Joint request between the city and CAT submitted to Riverhead IDA for the transfer of EPCAL land

The joint application between the Riverhead Town Board and Calverton Aviation & Technology to transfer land at Enterprise Park in Calverton to the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency was made public on Thursday, about five months after the agreement was signed.

The request to transfer title to over 1,643 acres from the city – in its role as a community development agency – to IDA, was made in order to expedite the sale and redevelopment of the property.

The 66-page application can be viewed here. It includes a letter from CAT attorney Peter Curry to IDA executive director Tracy Stark-James.

“Today, following the divestiture of approximately 1,644 acres to Calverton Aviation & Technology, it is poised to move forward in partnership with all levels of government to redevelop the land at EPCAL in line with the vision of the city,” Mr. Curry wrote in the letter, dated Sept. 8.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar signed a letter in March with Justin Ghermezian, the director member of the CAT, to make the joint request. At the time, Chris Kent, the attorney representing CAT, said he expected the application to be presented to IDA around August.

City Council voted in March to direct IDA to transfer title to all acreage it owns in EPCAL to IDA Riverhead to facilitate the sale and transfer of EPCAL ownership, less land owned by the city, such as the sewer district and parks.

This action allows the sale to move forward before the subdivision is completed – the main element delaying the sale, officials said.

Mr. Curry wrote that the development team that CAT has assembled includes J. Petrocelli Construction, the company selected as lead developer for the Town Square project, as well as Patchogue-based BLD Architecture, which has completed several projects in Riverhead. It also includes R&M Engineering of Huntington, whose engineers are designing the infrastructure for Phase I of the development.

Phase I includes “at least 1,000,000 square feet of industrial aviation, aerospace innovation, transportation innovation, and other related technologies and tenants, and other synergistic warehouse/distribution/logistics uses , industrial, commercial, environmental, energy and academic within the first five years after closing its transaction with the Agency,” Mr. Curry wrote.

The application notes that the CAT and CDA propose to conserve more than 1,300 acres of “ecologically sensitive land.”

The IDA’s agenda for its next meeting scheduled for September 21 indicates that the joint venture between CAT and the City will make a presentation. The September 21 meeting begins at 5:00 p.m. at Riverhead Town Hall.

Among some of the highlights of the proposal:

• A 10 million square foot site plan.

• CAT will spend $245 million to acquire and develop the initial 1 million square foot phase.

• The benefits of the project requested, according to the IDA resolution, include a tax allowance for the registration of mortgages; and the abatement of sales and use taxes. It is also asking for a payment in lieu of taxes and an improved property tax abatement for 20 years.

• CAT will develop approximately 9 million additional square feet of buildings and improvements for the same target industries and other innovative and synergistic users whose goals and products will complement and leverage regional and site-related characteristics.

• The city gets new lighting on the EPCAL ball diamonds, courtesy of CAT, which will also be carrying out repairs to the 10,000 foot track.

• CAT plans to employ 235 full-time equivalent construction employees, with aggregate annual salaries and benefits of approximately $21 million. Additionally, Phase I will produce a total of 117 indirect and induced jobs, with an annual income of approximately $9 million.

• CAT asserts that “without financial assistance, CAT will not provide economic benefits to its potential tenants large enough to induce them to rent space in the project”.

• The IDA projects a payroll of $95 million, with an average salary of $89,500.