The Railroad Avenue view of a proposed mixed-use building on the site of the municipal parking lot opposite the Riverhead train station. Rendering: Torti Gallas + Partners

The Town Board will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Town Hall on the designation of RXR Realty and Georgica Green as a qualified and eligible sponsor for the purchase and development of a two-acre town-owned property on Court Street and redevelopment of two county-owned parcels on Griffing Avenue.

RXR/Georgica Green Ventures, previously designated by the Town Board as joint master developers of the a transit-oriented development project near the Riverhead railroad station, have proposed building more than 270 apartments, shops and a 332-space parking garage on the properties.

On the two-acre, town-owned property on Court Street, currently a surface parking lot, RXR/Georgica Green proposes to build a four- and five-story, mixed-use building with 243 apartments, and “podium” parking on an internal portion of the ground floor, lined by perimeter uses.

On the county-owned property on Griffing Avenue, also currently a parking lot, the developer proposes to build a mixed-use, multi-level building with 30 workforce apartments, 332 parking spaces and retail shops.

The RXR/Georgica Green project was recommended for $2.75 million in state state Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding by Riverhead’s DRI local planning committee.

The Court Street development carries an estimated cost of $100 million and the Griffing Avenue development will cost an estimated $17 million, according to numbers provided by RXR/GGV to the local planning committee.

What this hearing is about

Before the town can convey or lease property in a designated urban renewal area, such as the Railroad Avenue area, state law requires the governing body of the town to determine that the firm to which the property is being conveyed is a “qualified and eligible sponsor” in accordance with rules and procedures adopted by the town, after a public hearing.

Riverhead’s rules and procedures for making a determination that a proposed purchaser or lessee is a qualified and eligible sponsor, last amended in June 2017, establish the following criteria:

  • experience of the individual, firm or corporation with development, construction, management and financing of similar projects in size and scope to the proposed project;
  • demonstrated ability to finance the acquisition and development of specific project proposed including the review by the CDA of pro forma financial statements for the proposed project, including sources and uses of funds, certified personal and corporate financial statements of the applicant sponsor, financial commitments of participating lenders, proposed security for the project, business plans and economic analysis of the project and past compliance with municipal laws, rules and regulations.
  • demonstrated integrity and responsibility of the applicant sponsor as determined by the CDA based upon appropriate investigation by the Town Attorney and consistent with case law as reiterated in the Memorandum to Supervisor Phil Cardinale and Town Attorney Dawn Thomas dated March 12, 2004 from Randolph Mayer, Willkie Fair Farr & Gallagher, LLP;
  • presentation of the applicant sponsor to the public at the prescribed hearing upon due notice at a public meeting of the CDA providing an opportunity for the applicant sponsor to present its proposal and ability to meet the established criteria for designation by the CDA as a “qualified and eligible” sponsor pursuant to Section 507 (2) (c) of Article 15 of New York State General Municipal Law.”

How to participate

The public can participate in Tuesday’s public hearing in person at 200 Howell Avenue or via Zoom at the by calling (929) 205-6009 or at the following link:

Webinar ID: 841 8558 6080 Password: 866815

The meeting can also be viewed live on Optimum cable channel 22 or on the town’s website.

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