One of the region’s largest-ever economic development projects is awaiting the transfer of 1,644 acres from one Riverhead agency to another.
On Wednesday, the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency accepted an application from Calverton Aviation & Technology to transfer the property in the Enterprise Park at Calverton from Riverhead’s Community Development Agency to its IDA, which would clear the way for CAT to finally close on its $40 million acquisition of the EPCAL land.
Once the land sale closes, CAT, which is headed by Triple Five Worldwide Group, is poised to begin its planned sprawling corporate campus on about 600 acres of the property, which will include tenants involved in industrial aviation, aerospace, transportation, technology and logistics, among others, according to documents presented to the IDA.
While the property is zoned to accommodate 9.8 million square feet of development, the purchase agreement with the town calls for CAT to build a minimum of 1 million square feet of development at EPCAL within the first five years. For that first phase of the project, the developer will invest more than $200 million, employ 235 construction personnel and create an additional 117 jobs, according to CAT’s attorney Peter Curry of Farrell Fritz, who added that the project will require IDA incentives to assist in the development.
According to an economic study presented to the IDA, tenants in the first phase of the development are projected to produce a $95 million payroll, with an average salary of $89,500. The overall economic impact of the first phase is estimated to add $167 million to the local economy.
“This milestone action by the IDA sets the stage for the next phase of EPCAL’s economic development, one that will create the Silicon Valley of the east,” Justin Ghermezian, a principal of CAT, said in a company statement. “To meet that responsibility, we bring decades of development experience to the challenge, committing considerable resources to ensure that this park will be an enormous economic success for the Town of Riverhead, our company, and, most importantly, the residents of the town.”
The developer is setting aside about 1,000 acres of “environmentally sensitive land” in its acquisition to conserve it. In addition, CAT will be allocating funds to provide new lighting on EPCAL ball fields as well as repair portions of the property’s 10,000-foot runway to ensure aviation activities can continue as required by future tenants.
It’s been more than two decades since the town took title to the 2,900-acre Calverton property, last used by the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman for testing F14s and other military aircraft. Besides the portion to be preserved as open space to protect the region’s environmental health, the balance of the property was always earmarked for economic development, which despite fielding several ill-fated proposals over the years, Riverhead is now in a position to deliver.
Image and article originally from libn.com. Read the original article here.