Riverhead Town has a master developer for its redevelopment of the area surrounding the Riverhead railroad station.
The town board on Tuesday voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of a committee it appointed last year to name RXR/Georgica Green Ventures as master developer for the transit-oriented redevelopment, which includes a town-owned, two-acre municipal parking lot located between the State Supreme Court building on Court Street and the railroad station.
Riverhead published a request for qualifications seeking proposals for the TOD redevelopment last March. The town board on June 2 established a committee to review and rate the proposals and a month later hired National Development Council to assist in the evaluation process.
The town received and the committee and consultant reviewed six proposals and selected three finalists, according to the resolution passed Tuesday night. The committee recommended RXR/Georgica Green Ventures “based on its proven record with joint ventures and extensive experience with large-scale transformative transit-oriented developments,” the resolution states.
The selection is subject to negotiation of a contract with RXR/GGV and a determination that the master developer is a “qualified and eligible” sponsor as required by the State General Municipal Law.
The TOD site is located within the Railroad Avenue Urban Renewal Area Overlay District, adopted in January 2021, which allows additional uses and development density within the Railroad Avenue Urban Renewal Area (designated in 1997) than is allowed by the underlying zoning use district (Downtown Center-3, or DC-3) for properties within the overlay district that have a minimum area of 20,000 square feet.
RXR/GGV, outlined its proposal to the town board at its Feb. 10 work session. (See prior story: “Riverhead taps master developer for Railroad Avenue area redevelopment,” Feb. 10, 2022.) Its plan includes a four- and five-story, mixed-use building providing 243 apartments, “podium” parking on an internal portion of the ground floor, lined by perimeter uses that “activate the edges” of the building, a project architect from the firm Torti Gallas + Partners told the board last week.
RXR/GGV also proposes to build a five-story parking garage on the county-owned parking lot on the corner of Griffing and Railroad Avenues. The garage would be approximately 130,000-160,000 square feet and provide 420-520 parking spaces. The structure would be set back from Griffing Avenue to allow space for future development of shops along the sidewalk.
Former Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith spoke in support of the project prior to the vote. “I’m very happy that this resolution is going forward. I think it’s very exciting. It’s been a blighted area for a long time,” Jens-Smith said. She said the plan seems to conform to the town’s downtown pattern book, which has been adopted by the town board but not yet codified. “And it looks like it’s going to really help revitalize that area connected to downtown,” she said.
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