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Jul 24, 2018 3:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Riverside Diner Demolished To Make Way For Medical Offices

The former Riverboat Diner in on the traffic circle in Riverside is demolished on Tuesday morning.  DANA SHAW
Jul 24, 2018 3:25 PM

The decaying building that formerly housed the Riverboat Diner in Riverside was torn down on Tuesday morning to make way for a new mixed-use medical arts building on the 1-acre property.

The 8,000-square-foot building, to be constructed at 20 Riverleigh Avenue, will be the first new or renovated building to go up along the traffic circle in decades, marking it as the first redevelopment effort in Riverside under the Riverside Redevelopment Action Plan, or RRAP. The plan was created in 2015, outlining several potential projects to improve the hamlets of Riverside and Flanders.

The first floor of the future two-story building will serve as medical offices for Stony Brook Southampton Hospital physicians, and the second floor will house two residential apartments, facing Riverleigh Avenue, according to town officials.

The property owner and developer, Paul Pawlowski, is expecting to break ground on the project next month and is anticipating that the building will be complete by the end of the year.

Southampton Town officials could not provide an overall cost for the project, only that the town secured $500,000 from a Restore New York Communities Initiative grant, which will be split between the medical building and the revitalization of the old Peconic Paddler building.

Mr. Pawlowski did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday.

The former diner property is within an overlay zoning district, created by the town in 2015 to attract new businesses and create walkable resident-friendly neighborhoods, according to Southampton Town’s Principal Planner Janice Scherer. She added that the developer has sought to comply to the zoning by bringing the building closer to the street to create a walkable environment.

The upcoming construction is, for the most part, welcomed by the community.

Angela Huneault, who lives on Nassau Street in Flanders and attended the diner’s demolition on Tuesday, said that she is ecstatic to see the project moving forward.

“Being a local resident, seeing it abandoned all this time, it’s been very sad,” she said. “Watching it come down, I cannot explain how excited I am. It’s the first of many to come.”

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The beginning and first wave of the revitalization of Riverside. Hats off to the many hard working people that have made this possible, including - Supervisor (and former Suffolk County Legislator) Jay Schneiderman, Councilperson Christine Scalera, Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, County Exec Steven Bellone, Legislator Bridgete Flemming, Kyle Collins, David Wilcox, Vince Taldone, August Ruckdeschel, Renaissance Downtowns - Don Monti, Sean McLean, Ela Dokonal, and Siris Barrios, the entire Riverside ...more
By loxman (20), Remsenburg on Jul 24, 18 6:43 PM
I remember it as a Howard Johnsons back in the 70's. My mom took me and my brothers there for fish n chips and then sundaes. It was a real treat and a good memory.
By lirider (288), Hampton Bays on Jul 25, 18 1:28 AM
1 member liked this comment
YES!! and it was all you can eat also.

I remember the friendly ladies walking around with platters of flounder.

By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Jul 25, 18 7:50 AM
Fried clams
By Fred s (3187), Southampton on Jul 25, 18 7:53 AM
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