The transfer of 1,643 acres of land at Enterprise Park in Calverton to Riverhead's Industrial Development Agency was made official Tuesday — a move town officials hope will speed up the land's pending sale to Calverton Aviation and Technology LLC for development.
Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and Justin Ghermezian, a principal of Calverton Aviation and Technology, signed a letter of agreement at a Town Hall ceremony to transfer the title for the Enterprise Park land from the town’s Community Development Agency to the IDA.
“Finally, after 20 plus years, this property is moving in the direction which it should be moving," Aguiar told reporters at a news conference after signing the documents.
Riverhead officials had first wanted to sell the property to the venture group but discussed leasing it instead after reaching a stalemate in a dispute with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Suffolk County Water Authority over who would supply the land with water.
The town lacks a key DEC permit needed for it to complete an eight-lot subdivision map required for the land sale. Both the town and the water authority want to supply water for the 1,643-acre property.
The agreement allows the town to lease the property via the IDA to the venture group — comprised of majority partner Triple Five Group and minority partner Luminati Aerospace — so long as the group meets all obligations under its current agreement with Riverhead. The Town Board voted 5-0 on March 24 to approve the transfer.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our company and the town, and we’re here to make sure it happens,” Ghermezian said.
After the meeting, Christopher Kent, a Riverhead attorney representing the venture group, told Newsday the application process with the IDA will begin in June, with public hearings and decisions from the agency to follow, possibly by August or September. Should the agency approve the land sale, closing on the property would occur 60 days after their approval, Kent said.
Noting the land sale has drawn both support and opposition from residents, Kent said he expected that more people will support the sale during the IDA process.