EPCAL runway. File photo: Peter Blasl

The proposed subdivision of the town’s remaining land within the Calverton Enterprise Park will be the subject of a public hearing before the Riverhead Planning Board on May 2.

Riverhead is in contract to sell most of its remaining vacant land at the former Navy site to Calverton Aviation and Technology for $40 million. Calverton Aviation and Technology was formed in 2017 by Triple Five Group and Luminati Aerospace, which purchased the former Skydive Long Island hanger in 2015 and the following year leased space in the former Plant Six building.

The subdivision plan, configured as called for in the contract with CAT, is an eight-lot split. Three of the lots, comprising 1,643 acres, will be conveyed to the purchaser. The five other lots that will remain in town ownership include: the town park; the Grumman Memorial site; the Henry Pfeiffer Community Center site; a lot retained for use as a recharge area for the Calverton sewage treatment plant two large lots and one small; and a lot within the core Pine Barrens area that cannot be developed.

Riverhead has a 50-lot subdivision application already pending before the planning board and is seeking to amend that map, the town’s special counsel told planning board members at their meeting yesterday afternoon.

“All we’re doing is erasing lines,” Isler said. “We’re not reconfiguring anything.”

Riverhead will have one year from the date on which the purchaser gives its notice of intent to proceed to closing to finalize the subdivision map, which will require approval of the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and a Wild Scenic and Recreational Rivers Act permit from the State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The purchaser has not yet given the town notice of its intent to proceed. It is currently in its second 90-day due diligence period pursuant to the contract, which was signed in November. The due diligence period expires May 20.

The contract provides for a due diligence period to allow the purchaser an opportunity to investigate site conditions. Until the end of the due diligence period, the purchaser has the option to either proceed with the deal or pull out.

The sale includes both runways, as well as a conveyance of an easement granted to the town as depicted on the Calverton Camelot subdivision map, allowing the town use of the taxiway, title to which was conveyed to that developer when the town sold the 491-acre “industrial core” of the former Navy site previously occupied by Northrop Grumman.

The buyer intends to keep the runways, Isler told the planning board. 

The contract of sale requires the buyer to make $ 1 million worth of “infrastructure improvements” to the runways within two years of the closing date. The improvements will consist of a lighting system, enhanced security, reactivation of the GPS approach system and general maintenance, according to the contract. The purchaser agreed in the contract to execute a guaranty for this completing this work and give the town either a $1 million letter of credit or cash as security.

In the contract, the purchaser also agrees to “building out at least 1 million square feet of commercial and industrial space on the site, which is “contemplated… will take approximately five (5) years,” according to the contract.

Asked by planning board member George Nunnaro whether the purchaser also intends to further develop the rest of the property, Isler said, “We don’t know what their actual plan is.” Their intended use is aviation and related uses, he said.

The contract requires the buyer to develop the site in accordance with the town’s adopted urban renewal plan.

 

 

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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.