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Riverhead supervisor wants to market EPCAL property to overseas companies

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter is shown on

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter is shown on Aug. 22, 2013. Credit: Newsday / Ed Betz

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter says he wants to market the Enterprise Park at Calverton -- one of Long Island's largest swathes of vacant land prime for development -- to companies as far away as South Korea.

Walter, speaking at a town board meeting and in an interview last week, discussed the site, which he said should be developed as a "mini city" with residential, commercial and industrial components.

The supervisor said Riverhead should look overseas for potential tenants for the property known as EPCAL, naming South Korea as an example. Walter said the best-case scenario would be for a large company to build its campus, including workforce housing, at EPCAL.

He said a contractor is almost done with an environmental impact statement that will let the town begin subdividing 600 acres of the former Grumman Corp. property. The town wants to develop the 600-acre portion of the town-owned 2,300-acre site, which has ecologically sensitive wetlands throughout.

"This is the largest mixed-use commercial-industrial subdivision in New York State right now, and probably, my guess might be, the Northeast," Walter said. "If the Town of Riverhead just looks to Suffolk County or just looks at the tri-state area to develop EPCAL, that would be very shortsighted."

But overseeing the development will be a monumental task and has implications Islandwide, he said.

"The Village of Freeport is bigger than the Town of Riverhead" by population, Walter said. "You have one of the smallest towns on Long Island handling one of the largest economic developments in New York State. We have to think gigantic."

Riverhead has hired Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc., a planning and engineering firm, to complete the environmental impact statement.

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