The Sears building in Riverhead was nearly demolished by Thursday afternoon.
The Sears building in Riverhead was nearly demolished by Thursday afternoon.

The former Sears building on East Main Street in Riverhead had a date with the wrecking ball earlier this week, one of several downtown properties that had been considered for a new mixed-use development planned by Jerico-based affordable housing developers Georgica Green Ventures.

Georgica Green had been in contract last year to buy four adjacent properties at 203-207, 209, 211 and 213 East Main Street from Sheldon Gordon’s Riverhead Enterprises in order to build a complex of ground floor retail and 160 units of new workforce and market rate residential development.

But the New York State Historic Preservation Office threw a wrench in the works, saying that, since the building was listed as a contributing resource to the town’s 2012 historic district, the state could not give aid to Georgica Green for development of the workforce housing.

The Sears building, along with the three buildings to the east which are also slated to be demolished, is still in the hands of Riverhead Enterprises, which is not seeking state aid that would preclude the company from demolishing a purportedly historic building.

Georgica Green is now planning to build a five-story mixed use building on the site of the former McCabe’s office supply store just east of the four buildings it had initially intended to buy.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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