Top Stories 2022: $40M EPCAL deal still pending as new concerns emerge

The proposed sale of 1,643 acres by Riverhead Town to Calverton Aviation & Technology for $40 million still had not been finalized by the end of 2022. 

And now, Calverton residents have new concerns, including a plethora of proposals for large warehouses and logistics centers in their neighborhood and the potential future development of battery energy storage systems and anaerobic digesters nearby.

In late 2018, the Riverhead Town Board approved the potential sale of the EPCAL acreage to CAT, 75% of which is owned by Triple Five Group. The remainder is owned by Luminati Aerospace , headed by Daniel Preston, who reportedly has no voting power in CAT. 

In its role as Community Development Agency, the town entered an agreement with CAT in November 2018 to go before the Industrial Development Agency. Officials said this would speed up the application process, although it’s not entirely clear how and to date, no final deal has been reached. 

Officials described the process as follows. 

Under what’s known as a “lease and project agreement,” the IDA would lease to CAT the three lots it aims to buy. IDA would lease the rest of the property at EPCAL — including water and sewer facilities —back to the town. 

CAT, in turn, would sub-lease the parcels the town leased from IDA until the sale is finalized. 

Over the past four years, CAT has made several presentations on its proposed development plans for the property. The specifics of those plans, as well as the people involved, have been vastly different each time.