Home News Local News Public hearing on EPCAL land deal to be postponed at supervisor’s insistence

Public hearing on EPCAL land deal to be postponed at supervisor’s insistence

Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith holds up the proposed contract of sale during a discussion at the Jan. 11 work session. Photo: Denise Civiletti

The qualified and eligible hearing scheduled for Jan. 17 will be adjourned to a future date. The new date is yet to be determined.

Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith advocated for the adjournment because one of the company members of the purchaser Calverton Aviation and Technology LLC has been changed.

Jens-Smith said she learned that Triple Five Ventures Co. LLC is being replaced by a Triple Five Realty I LLC, a new limited liability company formed Dec. 18 for the purpose of the proposed purchase.

The new LLC will be owned by members of the Ghermezian family, which also owns Triple Five Ventures Co. LLC. Both are part of the family’s large conglomerate of companies.

Frank Isler, one of the town’s special counsel for the sale, told the board the new company, Triple Five Realty I LLC will be owned by different members of the Ghermezian family than the original company, Triple Five Ventures Co. LLC, indicated on the contract of sale.

“They will be presenting us with a representation of the assets of the larger enterprise and these asseets will be behind the Triple Five Real Estate I,” Isler told the board.

“We can adjourn the public hearing until you’re comfortable you know who you’re talking to,” Isler said.

The two new members of the Ghermezian family who are the legal owners of the new company may not have been among the family members who met with board members last week may. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said she thought one of the family members present last week was one of the members of Triple Five Real Estate I, but board members were not clear.

Councilwoman Catherine Kent said she would like to have the Ghermezians come to a work session to discuss their company and their plans for EPCAL.

Isler said it was perfectly legal for town board members to meet individually with the prospective purchasers as they did last week, when two board members at a time met with the group and with Luminati CEO Daniel Preston on Jan. 4.

“There has been concern about transparency about this deal from the beginning,” Kent said.

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.