(March 4, 2021) New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the completion of Riverview Lofts, a $56.8 million affordable and resilient housing development in the town of Riverhead in Suffolk County. Riverview Lofts, which is located within the Peconic River’s 100-year flood plain and on a site that was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy, offers 116 affordable apartments and 12,000 square feet of commercial space that is designed to be environmentally sustainable and resilient to flooding and severe weather.
“Over eight years ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated Suffolk County and showed our vulnerability to the impact of severe weather,” said Commissioner Visnauskas. “Governor Cuomo promised to build back better and that is what we have done. Riverview Lofts has created 116 mixed-income homes in a transit-oriented, resilient, mixed-use development right in the heart of downtown Riverhead. Through the state’s housing, infrastructure and community redevelopment programs, we’ve made great progress in creating affordable housing opportunities, restoring people’s homes and businesses and are leading the way to a sustainable future.”
Built within walking distance of the town’s Long Island Railroad station, Riverview Lofts advances the state’s policy goal of supporting housing that encourages the use of mass transit, lowers dependence on fossil fuels, and connects new residential development to downtown businesses and amenities.
To withstand future storm events, the retail, residential and mechanical components of the development are elevated, and the building materials are flood and corrosion- resistant. The garage area, which is below grade, is protected by flood barriers. Other storm resiliency measures include flood vents, backflow preventers and impact windows. There is an emergency generator to provide backup power when needed.
The five-story building offers 31 studios, 57 one-bedroom, and 28 two-bedroom apartments, including a home for the superintendent. Eighty-seven of the apartments are available to residents earning up to 60 percent of the area median income; 13 apartments are set aside for households earning up to 90 percent AMI; and 15 are for households earning up to 130 percent AMI.
Building amenities include two elevators, a resident-only parking garage, a community room, on-site management office, a secure mail and package room, a resident-only gym, and laundry rooms on each floor.
The ground floor commercial space includes the recently opened Peconic County Brewing, a 6,500 square-foot brewery and restaurant with views of the Peconic River.
HCR financing for Riverview Lofts includes $11 million in tax-exempt bonds, state and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $17.3 million in equity, and $15.8 million in subsidy. The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery provided $6.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program funding. Suffolk County provided $3 million in infrastructure and acquisition funding. Empire State Development contributed $250,000 in funding through Restore NY. Financing for the project also includes a $3.2 million deferred developer fee.
In 2017, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council awarded the developer, Georgica Green Ventures, a $300,000 Empire State Development grant to support infrastructure work at the site of Riverview Lofts. The grant provided funds to encase a sewer line, relocate electrical services, extend a water main, and install two fire hydrants.
Riverview Lofts is part of Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing through the state’s unprecedented $20 billion, five-year Housing Plan to make housing accessible and combat homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services.
Since 2011, HCR has invested nearly $227 million in Suffolk County to support more than 1,700 homes for approximately 5,000 residents.
Deputy Executive Director of the NY Rising Housing, Buyout and Acquisition Programs Paul Onyx Lozito said, “Riverview Lofts is another tremendous example of the state’s continued commitment to the development of new affordable housing, especially in areas impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Paired with the recently completed Peconic Crossing complex right across the street, Riverview Lofts will help to transform downtown Riverhead, making the community more livable and more resilient to the impacts of future storms.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “The Riverview Lofts project epitomizes what it means to be resilient in the face of mounting challenges from climate change and how the hard lessons of Superstorm Sandy have led us to create housing that is both affordable and resilient. We’re proud to support HCR in a project that continues our commitment to transit-oriented development, and to the revitalization of the state’s downtowns and city centers."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "Long Island needs quality affordable housing to keep our young, talented workforce here in Suffolk and that starts with creating greater opportunities for young families to thrive. With more than 100 affordable units and commercial space for local businesses, located within walking distance to the train station, local restaurants, and shops, Riverview Lofts will help transform and bring new life into downtown Riverhead."
Georgica Green Ventures, LLC President and Founder David Gallo, "All of us at Georgica Green Ventures, LLC are so excited to deliver the beautiful Riverview Lofts for the Riverhead community. This mixed-use building will provide housing for 116 families, plus retail and restaurant space overlooking the scenic Peconic River, on a block that had remained unoccupied following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. We are so appreciative of our partners and colleagues at HCR, Suffolk County, ESD, GOSR, the Riverhead IDA, and the Town of Riverhead.”
About the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery
GOSR coordinates Statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal CDBG-DR funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/