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$57M affordable housing complex finished in downtown Riverhead

Construction began in 2018 on Riverview Lofts in

Construction began in 2018 on Riverview Lofts in downtown Riverhead. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Riverview Lofts, a long-awaited $56.8 million affordable housing complex in downtown Riverhead, is complete.

The building, on East Main Street near the Peconic River on a site that saw significant damage after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012, features 116 affordable apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space designed to be environmentally sustainable and resilient to flooding and severe weather.

State and local officials said the building’s completion — announced March 4 by New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas — is a boon for Riverhead.

"Long Island needs quality affordable housing to keep our young, talented workforce here in Suffolk, and that starts with creating greater opportunities for young families to thrive," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement. "With more than 100 affordable units and commercial space for local businesses, located within walking distance to the train station, local restaurants, and shops, Riverview Lofts will help transform and bring new life into downtown Riverhead."

Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said March 5 that seniors and single professionals will be among the building’s tenants, which would add to diversity in town.

"There was a huge amount of interest in the apartments, and the residents are diversified, which is a good thing for Riverhead," Aguiar said.

With 31 studios, 57 one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom apartments in the building, 87 of the apartments are available to residents who make up to 60 percent of Suffolk’s Area Median Income (AMI), which in 2020 was $53,150 for an individual and $75,950 for a family of four, according to Housing and Urban Development figures. Thirteen apartments will be reserved for households earning up to 90 percent of AMI, and the remaining 15 will go to those earning up to 130 percent of AMI, or $115,200 for individuals and $164,600 for a family of four.

One apartment will be reserved for the building’s superintendent.

Though some residents had initially opposed building the complex, citing concerns over potential parking issues, environmental worries and impacts on the Riverhead school district, business owners said in 2017 that the new complex would provide a boost to area businesses.

Construction on the five-story, mixed-use building began in 2018. During construction, some property owners on East Main Street filed complaints with the town’s Building Department after alleging that piledriving from construction had damaged their homes and buildings. Riverhead officials said at the time that they would work to find solutions with those parties.

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