Riverhead, NY - December 3, 2013 - Today, County Executive Bellone was joined by Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, NYS Senator Ken LaValle, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, the Long Island Housing Partnership, the Woolworth Revitalization LLC and a host of community members to announce support and the submission of legislation to provide $250,000 in capital funds to offset infrastructure costs associated with utility improvements, drainage and excavation for the rehabilitation of the old Woolworth building in downtown Riverhead.
“The revitalization of Suffolk’s downtowns is critical to a sustainable economic future for Suffolk County,” said County Executive Bellone. “The lack of quality affordable housing is an ongoing challenge, one we are committed to conquering. Not only will this building continue to further the efforts of revitalizing downtown Riverhead and provide for much needed affordable rental housing but during the construction phase of the project 125 construction jobs will be created with an additional 100 retail jobs created once the project is completed.”
The site of the old Woolworth building will now be the home of a mixed use development, inclusive of 25,000 square feet of retail space of which the developer, Michael Butler, has secured two anchor tenants Maximus Health Club and a Goldberg’s Famous Bagels. The upper level will include 15,000 square feet of 19 affordable rentals including 6 studios, 10-one bedroom apartments and 3-two bedroom apartments. All of the rental units will be affordable to households under 80% of the HUD area median income.
"It's the right project, in the right place, at the right time,” stated Senator Kenneth P. LaValle. “It will bring people downtown and continue to ignite a vibrant downtown area."
“The rich history of Riverhead is truly important to the residents of Riverhead and Suffolk County,” stated Supervisor Sean Walter. “The commitment of the Woolworth Revitalization LLC to develop the old Woolworth building and preserve the historic nature of this structure is to be commended. This development will continue the efforts of revitalization and add to the much needed housing stock on Long Island.”
Michael Butler, Developer and Managing Member of Woolworth Revitalization LLC stated, “We are pleased to be a partner in revitalizing the historic downtown of Riverhead. Our project will continue to compliment the revitalization efforts already underway in Riverhead and will provide for affordable rental housing. Many of our young people continue to relocate off Long Island because they want to be in bustling downtowns and want to live somewhere where they can afford. The Woolworth Revitalization LLC, is helping to fill that void while at the same time preserving the historic nature of Riverhead’s downtown beauty.”
“The Long Island Housing Partnership is honored to work with Suffolk County and all the partners to bring these workforce rental units to downtown Riverhead,” stated Peter Elkowitz, President-Long Island Housing Partnership. “These types of smart growth developments are essential in building economic growth in Downtowns by creating commercial space to bring businesses, thereby creating jobs and also creating an affordable place for the residents to live.”
Suffolk County has continued to support downtown revitalization efforts throughout County with Riverhead’s efforts receiving more than $3 million in support from the County under downtown revitalization grants, land acquisition and infrastructure improvement funding.
Recently, the County also provided financial support to Summerwind Square- a 52 unit all affordable mixed use development which supported the redevelopment of blighted lots on the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead. The development contains 52 rental units, 4,000 square feet under lease to Bridgehampton National Bank and 4,000 square feet under lease to Joe’s Garage restaurant.