Satellite view of the Dowling College campus in Shirley, adjacent to Brookhaven Calabro Airport. Image: Google Earth

Triple Five is in contract to buy Dowling College’s Brookhaven Campus in Shirley, adjacent to Brookhaven Calabro Airport.

The deal is subject to the approval of the U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, which is overseeing Dowling College’s chapter 11 dissolution.

Triple Five Aviation LLC will pay $14 million in cash for the 105-acre property, Newsday reported today.

Another subsidiary of the Canadian development company is in contract to buy more than 1,600 acres at the Calverton Enterprise Park from the Town of Riverhead for $40 million — subject to a determination by the town that the applicant is a “qualified and eligible sponsor” as required by state law for a no-bid land deal in a designated urban renewal zone.

“We see the Dowling site as extremely synergistic with Calverton,” Triple Five representative Stuart Bienenstock said in an interview this morning, confirming the terms of the deal.

The Shirley campus is adjacent to and has an easement to access an operating airport with two 4,000-foot runways. It is essentially “plug and play,” Bienenstock said. It will give Triple Five the opportunity to develop its vision for making eastern Long Island a hub of the aviation industry once again, he said.

Triple Five’s vision has always included an educational component, he said.

“What Dowling did with that site was unbelievable. It’s a real school of aviation. And it’s so close to the Riverhead site,” Bienenstock said. The company sees the two sites as working hand-in-hand, with EPCAL being the “epicenter” of their plans, he said.

The Brookhaven site will give Triple Five “the opportunity to display in a small way what the company can do,” Bienenstock said. “It will give Riverhead an opportunity to see what kind of opportunities we can bring to the table,” he said.

Bienenstock said the campus’s location near Brookhaven National Lab, EPCAL and Stony Brook University makes it ideal for education and — at least while the company works to obtain approvals, complete its due diligence and close the deal in Calverton — it’s a great place for the start-up aviation technology companies Triple Five hopes to bring to the area.

“It’s a good location “in terms of the people we’re going to be attracting that would need an actual airport,” he said.

“The Town of Brookhaven has been very welcoming,” Bienenstock said. “They’re very excited about what we’re doing in Calverton.”

If the bankruptcy court approves the sale at a hearing scheduled for June 4, Bienenstock said Triple Five plans to close the deal within 45 days.

Neither Luminati Aerospace, which brought Triple Five to the table in Riverhead, nor the Triple Five-Luminati joint venture, Calverton Aviation and Technology, is a party to the Brookhaven transaction, Bienenstock said.

“We’re serious about the vision and execution of this strategy,” he said, adding that the company hopes the purchase of the nearby site will demonstrate to skeptical Riverhead residents that “this isn’t just lip service. It’s not just a land play. There’s a real vision here and we’re looking to execute on it.”


Editor’s note: This story has been amended post-publication to correct an error in the contract sale price for the EPCAL property. It is $40 million, not $44 million. 

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