As the first deadline for Luminati Aerospace approaches Monday in its attempt to purchase the remaining land at Enterprise Park at Calverton, the startup company appears to have been thrown a lifeline.
John Catsimatidis, 68, the billionaire CEO of United Refining Energy Corp, announced Friday night that his company sent a letter to Luminati Wednesday to express interest in providing the funding the company needs to close the EPCAL deal. The proposed deal between Luminati and Riverhead Town is for $40 million.
In a statement, Mr. Catsimatidis said: “I have deep roots and interest in aviation, and I am very excited by Luminati’s development plans for the property and the economic development and jobs creation that will result. UREC has a great deal of interest in this project and looks forward to completing the necessary due diligence and working with Luminati and its CEO Daniel Preston to bring the project to fruition.”
The letter stated that “UREC is highly interested in providing, and has more than sufficient financial resources to provide, the financing necessary for the purchase.”
Luminati has until Monday to send the town a final draft agreement as it approaches a qualified and eligible hearing, otherwise its letter of intent for the EPCAL sale will be canceled, according to a letter from the town’s attorney for the negotiation, as the News-Review previously reported.
Last month, three Riverhead Town Board members said they won’t support the Luminati Aerospace sale unless changes are made. It was revealed recently that Luminati and Facebook, an initial financial backer of the company, which plans to manufacture solar-powered drones to deliver internet connectivity, has not been a part of the deal for some time.
United Riverhead Terminal in Northville is an affiliate of United Refining Company. Mr. Catsimatidis, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for New York City mayor in 2013, is also owner and CEO of Gristedes Foods, a Manhattan grocery chain, and the real estate and aviation company Red Apple Group.