The previously stalled $40 million sale of more than 1,600 acres of property at the Enterprise Park at Calverton could move forward as Riverhead officials seek to transfer the property to another town agency in an effort to close the land deal.
The town board, acting as the town’s Community Development Agency, said at its Feb. 10 work session that after consulting with their attorneys, they will vote Tuesday to make an application to the town’s Industrial Development Agency transferring the property’s title from the Community Development Agency to the IDA.
Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar told Newsday that officials discussed this action six months ago as they assessed how to move the deal forward.
"We reached a stalemate with the DEC and Suffolk County Water Authority, and it didn’t appear there was any light at the end of the tunnel," Aguiar said, adding, "this was one of the options that arose."
The land sale to venture group Calverton Aviation and Technology has stalled due to a dispute over who can supply water to the property. The state Department of Environmental Conservation in November 2020 denied Riverhead approval of a key permit to complete an eight-lot subdivision for the site necessary to complete the sale. The department would not approve the permit unless the town named the Suffolk County Water Authority as the provider of public water to the proposed subdivision, which town officials refused to do.
The town sued the DEC in April to overturn the decision, but a State Supreme Court judge in Albany dismissed the town’s lawsuit last October.
By working with the IDA, the town can lease the property through the agency to the venture group — comprising majority partner Triple Five Group and co-partner Luminati Aerospace — provided the group fulfills all its obligations under the current sale contract between it and the town, Dawn Thomas, Riverhead's Community Development administrator, told Newsday on Thursday.
Suffolk County Water Authority spokesman Seth Wallach said Friday the agency had no comment.
Under the new agreement, the venture group would assume the town’s obligation to secure all necessary approvals for the subdivision map, town officials said.
Triple Five, in a statement to Newsday, said the venture group will keep town officials up to date on its progress and communicate with the community.
"As a result of the town's action," the statement read, "we look forward to becoming a contributing corporate citizen that further strengthens the quality of life for all Riverhead Town residents and the economic foundation of the community for generations to come."
The town board will vote Tuesday at their regular meeting at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.