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.