A proposed five-story, 116-unit mixed-use commercial and retail apartment building in downtown Riverhead could clear the final hurdle for approval later this month if it gets enough public support, according to town officials.
Residents for and against the Riverview Lofts project expressed their views Tuesday at a public hearing before the Riverhead Town Board. The proposed site plan application locates the complex at the corner of East Main Street and McDermott Avenue.
Town Supervisor Sean Walter said the board will most likely schedule the project for final approval by the board’s next meeting on Aug. 15, if the written comments that come in on the project are mostly favorable.
The complex, proposed by Jericho-based developer Georgica Green Ventures LLC, would include 1,429 square feet of retail space; two ground-floor restaurants totaling 14,479 square feet and 531 seats; and 31 studios, 57 one-bedroom and 28 two-bedroom units.
The public hearing drew a handful of residents and business owners, with many citing the building’s potential to boost business downtown.
Kristen Reyes, owner of Hotel Indigo on West Main Street, and Chéri Wirth, owner of Diggers Restaurant in downtown Riverhead, told the board to support the apartment building.
“The thought of the increased foot traffic makes me happy because we need it,” said Wirth.
However, people opposing the development were concerned the complex would block the view of the Peconic River and create traffic problems.
“Where will I be able to find parking space to relax with my 90-year-old mother?” town historian Georgette Case asked the board.
If approved, groundbreaking would start in the fall, according to David Gallo, president of Georgica Green Ventures. The developers have already cleared the site plan with the town’s zoning, planning and architectural review boards.
Gallo said at the hearing that the company has tried to partner with the community in the past five years it has worked on the development.
“We’ve worked with the community, we’ve heard their concerns, we’ve tried adapting and accommodating, and should this move forward, we will continue to,” Gallo said.