THE SCOOP Set at the crossroads of the twin forks, the hamlet of Riverhead is "a big little town," says Valerie Goode, a former resident and owner of Colony Realty in Jamesport. "The area it covers is huge. You have farmland, water -- the Peconic River and Peconic Bay -- parks, the downtown, restaurants."
With attractions such as the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, Splish Splash Water Park and the Tanger Outlets, Riverhead has become a destination in its own right. And since the Hilton Garden Inn and the Hyatt Place Hotel have opened, visitors can extend their stay.
Between Tanger Outlets and the big box stores along Route 58, "Riverhead has emerged as a retail mecca for the East End," says Janine Nebons, president of the Chamber of Commerce, noting the area attracts East End residents as well as people living west of Riverhead.
Revitalization efforts continue to be made in the historic district. New businesses along Main Street include the Blue Duck Bakery Cafe and The Riverhead Project, a restaurant that opened in 2011 in a vacant bank building. The Art Deco Suffolk Theater, which closed in 1987, is scheduled to reopen March 1. "We're beginning to see changes along Main Street," says Peter Tollner of Bagshaw Real Estate in Riverhead. Other projects include the construction of a retail and apartment complex called Summerwind.
Housing choices range from mobile homes to waterfront manses.
CONDOS AND TOWN HOUSES 23 listings between $15,900 and $475,000
RENTALS 18 between $1,000 a month and $2,800 a month
SALES PRICE In 2012, there were 54 sales with a median price of $187,250, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island data. The low price was $60,000; the high was $950,000. In 2011, there were 57 sales. The median price was $273,000 with a low of $25,000 for a ranch and a high of $2,200,000.
ATTRACTIONS The Riverwalk; annual events include the Riverhead County Fair and the Polish Festival in Polish Town.
BY THE NUMBER
Area: 15.1 square miles
ZIP code: 11901
Median age: 37.0
Median household income: $51,205
Median home value: $127,000* (including mobile homes)
LIRR time to NYC: 2 hours, 12 minutes at peak
Monthly ticket: $429
School district: Riverhead
*Based on sales in the past six months, according to Multiple Listing Service of Long Island