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CAT, Triple Five officials now scheduled to attend June 10 work session

Representatives of Calverton Aviation & Technology will appear before the Riverhead Town Board at its June 10 work session to discuss its proposal to buy and develop 1,600 acres of land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton, according to Supervisor Yvette Aguiar.

CAT — which comprises Triple Five Group, which owns 75%, and Luminati Aerospace, which owns 25% and is a non-voting member — had originally planned to be at the May 27 work session. 

“Triple Five has requested to appear at the June 10th work session,” Ms. Aguiar said by email Friday. “They are requesting two weeks to update their financial submission to the town.”

Triple Five also sent a letter to the town last Wednesday regarding its EPCAL plans. 

The letter was signed by Justin Ghermezian, the managing member of Triple Five Real Estate I, LLC, and the son of Triple Five Group chairman Nadir Ghermezian. 

“Purchaser (CAT) has the funds on deposit to close upon the purchase of the property, the financial ability, skills and experience necessary to complete the development of the property as intended and to perform all of its obligations under the agreement,” he wrote.

CAT “has several companies willing to locate its businesses as part of the intended development plan of the property that expressed interest to be part of the development of the Calverton Aviation & Technology Hub at EPCAL,” the letter said.

The letter also said that this “is dependent upon the town satisfying its obligations under the agreement.”

Those obligations call for the town to file a subdivision map that separates the three lots to be sold to CAT from the five lots the town plans to keep. 

The agreement had required the subdivision to be filed by May 20, 2020, and had given either side the option to walking away if that deadline was not met. Neither side has sought to walk away. 

However, the subdivision has been held up because the town has been unable to get approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. 

To date, Triple Five has refused to disclose its finances, saying it is a privately owned company. The town asked for updated financial information from Triple Five in response to reports about its financial struggles in New Jersey, where it defaulted on a $1.2 billion construction loan for its American Dream project.That left JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and other investors with a 49% stake in Triple Five’s Mall of America in Minnesota and its West Edmonton Mall in Canada, according to a report in the Financial Times. 

At last week’s Town Board meeting, Councilwoman Catherine Kent had asked for an update on Triple Five’s financials in light of those reports.

Chris Kent, the attorney for Triple Five and Ms. Kent’s ex-husband, told The News-Review that the retail entities of Triple Five are separate from the ones purchasing and developing the EPCAL project. 

“We stand ready, willing and able to close upon the acquisition of the property in accordance with all of the terms and conditions of the agreement and look forward to working with the town to complete this transaction and to proceed with the intended development of the Calverton Aviation & Technology Hub at EPCAL,” Mr. Ghermezian wrote in his letter to the town.