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Public forum on EPCAL deal set for Tuesday as CAT agrees to new proposal involving Riverhead IDA

Calverton Aviation & Technology has agreed to move forward with Riverhead Town’s plan to potentially advance the sale of 1,643 acres at the Enterprise Park at Calverton.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar had given CAT — whose majority owner is Triple Five Group — a deadline of “close of business” Thursday to accept the town’s proposal in writing.

“Today, the attorney for Triple Five, Chris Kent, provided this office with a letter of agreement stating Triple Five is moving forward and providing the Town with the assurances necessary to support and move forward with a joint application to transfer the EPCAL property to the Industrial Development Agency,” Ms. Aguiar said in a press release on Friday. 

She added that a public forum to explain the process will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting will be held through Zoom and live on Channel 22. Information on the meeting and Zoom credentials will be posted on the Riverhead Town website.

The deal with CAT has been stalled as the town attempts to first subdivide the property. The town has faced roadblocks on the state level to complete a subdivision, officials say.

On Feb. 10, the Town Board unveiled a plan to move the deal forward. In it, the Town Board, acting as the Community Development Agency (CDA), proposed to transfer land to the IDA to facilitate the sale. The deal would be pursuant to the terms of the 2018 agreement of sale between the Town and CAT to sell the land for $40 million. 

“The transfer of title to the IDA will allow much greater local control of the redevelopment process and require CAT to take continuous and immediate action to ensure its financial wherewithal,” Ms. Aguiar said at the time. 

After publicly going over the proposal at a Feb. 10 work session, the Town Board had planned to vote on that approach at its Feb. 15 meeting, but pulled the resolution after more than 50 people sent emails asking the town to give them more time to examine the proposal.

Ms. Aguiar has been critical of CAT, which was put together during former Supervisor Sean Walter’s administration in 2018. But she has frequently said the town could not simply terminate its current contract with CAT without potentially spending years in litigation.

Under that deal, CAT would also be required to spend $1 million on renovating the runways at EPCAL, and it would have to build out a million square feet of industrial and commercial facilities.