Pataki-Cahill does an about face; town seeking EPCAL broker

Town Board members took John Cahill (center) of The Pataki-Cahill Group on a tour of EPCAL last December. 'There's tremendous infrastructure on the site,' Mr. Cahill said. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
Town Board members took John Cahill (center) of The Pataki-Cahill Group on a tour of EPCAL last December. ‘There’s tremendous infrastructure on the site,’ Mr. Cahill said. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Former New York governor George Pataki won’t be marketing the Enterprise Park at Calverton after all — but he may represent companies that want to buy land there.

Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter said the Pataki-Cahill Group, founded by Mr. Pataki and former state Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner John Cahill, indicated prior to last Tuesday’s Town Board meeting that they are no longer interested in being hired by the town. The town was expected to vote on a resolution to hire them at that meeting.

“I guess the fit wasn’t right with the town,” Mr. Walter said. “What they are going to do is set up meetings to bring people to the town, but as a broker for the buyers rather than for the town.”

Last month, the Town Board put off a decision that would have authorized Mr. Walter to sign an agreement with Pataki-Cahill. The proposed contract would have given Pataki-Cahill a commission of up to 4.5 percent on land sales at EPCAL. Pataki-Cahill had planned to subcontract with Cushman and Wakefield, a major international commercial real estate firm.

Council members Jodi Giglio, George Gabrielsen and Jim Wooten had voted to table the resolution to a future meeting, while Mr. Walter and Councilman John Dunleavy were ready to vote on it. Mr. Wooten and Mr. Gabrielsen indicated several days later that they had planned to vote in favor of the contract.

Mr. Cahill toured EPCAL in December and board members seemed poised to approve the contract with Pataki-Cahill Group, which describes itself as a “specialized business development firm providing high-level strategic and tactical advice to companies in the energy, infrastructure, clean-tech, environmental and hard asset fields” rather than a traditional real estate brokerage firm.

“It’s unfortunate,” Mr. Walter said. “I think having former Governor Pataki represent the town would have been a novel approach not tried before.”

He said the fact that Mr. Pataki may run for president in 2016 would have helped the town too.

Mr. Walter said the town will now issue a request for proposals to seek a traditional real estate broker —preferably one with strong international ties and a speciality in commercial real estate.

The Town Board interviewed representatives from Jones Lang Lasalle in Chicago, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world, at the same October work session it interviewed representatives from Pataki-Cahill Group.

Several requests for comment from Pataki-Cahill Group were not returned.