Architect's rendering of proposed facility

The developers of an 80-bed addiction research and rehabilitation facility at the Calverton Enterprise Park are ready to break ground.

Representatives of Peconic Care Addiction Research and Rehabilitation Center told the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency yesterday they have all required permits from the Riverhead Town building department and plan to close on financing for the project later this week.

The IDA, which in March approved financial assistance for the project, including a 10-year partial property tax abatement, yesterday signed off on the closing.

The Riverhead Town Board granted final site plan approval for the $59 million project in March. Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith signed the final site plan in a ceremony at town hall prior to the July 26 work session.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented epidemic of prescription drug addiction, which is stealing the lives of our children and destroying our communities,” Jens-Smith said. Peconic Care “will have an enormous impact…through critically needed research” into addiction and recovery, she said.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has issued three separate licenses to the facility to provide 20 beds for detox in a medically stabilized unit, 40 beds for residential treatment for patients who will stay for an average of 30 days, and 20 beds for extended aftercare, according to the developer.

The facility will consist of six buildings on 40 acres on Jan Way within the Calverton Enterprise Park, according to documents filed with the town. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019.

Architect’s rendering courtesy of Engel Burman Group

“We’re going to help a lot of people and save a lot of lives,” said Andrew Drazan of Engel-Burman, the developer partnering with Northwell Health on the project.

The health system is “on the front lines of the opioid addiction crisis,” Dr. Jonathan Morgenstern, director of substance abuse services at Northwell, told town officials.

The combined addiction research and treatment facility attached to a major health system will be the first of its kind in the U.S., Morgenstern said.

“Having patients down the hall from researchers is very rare in addiction treatment centers,” he said.

Northwell will incorporate clinical and academic resources from the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and Zucker Hillside Hospital and South Oaks Hospital, two Northwell-run psychiatric facilities that specialize in substance abuse services.

“We’re in the midst of an opioid epidemic of chilling proportions,” Drazan said in a press release following the town’s approval.

“The statistics speak for themselves. Over 500 Long Islanders died in 2017 from opioids,” Drazan said.

“There is not a single one of us who does not know some family that has been harmed by this scourge. This facility will help fill a major gap in substance abuse treatment in our community.”

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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.