After several false starts with previous suitors, Riverhead officials are hoping a $45 million deal with a Melville firm will finally bring business to the long-dormant Enterprise Park at Calverton.
Town officials announced earlier this month that they reached a tentative deal with Suffolk County Industrial LLC to sell 633 acres of land on the 2,900-acre property. The parcel was sold for $72,000 per acre, with plans to convert it into an industrial office park. The remaining unsold acres on the property will stay under town ownership.
While officials didn’t have a projection of how much money they expect the proposed industrial park to bring in, Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said the size of this particular subdivision project made the property unique, and that officials hope the right occupants will generate revenue for the town..
“If they’re eligible, we may move forward,” he said. “At this point, it’s still tentative.”
According to Walter, the town is still vetting the company to make sure it has the financial capacity to get the property up and running for new tenants and businesses. The town was in the process of putting together a document including the terms of sale and price acreage. A public hearing on the project, yet to be scheduled, would also be necessary before a contract could be finalized.
Walter noted that the town had seen several project proposals fall through in the past, and while he was optimistic about the Melville firm’s plans, he was also being cautious.
If a contract is approved, Walter said the property would be sold to Suffolk County Industrial in three stages at about 200 or more acres per stage.
The company has been involved in the past with other major projects, one of the most prominent being a $14.2 million deal in December 2015 with Islip Town to convert the former 519,493-square-foot Entenmann’s bakery on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore into an industrial park.
Mark Fischl, a Huntington resident and principal of Suffolk County Industrial, said what attracted his firm to the EPCAL property was the “remarkable combination of runways, sewers and rails” around Riverhead that could appeal to prospective businesses and tenants looking for locations near New York City.
“It’s really unique in that respect,” he said.
While the company had yet to reach out to interested companies and tenants, Fischl said the industrial park would likely include retail, service and housing components.
Fischl said he is excited about the deal, but is also aware that there are several steps left before it can be finalized.
“There’s still some work to do in the process, but we’re hopeful,” Fischl said.