Architect's rendering of proposed facility

The Riverhead Industrial Development Agency yesterday approved financial assistance including a 10-year partial property tax abatement for Calverton Addiction and Treatment, developers of Peconic Care, a 130-bed addiction research and rehabilitation facility proposed for the Calverton Enterprise Park.

The town board is expected to grant final site plan approval for the project this afternoon.

The $59 million proposed facility will consist of six buildings on 95.6 acres on Jan Way within the enterprise park.

It will create 171 full-time equivalent jobs during a two-year construction period. generating construction wages of $16.4 million.

Once operational, Peconic Care will create 62 full-time equivalent jobs and generate nearly $3.9 million in annual wages, according to a fiscal impact report prepared by the applicant’s consultants, Nelson, Pope and Voohris.

Peconic Care, to be operated in collaboration with Northwell Health, will be a unique facility in the New York metropolitan region, according to the applicant’s testimony.

The IDA board yesterday approved benefits including exemption from sales and compensating use taxes on goods and services having a value of up to $24.6 million  — a maximum sales tax exemption of $2.4 million — and a partial real property tax abatement.

During the two-year construction period, the property will be assessed at land value only: $1,147,200 for tax years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. Then, there will be a 100-percent abatement in the first year of the 10-year abatement period, declining by 10 percent per year until 2030/2031, when the property will be assessed at full value. The total estimated real property tax abatement would be $5.3 million over 10 years.

IDA rejects John Wesley III application

The board denied the application of John Wesley Village III, LP, for benefits to induce improvements to the existing senior rental housing development on Middle Road in Riverhead.

The applicant proposed to acquire a $10 million interest in the 92-unit affordable rental community and complete proposed improvements would include site improvements — repaving, new curbing and sidewalks, landscaping, etc. — as well as exterior and interior building renovations, totaling more than $1.4 million.

The applicant requested sales and compensating use tax exemption of $40,710. a mortgage recording tax exemption of $67,500 and real property tax abatement of $935,537.

The project received benefits from the IDA when it was constructed in 2003. At that time the agency issued $8.4 million of tax exempt bonds, granted a full sales tax exemption and a full mortgage recording tax abatement. PILOT payments based on full land taxes plus an initial 50 percent of the building value, declining 5 percent per year over a 10-year period.

The project also received funding from New York State income tax credits, requiring that all residents are 55 and over and have incomes no greater than 60 percent of the average median income in Suffolk. Those restrictions remain in place for 30 years. Sixty-three percent of the residents qualify for HUD Section 8 vouchers. Forty-five percent of the residents are over age 70; the average age is 78, according to the IDA resolution.

The IDA board said the applicant failed to identify “any concrete reasons” to support receiving additional inducements.

“The majority of the work contemplated… is in the nature of customary repairs and not an improvement to the facilities provided to the tenants,” according to the resolution adopted yesterday. “The repairs listed in the application should have been performed on a routine basis and paid for from existing established funds on hand,” the board found.

“The change in ownership of the project in and of itself does not constitute a public purpose for which agency inducement is appropriate,” the resolution states.

Further, the property owner currently has an agreement for a stipulated assessment with the Riverhead Board of Assessors and a new real property tax abatement would render that settlement agreement void, the IDA board found.

“The proposal would actually take current taxes off the table,” IDA chairman Tom Cruso told the applicant’s representatives, who were seated in the audience. “We just don’t think that’s in our charter. We’re not in the business of grieving taxes. We’re in the business of encouraging new development,” he said.

“We really don’t see that much additional value to the town. We think you’re a wonderful project and we wish you well,” Cruso added.

Public hearing to be set on Twin Fork Beer Co.

Brothers Dan and Pete Chekijian of Riverhead, owners of Twin Fork Beer Co., made a presentation to the IDA board on their plans to build a brewery, storage warehouse and tasting room on a two-acre site at 807 Raynor Avenue, south of Route 58.

Their site plan for a proposed 11,484-square-foot building has been approved by the planning board, Dan Chekijian said. The project carries a price tag of more than $1.3 million, he said.

The brothers established their brewing company in 2014 and have been brewing at other facilities. They currently wholesale their beer to restaurants across Long Island and in New York City, he said. They recently began canning their beer for retail sales.

A public hearing will be set, perhaps as soon as the next regular meeting on April 2, the IDA board chairman said.

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