Rendering of a town square in the center of Main Street's business district. Image: Urban Design Associates

The public gets its first chance to weigh in on the design and development of the town square planned for the south side of East Main Street, where two vacant buildings now stand.

The Town of Riverhead is in contract to purchase the two buildings — and a third, occupied adjacent building — from the same owner for a total of $4.85 million.

The town plans to demolish the two vacant buildings to create a green space connecting Main Street to the Peconic Riverfront across from the Suffolk Theater. It also plans to extensively renovate the third building, located on the adjoining parcel on the east. The Long Island Science Center has purchased the building on the west side of the town square.

Riverhead has hired Urban Design Associates, which completed the downtown pattern book, to assist with the design of the town square.

With public input, the town will identify through the design process what the town square should look like, in keeping with the the pattern book, community development director Dawn Thomas said in an interview last month. “The conclusions will lead to an RFP,” she said. The town will use a request for proposals process to identify a developer to actually do the work, she said.

There are two public input sessions scheduled. The first is tonight from 6 to 7:30 p.m., which will take place virtually via Zoom.

In a notice posted yesterday on the town website, the town provided the following link to join the meeting:

The second public input session is scheduled for April 15. Details about that session will follow.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.