The Family Community Life Center will partner with Georgica Green Ventures and the YMCA of Long Island to build its proposed rental apartment and community center on Northville Turnpike, the organization’s president and CEO Shirley Coverdale has announced.
The organization is proposing to build a 132 workforce housing rental apartments and a community center featuring an indoor pool, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, classrooms, performing arts space, child care and senior care facilities on 12 acres of land adjacent to First Baptist Church of Riverhead.
“We’re so excited,” Coverdale said in an interview Tuesday morning.
Georgica Green was selected after an interview process during which a number of potential development partners were screened, she said.
“They have the track record, the experience. They know what they’re doing. They’ve been very successful with state funding and the investment tax credits that make a project like this viable,” Coverdale said.
Georgica Green Ventures is currently constructing a 116-unit workforce rental apartment building on East Main Street.
FCLC first met with the YMCA of Long Island “some years ago,” Coverdale said. “They thought this would be an ideal site for the Y,” she said.
A local group pursuing the development of a YMCA in Riverhead Town explored other options, including sites in Aquebogue and Calverton.
The Northville Turnpike site, being accessible by bus and located in central Riverhead, meets the YMCA of Long Island’s criteria, Coverdale said.
Coverdale, her husband the Rev. Charles Coverdale, pastor at First Baptist Church of Riverhead, and a group of First Baptist congregants began pursuing a vision for an intergenerational community center on property owned by the church more than a quarter-century ago. Over time, plans evolved to include workforce rental housing. The town approved a new “Community Benefit Overlay District” in 2016. The new code allows high density housing in the overlay district if the site in question meets certain criteria for infrastructure and the use benefits the community.
Family Community Life Center still needs to obtain special permit and site plan approvals. Coverdale said she hopes to be able to break ground in 2019.
Partnering with Georgica Green and the YMCA will allow FCLC to focus on the intergenerational and seniors programs its organizers are already beginning to pursue.
“Our mission is aligned with both partners,” Coverdale said and their partnership eases the burden on the Family Community Life Center.
“Hopefully this wil be something that can unite our community,” Coverdale said. “In the current environment of divisiveness, it’s great to have something to come together about.”
The Family Community Life Center is celebrating its mission in the community by honoring the Riverhead Fire Department at its annual gala this year.
“We really try to look at people who are emblematic of acts of selflessness in terms of what they do for other people,” Coverdale said, “touching people, transforming families.”
“Our volunteers really are the community. They are neighbors helping neighbors. That’s what community is all about,” she said.
The gala takes place at the Inn at East Wind on Sept. 28 beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $150 per person.
“It’s a fun party, with a live band and a DJ, dancing and a great dinner,” Coverdale said.
“This year, it’s really going to be a special celebration.”
For more information and to purchase tickets for the gala visit the Family Community Life Center website.