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Making way for Wal-Mart: land clearing and excavation work under way at Route 58 site

2013 0323 wal-mart clearing

Land clearing and excavation work is now under way for a new Wal-Mart super center on Route 58 in Riverhead.

Heavy-equipment operators have been busy cutting down trees and moving earth on the site, located just west of Kroemer Avenue, next to Applebee’s.

The town board earlier this month granted the developer a permit to remove 4,075 cubic yards of topsoil from the property and import 4,615 cubic yards of fill to the site.

The town in 2007 approved a site plan authorizing the construction of a 169,547-square food Wal-Mart super center and an additional 27,000-square-foot retail store on the 21.2-acre wooded site.

The project had been stalled by litigation after the owner of the shopping center where Wal-Mart is currently a tenant, along with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, and six individual union members who live in Riverhead Town, brought a lawsuit seeking to void the approval. They won in the trial court in 2008, but an appeallate court in May 2010 overturned the lower court decision, clearing the way for development to get underway.

Excavation work is also ongoing a little farther east on Route 58, where 122,000-square-feet of commerical devlopment in planned for the south side of the county highway. The new center will feature a Starbucks with a drive-thru window, Christmas Tree Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Buffalo Wild Wings and Aldi, a discount grocery store.

Across the road is a site slated for development with 270,787-square-feet of new retail space, including a Costco wholesale club.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti
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