With shovels in hand, community members and elected officials from the Town of Southampton were joined by Board members of the Town of Riverhead at the old Howard Johnson’s-Riverboat Restaurant site at the Riverside Traffic Circle for groundbreaking of the first new building construction under the Riverside Redevelopment Action Plan (RRAP), adopted in 2015.
Developer Paul Pawlowski of Mattituck plans to build an 8,000 square foot medical office building with two workforce apartments above. “It is remarkable to be part of a development where the public and private sectors have the same goals,” said Pawlowski.
The new construction coincides with the completion of the expanded Riverside Traffic Circle. “This is the start of a true transformation for this area,” said Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “Residents have been waiting for years for this moment and we know this will help revitalize the area.”
“For almost 20 years, the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Communities Association (FRNCA) has tirelessly advocated for the revitalization of the area around the Riverside Traffic Circle,” said FRNCA President Ron Fisher. “We are happy that work has begun on what is sure to be a beautiful new building and clock tower the community can be proud of.”
“The new Riverside will complement the resurgent downtown Riverhead creating a walkable, riverfront community on both sides of the Peconic River for all to enjoy,” said Vince Taldone, member of FRNCA.
Renaissance Downtowns, the master developer, selected by the Town of Southampton, worked with the developer on this project.
Ela Dokonal, the Vice President of Planning and Development for Renaissance Downtowns said, “We are proud to give a voice to the people in the community, and are fully supporting developer participation; we are inviting everybody to invest alongside us. Our work is continuing and this is the first of many to come, changing the face of the community one building at a time.”
Suffolk County allocated more than $5,000,000.00 for the redevelopment of the Riverside Traffic Circle that is designed to improve traffic flow through this busy corridor. This infrastructure improvement is a critical part of future development in the area.
“With Governor Cuomo’s continued leadership and support, this groundbreaking marks the beginning of a longtime revitalization plan that will have great impact on the local economy,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This new medical building will not only bring skilled employment to the area, but have longstanding effects within the entire community for both business owners and residents.”
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming was a member of the Southampton Town Board when the RRAP was adopted, and along with Supervisor Schneiderman, who served in the County position before Fleming, secured the funding for the traffic circle redevelopment. “I am thrilled to join in celebrating another important step in revitalizing a Rediscovered Riverside. The creation of 21st century medical space will generate new job opportunities and continue to advance the Riverside economy,” said Legislator Bridgett Fleming.
“I look forward to watching this community transform into an affordable and vibrant neighborhood where tomorrow’s workforce will want to live, work and raise their families,” said New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr.
Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2019.