Riverhead Resorts deal is off

11/12/2010 3:59 PM |

Riverhead Town’s contract with Riverhead Resorts, the company that sought to build a complex bigger than Disneyland on town-owned property in Calverton, is off.
The Riverhead Town Board voted 4-1 to terminate the $155 million agreement Friday morning with Councilman John Dunleavy casting the sole dissenting vote.
Mr. Dunleavy said the $7.5 million Riverhead Resorts has already made in non-refundable payments to the town have helped keep the tax rate down. He also said it was wrong to terminate the contract before Tuesday, the date the board gave Resorts to make a $3.9 million payment for two contract extension payments it owed dating back to May 15.
The project, which was expected to cost $1 billion to build, called for eight themed resorts including an indoor ski mountain.
“Finally, we have got the 800 pound gorilla off our back,” said Councilman George Garbrielsen. He said the town can now subdivide the property and market it properly.
Mr. Walter said he opposed terminating the contract earlier because he felt the payments might help the town avoid layoffs.
“That brings us to today,” he said in a written statement. “It is clear to this member of the Town Board that Riverhead Resorts cannot close their transaction with Riverhead. Months of excuses, platitudes, apologies, justifications, and explanations have only left Riverhead holding the bag at EPCAL and this cannot continue.”
Councilman Jim Wooten, who has opposed terminating the contract in prior votes, said he voted for it today because he feels Resorts and other developers still will be able to make a proposal for the property in the future, although he said he thinks it will probably be for less money.
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