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Israeli company working with Calverton Aviation on state grant for EPCAL

The company working with Calverton Aviation & Technology to bring industry to the Enterprise Park at Calverton is helping Riverhead Town apply for a Smart Cities grant from New York State, officials said. 

Arieli Capital LLC will work with CAT to attract development of up to 10 million square feet of industrial, aviation, education, aeronautics, energy and agricultural development to EPCAL, according to CAT attorney Chris Kent.

The plans were discussed at a virtual Riverhead Chamber of Commerce presentation made by Arieli principals Eric Bentov and Or Haviv Thursday.

“They are not a member of CAT, – the qualified and eligible sponsor – but they are part of the development team on the project at EPCAL ,” Mr. Kent said. “They’re going to be working with Triple Five, the managing member of CAT, to attract occupants of the technology park that CAT is looking to build at Calverton.”

Arieli has more experience in creating “synergistic technology centers” than Triple Five does, Mr. Kent said. Triple Five’s experience is as a “project development entity,” he said 

Triple Five has built some of the largest shopping malls in the country, including the Mall of America in Minnesota. 

The Riverhead Town Board in May asked CAT to send updated financial information in regard to its proposal to buy and develop 1,643 acres at EPCAL. 

CAT had previously been designated a “qualified and eligible sponsor” to buy and develop land at EPCAL, but officials said they wanted updated information due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused financial problems for businesses worldwide, including Triple Five. 

CAT, in turn, said it was not required to send updated information, but was doing so voluntarily. 

A three-page letter from Arieli Capital, a holding company based in New York and Tel Aviv,  was one of two letters CAT sent in response. 

Arieli is a “premier holding and investment company with offices in New York and Tel Aviv, and was established in 2016,” Mr. Havid said Thursday. 

“Our hands-on and holistic ability provides our technology companies with a wide spectrum of services,” he added.

The firm’s background involves building technology incubators and start-up business accelerators; connecting start-up businesses with tech industry investors and clients; and designating shared workspaces, labs and testing sites, among other uses. 

The project Arieli is working on with the town is a Smart Cities grant application from the Empire State Development Corporation in conjunction with the Israel Innovation Authority, according to Riverhead Community Development director Dawn Thomas. 

The Israel Innovation Authority and the ESDC will both provide $1 million to support local projects that improve government services and residents’ quality of life, by using smart cities technologies.

“They’re trying to encourage the New York State ESDC and the IIA to work together to try and entice cities and communities to work together with technology companies and anchor institutions to help create technology to benefit the public,” she said. 

Riverhead’s project has three components: mobility and transportation; agriculture and irrigation technology; artificial intelligence and water contamination removal. 

Five municipalities statewide will be selected as “smart city testbeds,” officials said. 

Ms. Thomas said Arieli had approached the town for help on the application, which was sent June 8.