Triple Five Group has agreed to pay off $46,000 in late runway use and other fees that Luminati Aerospace — its partner in a pending $40 million land sale at the Enterprise Park at Calverton — owes to Riverhead Town.
Triple Five acted after a request from Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, according to a statement released Wednesday by Amy Herbold, Triple Five’s director of development.
“We are taking this extraordinary action not because we are compelled to, or because there is a legal obligation,” Herbold said. “Luminati and Triple Five are two totally separate and distinct entities. In addition, the arrears and back taxes that are being addressed are not part of the EPCAL acquisition. Nor is the Luminati property currently in litigation part of the EPCAL acquisition.
“Rather, we are underscoring our own company’s commitment to the future of the overall EPCAL project while recognizing the faith that the Town has placed in our company,” Herbold said.
Robert Hasday, the attorney representing Luminati, did not respond to requests for comment.
Jens-Smith said Wednesday that the payment covers Luminati's first-quarter 2019 taxes, the fees for using the runway strip at the property and alarm fees. She added that the payment will bring Luminati up to date with all fees owed to the town.
Having the outstanding fees, Jens-Smith said, “wasn’t putting the best foot forward to have so many things that had not been paid.”
The town board will vote at a special meeting Thursday about whether to hire Garden City-based law firm Stagg, Terenzi, Confusione & Wasnik LLP to advise the board on moving forward with the EPCAL sale.
Jens-Smith said the Triple Five payment will not affect the vote.
“It doesn’t have any effect one way or another,” Jens-Smith said. “I’m happy that Triple Five has assisted Luminati, their partner. Triple Five has stepped up and assisted their partner in this deal to make payments to the town as we progress.”
Board members began considering legal advice after learning that Luminati was sued by Hexcel Corp., a Stamford, Connecticut-based advanced composites company, for defaulting on several conditions of a $10 million promissory note. Board members also expressed concern that Luminati is facing eviction from the building that the company leases at the EPCAL site for failing to pay rent to Laoudis of Calverton LLC, the property landlord.
Luminati founder Daniel Preston recently told media outlets that he is relocating the company to Little Falls in upstate New York.
“CAT [Calverton Aviation and Technology — a joint venture between Luminati and Triple Five Group] is actively engaged with environmental, planning and legal consultants to complete the due diligence process by May 20, 2019,” Triple Five officials said in a statement. “Luminati remains a minority, non-voting member of CAT and is a 25 percent shareholder in the entity.”