HK Ventures, a Great Neck-based commercial real estate investment company and developer, is currently seeking site plan approval for a project that aims to make use of 30 vacant acres on Route 25, situated east of Fresh Pond Ave. in Calverton.
The proposed complex, spanning 412,659 square feet, is intended to be constructed in two phases and would consist of eight warehouses, accompanied by a tenant cafeteria and a total of 62 loading docks catering to box trucks and tractor trailers.
Manager Scott Johns said at the Town of Riverhead planning board hearing on Aug. 3 that lessees for this expansive development include an array of businesses such as contractors, plumbers, electricians, pool companies, and a DJ. The developers said there is a deficit of similar facilities in the area.
HK Ventures’ project has encountered questions and reservations from local residents regarding its potential role as a distribution center for prominent retailers like Amazon and issues regarding traffic on Route 25. The skepticism harkens back to residents protesting industrial development last year and asking for a moratorium to halt projects, which the town did not grant.
Despite the project’s vision and purpose, a condition by the Planning Board might lead to delays. This condition stipulates that a building permit shall only be granted once the state Department of Transportation concludes a reconfiguration project at the intersection of Route 25 and Edwards Avenue.
HK Ventures has raised objections to this condition through a lawsuit filed against the town in May, asserting that it hampers their ability to initiate the project. Concerns raised by residents, including potential safety hazards, increased noise pollution, and the project’s compatibility with the area’s rural ambiance, have added to the complexity of the situation.
The proposed plans include provisions for a traffic light, sidewalks, and a bike lane at the entrance to the industrial park. The developers anticipate that these additions will improve traffic flow on Route 25 rather than hinder it.
The project so far has received two variances from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals for building height and impervious surface coverage and awaits a decision by the planning board on the site plan that could come as early as next month.