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Transformative EPCAL development awaits IDA transfer

One of the region’s largest 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 and Technology to transfer the Enterprise Park property in Calverton from the Community Development Agency of Riverhead to its IDA, clearing the way for CAT to finally close its $40 million acquisition. of EPCAL land.

Once the land sale closes, CAT, which is led by Triple Five Worldwide Group, is set to break ground on its planned sprawling corporate campus on about 600 acres of property, which will include tenants involved in industrial aviation, aerospace, transportation, technology and logistics. , among others, according to documents presented to the IDA.

Although the property is zoned for 9.8 million square feet of development, the purchase agreement with the city calls for CAT to build a minimum of 1 million square feet of development in EPCAL within the first five years. For that first phase of the project, the developer will invest more than $200 million, hire 235 construction workers and create an additional 117 jobs, according to Peter Currie, an attorney with Farrell Fritz in CAT, who added that IDA incentives will be needed to help the project. improvement.

According to an economic study presented to the IDA, the first phase of the development is projected to generate $95 million in payroll, with an average tenant salary of $89,500. The overall economic impact of the first phase is estimated to add $167 million to the local economy.

“This milestone move by IDA sets the stage for the next phase of EPCAL’s economic development, creating the Silicon Valley of the East,” Justin Ghermejian, a principal at CAT, said in a company statement. “To meet that responsibility, we have brought decades of development experience to the challenge, committing substantial resources to ensure this park will be a huge economic success for Riverhead, our company and, most importantly, the residents of the city. “

The developer has set aside about 1,000 acres of “environmentally sensitive land” in its acquisition to preserve it. In addition, CAT EPCAL will allocate funds to provide new lighting to the ball field as well as ensure repair portions of the property’s 10,000-foot runway to continue aviation operations as future tenants require.

It’s been more than two decades since the city took title to the 2,900-acre Calverton property, last used by the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman to test F14 and other military aircraft. In addition to portions preserved as open space to protect the region’s ecological health, the balance of the property was always earmarked for economic development, which, despite several ill-fated proposals over the years, Riverhead is now in a position to deliver.

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