Garden City oil company eyes Calverton for headquarters

harry sigh
Harry Singh, the president of Bolla Oil Corporation, speaks at Thursday’s Planning Board meeting. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

A Garden City-based oil company is considering moving its headquarters to Calverton in the next few years, its president said at a Riverhead Town Planning Board meeting Thursday night.

And he’s not talking about the Enterprise Park at Calverton, where Riverhead Town officials have been trying to lure energy companies. He’s talking about Edwards Avenue. 

Bolla Oil Corporation owns and operates about 85 gas stations in the New York City and Long Island markets, according to Harry Singh, the president of the company.

The company owns a gas station and convenience store on Route 25 in Calverton, next to the Riverhead Charter School, which is its only East End location.

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The company recently purchased a 24-acre property on the west side of Edwards Avenue, south of Route 25, which has been home to a Cousins Paintball site. The property is zoned Industrial C and currently has a two-story house and several smaller buildings on it.

Bolla Edwards Avenue Realty LLC, the name the land was purchased under, has filed a commercial subdivision application that would create 10 building lots averaging about two-acres each, along with one drainage lot.

That application is currently before the Riverhead Town Planning Board. To date, they have not formally filed any specific plans for the property should the subdivision be approved.

But Mr. Singh told the Planning Board on Thursday that they do have big plans for the property.

“We have a plan for the future to possibly move our Garden City headquarters to the Edwards Avenue site, on which we are considering office buildings and possible a distribution center,” Mr. Singh said. “We also own a fuel transport company and a construction and lumber company. We are a company of five different divisions.”

According to the company’s web site, its business includes wholesale and retail gasoline distribution, gas station construction, convenience store operations, auto repair, car washes and new business consulting.

The paintball operation is likely gone, according to Mr. Singh. It’s still open for now on weekends and the exact timetable for its future is unclear.

Mr. Singh said his company’s Garden City headquarters employs 40 to 50 people.

The company is looking to move in the next three to four years, and also may seek approvals for a warehouse building, office buildings and a transport building on the Edwards Avenue site in the future, Mr. Singh said.

“We are growing aggressively and you will see us make more applications in Riverhead in the future,” he told the Planning Board. “We want to be part of the town and part of the local communities. We are heavily involved in the communities where we build.”

The Planning Board already has raised concerns about the project’s impact on traffic, since Edwards Avenue already is considered to have traffic congestion. The intersection of Edwards Avenue and Route 25 has been given an “F” grade for traffic flow by the state Department of Transportation.

The company has already submitted a traffic study — completed by Stonefield Engineering and Design — which concluded that “under the most intensive hypothetical use,” there would be minimal impact on the traffic of the adjacent roadway.

“You’re leading us to believe that it would be small vehicle traffic and cars, but if some of the applications allowed within the Industrial C zoning were realized, you may see much more than small vehicular traffic,” Planning Board member Lyle Wells said.

Planners also said the site contains wetlands, which must be protected.

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