Triple Five completes deal for Dowling Aviation School site

Triple Five, the company hoping to purchase 1,640 acres in Calverton from Riverhead Town for $40 million, has now officially closed on a separate deal to buy 105 acres at the former Dowling College campus in Brookhaven for $14 million.

Stuart Bienenstock, Triple Five’s director of business development, confirmed by email Sunday that the deal closed Friday.

The Dowling acquisition was auctioned off as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding, which was approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Triple Five’s $14 million cash bid, under the corporate name Triple Five Aviation LLC, was the highest offer for the property.

The site, located in Shirley off William Floyd Parkway, was once part of Dowling’s School of Aviation. The property includes a 6,500-square-foot airplane hangar, a 70-room dormitory, an athletic complex and a two-building office and classroom complex, according to bankruptcy court documents. 

Triple Five, under the corporate name Calverton Aviation & Technology, is in contract to buy 1,640 undeveloped acres at EPCAL, which it says will be used for aviation and technology. It underwent a “qualified and eligible” sponsor hearing to determine if it has the finances and ability to buy and develop the property as proposed.

The Riverhead Town Board has said it will not vote on that designation until the town’s ethics committee makes a recommendation on whether Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who met separately with Triple Five in March, should recuse herself from voting. 

Mr. Bienenstock said the Brookhaven property will not be in competition with EPCAL.

“This is something that complements what we’re doing in Calverton, and it’s something that will enhance our vision and overall strategy,” he said earlier this year. 

“We’re moving forward with our plans and we’re hoping we will get the designation in Calverton,” Mr. Bienenstock said. “But in the meantime, that’s going to take some time, so while we’re going through that process, we want to get started on the Shirley property.”

[email protected]

Photo caption: Nader Ghermezian (left) and Stuart Bienenstock of CAT at an earlier qualified and eligible sponsor hearing before the Riverhead Town Board. (Credit: Tim Gannon, file)