The Calverton Aviation and Technology venture group is planning to...

The Calverton Aviation and Technology venture group is planning to buy 1,600 acres of land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton for $40 million.  Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

The backers behind a $40 million land deal in Calverton now have until May 20 to close on—or opt out of—the deal the Riverhead Town Board narrowly approved last fall, after extending a deadline on the land sale Tuesday.

Riverhead officials said Tuesday that Calverton Aviation and Technology — a partnership between Luminati Aerospace and Canada-based developer Triple Five Group — opted to extend the Feb. 19 deadline to sign the deal by 90 days to do more “due diligence” on the property,  more than 1,600 acres of land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Stuart Bienenstock,  director of business development for co-partner Triple Five Group, told Newsday on Tuesday the venture group needed the extension because they were working on creating "comprehensive programming" related to the site.

“It’s a complicated development deal with regards to all the different moving pieces,” said Bienenstock. “We’re doing all of our due diligence and programming to make sure our plan is in line with the overall collective partners in this deal.”

While he would not further specify what programming was being worked on, Bienenstock said more information would be revealed in the coming weeks, as the venture group i plans to meet with the Riverhead Town Board “on a regular basis and work toward our mutual goal of closing on the acquisition.”

As part of the extension, the venture group will pay Riverhead $500,000 to be placed in an escrow account related to EPCAL and Community Development Agency expenses from the deal, Town Hall officials said.

Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith  said she was not surprised by the delay, as the land was “a complex property.” However, she added, she felt “confident” the deal would be signed by May 20.

Town Councilman Tim Hubbard  said he was aware the venture group was conducting land surveying and well testing as part of the process, which he said was standard for such land deals.

“I think it’s business as usual. This was a very intricate piece of property, and I really didn’t expect them to have it done within the first 90 days,” said Hubbard, who voted to approve the deal.

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