Attorney Chris Kent, center, with Triple Five director of development Amy Herbold and attorney Philip Butler at the Aug. 1, 2019 town board work session. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Calverton Aviation and Technology representatives are scheduled to return to a Riverhead Town Board work session on Oct. 17 to update the board on the company’s development plans for the Calverton Enterprise Park, Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said tonight.

The company is in contract to buy 1,644 acres of vacant land within the enterprise park — the bulk of the town’s remaining acreage there — for $40 million.

Jens-Smith said she hopes CAT will provide more details about their plans for the site. The town board had company representatives come to a work session on Aug. 1 to discuss the status of their plans.

The board requested the meeting after publication of a document released by the State Department of Environmental Conservation detailing potential development of 10 million square feet along the two runways at the enterprise park. Town officials had not previously seen the 18-page document, which was released by the state agency in response to a Freedom of Information Law request made by former councilwoman Barbara Blass.

CAT’s attorney, Christopher Kent, produced a modified version of the April 4 “Calverton Habitat Review” document released by the DEC. The seven-page document he handed to the board at the Aug. 1 work session was dated Aug. 1 and also titled “Calverton Habitat Review.” It did not include runway specifications, as the document dated April 4 did.

Kent assured board members in August that the purchaser has no plans to develop an airport, a mega-mall or a casino at the site, as some residents said they feared.  

In response to questions from Jens-Smith about the status of the involvement of Luminati Aerospace cofounder and CEO Daniel Preston, and how CAT plans to fill the void left by Preston moving Luminati out of Calverton to upstate New York, Kent said, “We’re not prepared to tell you all that right now.” He said CAT is in ongoing negotiations with prospective tenants and partners whose identities he cannot publicly disclose.

The success of the EPCAL development does not depend on Luminati, Kent told the board in August. “We want him to be involved, but the success does not rest upon him.”

Kent said the buyer would come back to the board to discuss its plans in more detail some time in September. Last week, Jens-Smith said the town had not heard anything further and wrote to CAT to request another meeting date.

The presentation is on the town board agenda for Oct. 17 at 10 a.m.

We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.

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.