County To Provide Funding Toward Rebirth of Woolworth Building

The county has been a long supporter of downtown revitalization.

Suffolk County will step forward to help support revitalization of the Woolworth Building in downtown Riverhead. 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Legislator Al Krupski, Riverhead officials, the Long Island Housing Partnership and developers will gather on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. to announce that the county will provide additional financial support for revitalizing downtown Riverhead.

Bellone and Krupski plan to introduce a resolution to provide an infrastructure grant for the Woolworth building, which is being rehabilitated into a mixed use structure inclusive of retail space and affordable rental units.

“The revitalization of Suffolk’s downtowns is critical to a sustainable economic future for Suffolk County,” said Bellone. 

So far, the county has poured over $3 million into downtown Riverhead's rebirth.         

In October, Michael Butler, owner of the former Woolworth Building, located at 130 East Main Street, said Goldberg's Famous Bagels would be moving into a space at the site, hopefully by December or early next year.

Goldberg's Famous Bagels also has locations in Southampton and East Hampton.

While there was once a bagel store in the building, Butler said the new business has no relation to that shop.

The goal, Butler said, is to make the building look like it did in the 1950s.  Goldberg's Famous Bagels will occupy the space on the east side of property.

The business is the second to be announced for the Woolworth building, where new life is being breathed as work is ongoing to complete its transformation.

A gym is also expected to open in the coming months.

"It's going to be amazing, a beautiful space," Butler said, of the gym.

Apartments will be available for rent upstairs, but those will not be completed until the commercial work is done, he said.

In addition, there is still 3000 square feet of commercial rental space to be leased. "We're getting a lot of inquiries but we're open to people who are interested," he said.

With the new businesses and the recently unveiled Vines & Hops across the street, Butler said downtown is in the midst of rebirth.

"It shows that there's a real upswing. People want to be here. And after the apartments get done, there will be even more of a demand. The town's going to have a lot more foot traffic in just a short while," Butler said.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said he was thrilled by the news of the new store.

"I'm really excited," he said. "Having all these name brands come to downtown Riverhead, this is all going to feed on itself, in a positive way, no pun intended."

The supervisor said he was glad to see local businesses like Dark Horse Restaurant mixing it up with big East End names such as Goldberg's Famous Bagels. "To think that they think enough of us to come, that success begets future success."



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