Soloviev buys former Coster Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue

The Soloviev Group, which has announced plans for a 40-room hotel and spa at its Peconic Bay Vineyards in Cutchogue, has purchased the former Coster Heppner Funeral Home on Main Road. 

Karen Heppner, the funeral home’s co-owner, said the sale closed Dec. 10. 

“We are just relocating our operations to [our location at] 336 Marcy Avenue in Riverhead,” she said. “Anyone who would like our services, we are in Riverhead now. That’s all I can say.” No price was disclosed. 

The former funeral home sits on the corner of Main Road and Harbor Lane, a short distance from the eastern property line of the vineyard. Stacey Soloviev, the vineyard’s owner, declined to comment. 

Exactly how the building and property will be used in the future has not yet been determined, said Ms. Soloviev’s Mattituck attorney, Stephen F. Kiely.

“Indeed the Soloviev Group has purchased the Coster Heppner Funeral home,” he said in an email. “It adjoins the Peconic Bay Vineyards property to the rear, is located in the RO zoning district and, as with all of Stacy’s endeavors, it affords opportunities for future community-minded development.

“A concrete proposal has yet to be developed, but it is safe to say it will be symbiotic with both the vineyard and the community,” he added.

Ms. Soloviev has described her vision for the 53-acre vineyard and property as a small boutique hotel that would showcase the region as a superior wine-producing area. She said her proposal includes an outdoor pool with bungalows, a restaurant and shops selling local products.

At a recent meeting with neighbors of the vineyard, she and her representatives said the farmland south of the winery would be saved for farming. Vineyards, which now cover about half of the acreage, would be expanded to the south and behind the homes on nearby Stillwater Avenue.

In large part, the neighbors who attended the meeting at the winery offered praise for the proposal and the plan to save the farmland. In a recent interview with The Suffolk Times, Ms. Soloviev said she anticipates some community pushback when her plans are presented to the town.

“People get emotional and people are very invested in the community,” she said. “But I am, too, you know. I have children here. I live here and I have businesses here and I also have a lot of farmland here. And for me, it’s running a successful business and also preserving farmland, but it has to go hand in hand.”

In recent years, the Solovievs have made several other high profile agricultural and commercial purchases on the North Fork and Shelter Island, including the former Davis Peach Farm in Wading River, Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm in Cutchogue and The Chequit on Shelter Island.

Also on Shelter Island, the Soloviev Group has purchased Jack’s Marine for a reported $3.8 million.