Pictured Above: Leaders met at the downtown Riverhead work site of Riverview Lofts on March 22.
Affordable housing has never been more visible on the East End, with projects underway from Greenport to Amagansett to Speonk, Southampton and Riverhead.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone took a tour of two projects underway in Riverhead and Speonk on March 22, both of which are being billed as transit-oriented development due to their proximity to public transportation.
Suffolk County has contributed a total of $4 million to the two projects — the 38-unit Speonk Commons project near the Speonk Long Island Rail Road station on North Phillips Avenue, and the 116-unit Riverview Lofts on the site of the former Sears store on East Main Street in Riverhead.
In addition to these two projects, Georgica Green Ventures is in the middle of clearing land for the 50-unit Vineyard View project on Route 48 in Greenport, Southampton Town is touting the development of two affordable homes on on Moses Lane and Magee Street and East Hampton is due to break ground this spring on the 37-unit ‘Gansett Meadow project on Montauk Highway in Amagansett.
“Our downtowns are the heart of Suffolk County and we continue working to connect them with our mass transit systems, along with our major research and educational institutions,” said County Executive Steve Bellone on his tour of the Riverhead and Speonk projects. “By investing in affordable housing projects such as Speonk Commons and Riverview Lofts, we are ensuring more of our hardworking residents will have access to a home in one of these vibrant, robust downtowns.”
Speonk Commons will consist of six two-story buildings with 38 affordable apartments, 4,357 square feet of commercial space and 3,022 square feet of community space. The development will include 5 units reserved for residents earning up to 50 percent of area median income (AMI), 28 units will be available to residents earning up to 60 percent AMI and 4 units will be available to residents earning up to 90 percent AMI. Georgica Green Ventures, LLC and the Town of Southampton Housing Authority are the Co-Developers.
Riverview Lofts will be a five story mixed-use development that will consist of 116 affordable units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space. Eighty-seven units will be available to residents earning up to 60 percent area median income, 13 units available to residents earning up to 90 percent AMI, and 15 units available to residents earning up to 130 percent AMI. Georgica Green Ventures, LLC is the developer.
“The high cost of housing and property taxes have put Long Island in danger of losing its young working-age population, key to a vibrant economy and growing our communities,” said Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming. “At the same time, we are a coastal community with a special obligation to reduce carbon emissions by getting out of our cars and into walkable downtowns near jobs, shopping and medical centers, and public transportation. I am proud that the County’s Affordable Housing Opportunities Program and other infrastructure projects, like the Riverside traffic roundabout, can assist local governments and private developers in meeting these challenges. We have a long way to go but our goals are clear. And these important projects show government listening and responding to the needs of the community. I’m proud to be part of it.”
“Riverhead knows the importance housing plays in revitalizing downtowns,” said Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith. “When new development can be close to major hubs of transportation, like our train station and bus routes, this only enhances the quality of life for our residents living downtown. Suffolk County has shown its commitment to those efforts by awarding Riverhead over $800,000 in funds towards our downtown revitalization.”