Another multi-level apartment building is proposed in downtown Riverhead.

This time, the city received a site plan request for the Zenith Building at 12 McDermott Avenue.

The application is for a four-story, 49-foot-tall mixed-use building on a 0.122 acre parcel that currently houses a single-family home. The site is directly across from the newly constructed 116-unit Riverview Lofts apartments.

The Zenith building has a total of nine market-priced apartments on floors 2-4, with six one-bedroom apartments and three two-bedroom units. The ground floor would have two commercial spaces. A rooftop terrace is available for use by residents of the building, upon request.

The total height of the building, including stairwell partitions and an elevator shaft, is 58 feet, depending on demand.

There are currently five new apartment complexes in downtown Riverhead being built or under construction, including Summerwind (52 units); Woolworth Apartments (19 apartments); Peconic Crossing (45 units); and Riverview Lofts (116 units). These five buildings have a total of 268 units.

There are four other apartment buildings proposed or under consideration, and they would bring an additional 225 units to the market.

This latter group includes the former Sears site (170 units); the expansion of the Suffolk Theater (25 units); the Zenith building (9 units); the former West Marine building (45 units); and Barth’s Drug Store (1 unit). A market-priced 39-unit, five-story apartment complex has also recently been offered for Court Street.

The Zenith building, owned by developer Ray Castronovo, has already been approved by the city council. In February 2006, he received approval of the site plan from the city council for a four-storey mixed-use apartment complex.

In March 2009, the developer requested and was granted a 12-month extension of the approved sitemap which lasted until February 22, 2010. This resolution began that “no further extensions will be granted,” according to Aid to Greg town planning. Bergman.

Despite this, on February 20, 2013, the city council granted an additional 12-month extension and this extension also declared that “no further extensions will be granted”.

The building is located in the parking district of the city, which means that there is no need to provide off-street parking. Properties in the parking area pay a special tax that allows them to use city parking lots as parking.

If the Zenith building needed its own parking lot, it would need 24 parking spaces, according to Bergman.

He said the project is considered “type one” action, which requires coordinated review between city, state and county agencies, but Bergman said planning staff recommends that the city be the lead agency for the review and issue a “negative statement, as there are no foreseeable negative environmental impacts that are expected to result from the proposed project.

A waiver from the city’s zoning appeal board will be necessary because the southern portion of the property does not have the required amount of buffer zone, Bergman said.

City Councilor Catherine Kent asked if the cumulative impact of the third project and the other apartments should be required.

Mr. Bergman said that, without additional parking, “what cumulative impacts would be studied? “

Ms Kent said the proposal would add more traffic.

Mr Bergman said this was investigated as part of the city’s 2003 comprehensive study.

“That’s why they come up with a comprehensive plan, so you don’t need an individual study for each proposal,” he said.

Ms Kent also asked if the project complied with the city’s Pattern Book.

City attorney Bob Kozakiewicz said the Pattern Board’s recommendations had been adopted by city council, but had yet to be incorporated into the city code.


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