riverhead Town Board in February passed a resolution to “support” a 75 percent preference for applicants who live or work in town, but Supervisor Sean Walter said he’s uncertain if that resolution has any weight or is just an expression of support.

All lottery participants had to pay a $100 application fee to the LIHP and a $50 safe rent fee to Eastern Property Investor Consultants, which owns the project.

“I assumed that the lottery would be full, and that you’d have a packed house and about 100 applicants for 52 apartments,” Mr. Walter said. “But I also wasn’t aware that the cost to apply was so much. Maybe that dissuaded people from applying.”

He said he thought 75 percent of the occupancy would be town residents or employees.

The LIHP did say in the Summerwind application forms that applications received after May 1 “would be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis after lottery applicants have been assisted.”

The lottery gave preference to people living or working in Riverhead Town or the Riverhead School District, Mr. Britz said.

Applicants must also meet income guidelines based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s area mean income for Nassau-Suffolk, which would be $74,125 for one household. Twenty-six apartments will be rented to tenants with household incomes of up to 80 percent of AMI ($59,300). Monthly rents at this income level will be $905 for an efficiency and $1,042 for a one-bedroom. Twenty-three apartments are for households making between 80 and 100 percent of AMI, Mr. Britz said. Monthly rents for these units are $1,137 for an efficiency and $1,300 for a one bedroom. Three apartments, all two-bedroom, will be available to households making between 100 and 120 percent of AMI, he said. These will rent for $1,559 per month.

One-bedroom units range from 635 square feet to 720 square feet, the two-bedroom units are 865 square feet, and studio apartments range from 365 square feet to 475 square feet, according to the LIHP.

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03/22/13 4:00pm
03/22/2013 4:00 PM
Riverhead's Summerwind Square

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The municipal parking lot behind the Summerwind Square apartment complex and East Main Street stores and restaurants.

A public hearing is set for April 16 on a proposal to institute three-hour parking limits for cars parked in a section of the lot south of East Main Street in downtown Riverhead.

The measure has the backing of the town’s parking district advisory committee, according to Ray Pickersgill, who is a member of that committee as well as president of the Business Improvement District management association.

The Town Board voted Tuesday to schedule the hearing, set to start at 7:15 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room.

Councilman John Dunleavy, the Town Board liaison to the parking committee, proposed the limits in anticipation of the opening of the Summerwind Square apartment complex on Peconic Avenue.

The limits are designed to prevent apartment residents from parking in spaces immediately behind the East Main Street stores, Mr. Dunleavy said. Under the proposal, Summerwind residents would instead be able to park in spaces in the southern portion of the parking lot.

The proposed restricted area is described in the public hearing notice as “sixty parking stalls immediately south of the stores that front on the south side of East Main Street between Cody’s BBQ & Grill and Tweeds Restaurant, extending in a southerly direction, terminating at the light posts located in said parking lot.”

“There is already a two-hour parking limit in this area, but the town took the signs down because there was plenty of parking available,” Mr. Pickersgill said in an interview.

The prospect of the Summerwind opening changes that and makes the time limits necessary, he said.

South of the light poles, 115 spaces parking spaces are available where Summerwind residents can park day and night, Mr. Pickersgill said. Stores in the area have also agreed to have their employees park toward the south end of the lot, nearer to the river, he said.

But Ray Dickhoff, one of the Summerwind Square owners, said at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting that restaurants that book parties and live entertainment often do so for four hours.

Rather limit hours, he said, the town needs to come up with a plan to address downtown parking, moving  forward, because the downtown zoning currently allows for up to 500 apartments.

Supervisor Sean Walter said the town will have to change that zoning because there’s not enough parking for 500 apartments in the area.

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02/20/13 11:00am
02/20/2013 11:00 AM

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | A section of the downtown’s riverfront parking lot could become a three-hour parking limit because of the arrival of Summerwind apartment complex.

Councilman John Dunleavy is pitching an idea to enact three-hour parking limits for a section of the downtown’s riverfront parking lot immediately behind the stores on the south side of East Main Street.

“This is so the people who live in Summerwind, when it opens, don’t park there,” Mr. Dunleavy said.

Summerwind is a 50-unit apartment complex slated to open later this year.

Because it is in the town parking district, its residents can use the town parking lot for their cars. By limiting the section of the lot nearest to the stores to three hours, the apartment’s tenants would not be parking around the clock and taking spots from potential business customers, Mr. Dunleavy said.

The restricted area would include spots immediately behind Cody’s BBQ restaurant on the east side of the lot, and run west to the Summerwind complex.

The proposal would leave a number of parking space available to the south of the time-restricted area, where the tenants could park. Board members informally agreed with the proposal at a recent Town Board work session.

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