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Jun 15, 2018 2:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Pitch To Transform Peconic Paddler In Riverside Into 100-Room Hotel

The old Peconic Paddley site. VALERIE GORDON
Jun 19, 2018 1:18 PM

The site of the former Peconic Paddler just off the traffic circle in Riverside will be getting a makeover if the new owners of the property have their way.

Tom Fredette, who purchased the property from longtime owner Jim Dreeban in March 2017 for $700,000, is proposing a four-and-a-half-story hotel on the site, which would feature a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking Grangebel Park to the north, along with 100 hotel rooms and 47 underground parking spaces.

On Thursday, June 14, Mr. Fredette, along with his attorney, John Scott Prudenti, attended a Riverhead Town Board work session to request access to the Riverhead Sewer District, even though the property is in the Town of Southampton. The temporary hookup, which Michael Reichel, the Riverhead Sewer District superintendent, estimated would produce 10,000 gallons per day of effluent, is necessary for the group to continue with their plans.

The sewer district’s permitted capacity is 1,200,000 gallons per day, with a current flow of about 900,000 gallons per day, according to Mr. Reichel.

Mr. Fredette estimates the temporary connection would be needed for approximately five years—until Southampton Town’s planned 800,000-gallon sewer district serving the Riverside area is constructed.

Southampton Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone, said at the work session that the town recently purchased a 1.5-acre property behind Suffolk Federal Credit Union in Riverside for the proposed sewer system, estimating that it could be up and running by 2020.

If Mr. Fredette has his way, the proposed 45,000-square-foot hotel could be standing as early as October 2019. “We’re ready to go,” he said.

A hotel is a permitted use under the existing Riverside Zoning Overlay District, according to Sean McLean of Renaissance Downtowns, a Plainview real estate developer chosen by Southampton Town to come up with a redevelopment plan for Riverside.

However, Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who also serves as the chairwoman of the Downtown Revitalization Committee of Riverhead, raised concerns regarding the height of the building.

“I would like to see it come down a story,” she said, raising concerns about blocking sights to Grangebel Park, which sits directly behind the proposed building. “We don’t want to fill up our downtown with these tall buildings—you don’t see that in Southampton.”

Mr. Prudenti responded to her concerns, noting that the rooftop bar and restaurant would offer “unparalleled views” of the park. “From those heights the vistas are absolutely incredible,” he said. “We really do think it would be creating something special.”

Mr. Fredette’s concept includes a first-floor lobby and breakfast restaurant featuring large picture window views of the park, as well as a rain garden, walking trails, and a park area that would connect with a boardwalk to the existing parkland.

They also plan to keep the canoe and kayak renting business open, which they will operate this summer.

“We want to create something that looks beautiful,” Mr. Fredette said. “I think it will bring more foot traffic toward Riverhead. … This would be something to bring people to the area and walking Main Street.”

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100 hotel rooms and 47 parking spaces... can't see where that would be a problem.
By susgeek (41), Speonk on Jun 18, 18 7:41 AM
High End hotel with rooftop lounge? People strolling downtown and enjoying the waterfront in the evening hours?
Terrible idea!

What downtown Riverhead needs is another Pawn Shop and Nail Salon.
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Jun 18, 18 8:20 AM
1 member liked this comment
100 rooms, canoe business, restaurant, bar, staff, maintenance staff and etc. 47 parking spaces, math doesn't work.
Maybe Neely has a idea...
By knitter (1902), Southampton on Jun 18, 18 9:39 AM
Place is locked in on all sides. Great idea, wrong location.
By Fred s (3192), Southampton on Jun 18, 18 11:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
wow 100 rooms on less than an acre on the river, but you cant put a deck on your house within 100 ft of the river? What?
By chief1 (2786), southampton on Jun 18, 18 5:11 PM
Four stories?

Totally fits into the character of the downtown.

Will there come a day when there's nothing left to exploit?
By Mr. Z (11670), North Sea on Jun 18, 18 8:40 PM
Town owns property there, watch for another deal being made.
By knitter (1902), Southampton on Jun 19, 18 10:38 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island