RECAP: Two firms seek to market EPCAL; downtown brewing advances

Town Board members discuss marketing EPCAL with deputy town attorney Anne Marie Prudenti, right, at Thursday's work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
Town Board members discuss marketing EPCAL with deputy town attorney Anne Marie Prudenti, right, at Thursday’s work session. (Credit: Tim Gannon)

The Riverhead Town Board discussed two proposals it received to market the Enterprise Park at Calverton at its work session on Thursday and also agreed to have a public hearing on a proposal to allow micro-breweries in a section of downtown Riverhead. 

The two real estate brokerage firms that submitted proposals are Cushman & Wakefield, a Manhattan-based company, and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, also headquartered in New York.

Both are widely considered to be among the largest commercial real estate companies in the world. The town saught proposals from brokers after a potential deal with Pataki-Cahill Group, led by former Governor George Pataki, fell apart.

Deputy Town Attorney Anne Marie Prudenti, who led a town committee that interviewed the firms, said Cushman & Wakefield has a broader international reach than Newmark, but proposed a higher commission rate than Newmark.

She said concerns about Newmark stem from the fact that they also represent Suffolk County in its efforts to bring industrial tenants to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, which could potentially be in competition with Riverhead’s efforts to develop EPCAL. Newmark has also already marketed EPCAL for the town from 1998 through 2009.

Jack O’Connor of Newmark said in an interview afterward that they haven’t represented the county at Gabreski in four years, and that his company had similar totals to the $17.4 billion in tri-state sales and leases that Ms. Prudenti said Cushman did in 2014.

Board members seemed to lean toward Cushman, but agreed to ask board firms to appear before the board at a future meeting to discuss their proposals.

• The board also agreed to hold a public hearing on a proposal to allow microbreweries, brew-pups, micro-cideries and micro-wineries to be located in the Downtown Center-1 zone, which stretches roughly from Griffing Avenue to Ostrander Avenue on both sides of downtown Main Street. The Second Street firehouse building, which has been considered for a brewery, is also zoned DC-1.

The breweries would not be allowed within 200 feet of a church or school and would need a special permit from the Town Board. The proposal would permit on-site tastings as well as sales. The hearing date wasn’t set but is likely to be in late June.

To find out what else was discussed at the work session, click below to read reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting, and scroll down for the meeting agenda.

Live Blog Riverhead Town Board work session 05-07-2015


May_7,_2015_-_WS Agenda(1) by Timesreview