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Hotel developer wants to plug in to Riverhead sewer district

A developer wants to convert the former Peconic

A developer wants to convert the former Peconic Paddler canoe store in Riverside into a four-story hotel. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

A developer is seeking a temporary sewer connection from neighboring Riverside into Riverhead’s sewer district that would clear the way for a proposed 100-room, four-story hotel.

Fredette Svendsen LLC purchased the property on Peconic Avenue in Riverside in the spring. It formerly housed the Peconic Paddler canoe store.

The site is on the border of where Riverhead ends and Southampton begins, so the developers are seeking a temporary out-of-district connection to Riverhead’s Sewer District for the hotel. According to both Southampton and Riverhead officials, the connection would last from two to five years, until Southampton completes a wastewater treatment facility in Riverside that would permanently take over the hotel’s sewer connection.

Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said the idea of enhancing Grangebel Park and the greenspace area in downtown Riverhead near the proposed hotel “would be an asset for the community and the revitalization of downtown Riverhead.”

However, she added that there “definitely needs to be some discussion” of how much capacity the hotel would require from Riverhead’s sewer district, which Riverhead officials need for a cost analysis and to determine what capacity Riverhead can provide. Jens-Smith said Riverhead would await more information from the developers before moving forward.

If approved, construction could start quickly, with the goal of finishing the hotel around 2020, said Southampton Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone.

Representatives for the developer did not respond to requests for comment.

Zappone said the hotel’s construction goes hand-in-hand with other area projects in the works — such as the pending conversion of a former diner at 20 Riverleigh Ave. into a $3.5 million mixed-use development — aimed at revitalizing Riverside, which officials and residents have long identified as an underserved and impoverished area.

“I would say that by June of next year, there will be significant activity in that area, all of it moving in a positive direction,” Zappone said.

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