From Retail to Multifamily: Woolworth Converted to Mixed-Use Building

First Niagara’s Commercial Real Estate Group provided a $4.35 million construction loan to North to South Development for the renovation and conversion of the former Woolworth Store building on East Main Street in Riverhead, N.Y., into 19 affordable rental apartments and ground-level retail.

Riverhead, N.Y.—First Niagara’s Commercial Real Estate Group provided a $4.35 million construction loan to North to South Development for the renovation and conversion of the former Woolworth Store building on East Main Street in Riverhead, N.Y., into 19 affordable rental apartments and ground-level retail.

“First Niagara Bank is pleased to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Riverhead through our financing of this repurposed Woolworth Building,” Tracy Dembicer, First Niagara’s vice president, commercial real estate, said. “North to South Development had the vision and experience to see this project come to fruition. We are proud to contribute to much-needed apartment options for the Long Island population and the overall enhancement of downtown Riverhead.”

Originally constructed in the 1950s, the two-story building has been vacant for close to 15 years. The new mixed-use development has been completely renovated with a new roof, storefronts, and water, gas and electric services.

The ground floor is now home to several retail tenants including a fitness center, flower shop and bagel shop. The second floor comprises one- and two-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $895 to $1,133. All rents are based on income levels, and prospective tenants must pass an income verification process via the Long Island Housing Partnership.

“First Niagara provided the crucial financing needed to make this project happen,” Michael Butler, North to South Development’s managing partner, said. “We had the equity lined up and support from local government, but without First Niagara we could not have completed this renovation and provided 19 affordable apartments in a market that clearly lacks affordable rental housing. We thank them for participating in the project.”

Martin Sendlewski, AIA, was the architectural and engineering firm for the project. W.J. Northridge handled construction management.