Developer David Gallo of Georgica Green Ventures today unveiled his plans for a 118-unit apartment building with ground-floor shops and restaurants in downtown Riverhead.
“I love it,” Supervisor Sean Walter told Gallo at this morning’s work session at Riverhead Town Hall. “Where are you and when can we get this approved?”
Project architect Stephen Jacobs, project manager Matthew Ardito and consultant Connie Lassandro accompanied Gallo to the meeting, where they presented building elevations and floor plans for the five-story mixed-use building proposed for the corner of East Main Street and McDermott Avenue.
The plans currently call for 28 two-bedroom, 60 one-bedroom and 30 studio rental apartments. (One of the apartments will be occupied by the building superintendent, Gallo said.) The plans include two ground-floor restaurants — a 235-seat restaurant on Main Street and a 236-seat restaurant on the river, with an outdoor seating on a 2,000-square-foot river view deck. There is also a ground-floor retail shop on McDermott Avenue, just north of the apartment building’s main entrance.
Each of the building’s three residential riverfront floors will have a pair of two-bedroom apartments, about 1,000 square feet in area, situated on either side of a 526-square-foot one-bedroom apartment. Apartments on each floor open onto a long central corridor that stretches the length of the building.
About 25 percent of the units will be rented at market value, Gallo said. The rest will be subject to workforce housing income limits.
The 37,000-square-foot site is currently improved with a vacant commercial building on East Main Street — once occupied by the Dinosaur Walk Museum and before that McCabe’s Office Supply — and a mixed-use structure on the riverfront, occupied by Peconic Bay Apparel, Owen Swift Antiques, and a rental apartment.
“We are in a FEMA flood zone, so the ground floor is raised four feet,” Jacobs told board members.
Sixty on-site parking spaces will be provided. Councilman Tim Hubbard expressed concerns about the increasing scarcity of parking downtown. Walter reminded him that the site is located in the parking district and is not required to provide any off-street parking at all.
The project has been before the town’ architectural review board and the landmarks commission, where board members made suggestions about changes to the facade design that had been adopted in the plans presented to the town board today, according to Jacobs. There was concern about the building’s 500-foot facade along McDermott Avenue.
“I think the comments [they] made were appropriate,” Jacobs said. “We think this change was a positive change.”
Since the site is located in the downtown urban renewal area, site plan review and approval rests with the town board rather than the planning board. It will be the subject of an upcoming public hearing on a date to be determined.
Gallo said he’d like to be able to complete the demolition of existing structures this winter and break ground on construction next spring.
According to the supervisor, plans are “in very early stages” for the adjacent site to the west of Georgica Green — where the Sears Roebuck building and three attached smaller stores were recently razed by owner Riverhead Enterprises. The developer of that site is planning to build another mixed-use apartment building.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said the Riverhead Architectural Review Board and Landmarks Commission, to which she is town board liaison, were not ready to approve the plans and were still in discussions with the applicant. But the supervisor said he was ready to move forward anyway.