The Department of Social Services' former offices at 893 E. Main St. in Riverhead. File photo: Denise Civiletti

The Riverhead office of Suffolk County’s Department of Social Services is operating out of temporary quarters at the county center in Riverside, likely until summertime.

DSS moved out of its East Main Street offices at the end of the year, following the expiration of its lease there.

The agency will be moving into a portion of the former Kmart building on Route 58 and Northville Turnpike, which is still being readied for occupancy.

“DSS is hoping to have the new location open by July, but maybe sooner,” said Derek Stein, legislative aide to Legislator Al Krupski. Until then, the agency will be open for business at the Evans K. Griffing County Center, 300 Center Drive in Riverside.

The county legislature in December 2021 authorized a 20-year lease of a 38,555 square feet portion of the vacant former Kmart store.

Exterior renovations include the construction of a 145-square-foot side vestibule, facade improvements, new walkways, curbing, accessible parking, and upgrades to the site’s lighting, according to a site plan approved by the Riverhead Planning Board in June.

When the new space is completed, 150 to 160 people will be working there, Krupski told RiverheadLOCAL in a December 2021 interview. A Suffolk County bus route has a stop directly in front of the former Kmart building, which is a plus, he said.

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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.