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Riverhead accepts venture group's financial documents on Calverton property

The Riverhead Town Board's 5-0 vote Tuesday could determine whether the $40 million deal goes forward. It would turn 1,600 acres at the Enterprise Park into space for Luminati Aerospace.

The Riverhead Town Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to accept new financial documents submitted by the venture group seeking to purchase property at the Enterprise Park at Calverton for $40 million. (Credit: Newsday / Jean-Paul Salamanca)

The Riverhead Town Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to accept new financial documents submitted by the venture group seeking to purchase property at the Enterprise Park at Calverton for $40 million.

The vote could determine whether the deal goes forward. It also means the financial documents will be entered into the public record about the proposed deal.

Board members are considering whether Calverton Aviation and Technology LLC — a joint venture between Calverton-based Luminati Aerospace and Triple Five Real Estate I LLC — has the financial ability to turn more than 1,600 acres at the property into space suitable to expand Luminati’s operations.

The record from the public hearing will remain open while the town board “reviews the additional financial records/reports provided by the group . . .," the resolution stated.

The board had previously asked the venture group to submit personal and corporate financial statements. The information would be used to help the board determine whether the venture group is financially capable of moving its proposal forward. However, the venture group initially refused to provide the documentation, citing worries about sensitive financial information potentially being made public.

Calverton Aviation and Technology representatives and town officials confirmed the firm had sent the documents on Friday.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said before the meeting she still needed time to thoroughly review the documents before offering any opinion on whether they changed how she felt about the project. Jens-Smith had previously expressed concerns about the venture group’s financial ability to pursue the proposal.

The board is still waiting for a ruling from the town’s board of ethics as to whether Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio violated ethics procedures when she met in March with venture group representatives to ask them questions about the deal and their proposal. 

“We believe what we submitted clearly demonstrates our ability to perform and that should really alleviate any of the concerns the board has prior to this last submission" of financial documents, Stuart Bienenstock, director of business development for Triple Five, said Wednesday.

For any additional documents to be provided, Bienenstock said there would have to be specific mechanisms in place first, assuring only the town board could view more potentially financially sensitive information.

“We’ve never said no to this," Bienenstock said. "We’re open to them coming in and taking a peek at our financials, but that would have to be done under nondisclosures,”

Among the documents the Calverton Aviation and Technology venture group submitted to the town are:

• A July 31 letter from Liberty Mutual stating it was prepared to issue Triple Five Real Estate $120 million in performance and payment bonds for the EPCAL project.

• An updated letter from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP confirming Triple Five has $40 million in available cash balances as of Aug. 14.

• Institutional financing letters dated Aug. 15 from Goldman Sachs stating it was “highly interested” in working with Triple Five on arranging and structuring debt financing related to acquiring the land and developing Phase I of the project.

• An economic benefits analysis for the project.

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