The Riverhead Town Board has reached consensus on selling the East Lawn building to builder Bob Castaldi of Castle Restoration, Supervisor Sean Walter said this morning.
“I expect it will be voted on at the next town board meeting,” Walter said.
The board chose Castaldi’s offer of $125,000 over the only other proposal submitted in response to its request for proposals, an offer of $130,000 submitted by Isabelle Gonzalez, owner of destination marketing company I’m A Ruralpolitan.
The current tenants in the East Lawn building will be asked to vacate by June 1, Walter said. A letter will be going out shortly, he said. He has not personally spoken to any of them, he said.
The town historian’s office will be moved to the Second Street firehouse, which the town sold to Castaldi for $500,000 in a deal that closed in January. Castaldi has offered the former commissioners’ office to the historian rent-free for one year, Walter said.
Riverhead CAP already has plans to relocate in June, to a new office space in the former IRS building just up the road.
“I understand the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce has something lined up,” Walter said. Chamber representatives could not be reached for comment.
Walter said he has not heard from the Riverhead Housing Development Corporation, which occupies half of the second story in the building. “They’ve known for quite some time this was coming,” he said. RHDC representatives in October 2012 asked the town board to relocate them to another town facility, but board members were cool to the idea and have taken no steps in that direction.
Town Historian Georgette Case said she had not been told the office would definitely be moving to the old firehouse, though she knew Councilman James Wooten had advocated for that in the past. She said she’d be pleased with the former commissioners’ office, which has a walk-in fireproof safe that would be ideal to store the original artifacts and documents in her collection, which are currently crowding the small office in the East Lawn building.
“It would be a welcome relief,” Case said. She is looking forward to meeting with the builder to discuss the office’s space requirements, she said.
Walter said Wooten is “coordinating” that meeting.
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