The BID is interested in occupying the former wellness center space at 127 E. Main St., one of the buildings the Town of Riverhead bought from Riverhead Enterprises this year. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The Business Improvement District Management Association wants to move into an office in the heart of downtown Riverhead to be closer to businesses and allow the organization to be more receptive to the community. 

Executive Director Kristy Verity, BID’s only administrative staff member, told the town board at Thursday’s work session that she has been operating out of offices in businesses downtown and from home. 

The location the BID favors, and which Councilman Tim Hubbard agrees is the best location, is a currently vacant storefront at 127 East Main St., next to Craft’d. It was previously a wellness center. The BID also considered several other downtown locations, Verity said.

Verity said the office space can be shared with the Chamber of Commerce, which in tandem with BIDMA, is responsible for the town’s business development and business events. 

“We really think that it would be great for us to take the knowledge and the communication that we have with the town and with all of these different committees and be able to position ourselves at a physical location downtown where people can come in and have conversations with us in a casual environment and kind of be a liaison between the Town of Riverhead and the business community, the residents and also visitors,” Verity said.

She said people from time to time have walked into the Chamber of Commerce’s existing office at 59 East Main St. looking for the BID office. 

Riverhead Chamber of Commerce President Bob Kern said the Chamber of Commerce would absolutely be interested in sharing space with the BID. “We work so well together,” Kern said. The two organizations have many common goals, he said. “It’s a natural fit.”

The 127 East Main St. location would put the BID right next to the future town square. Although Verity said that the organization could have an office in renovated buildings around the square, they would “like to get something in place sooner, even if it’s a temporary location.”

“They really need to be, I believe, on the first floor downtown. You need to be the face of the downtown as the bid and as the chamber,” Hubbard said.

The board was receptive to the idea. Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said the town attorney’s office will start on looking into the details of the space and draft a resolution for the town board’s authorization. There was no discussion of any lease terms or whether the town would look to collect rent from BIDMA for the space.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.