A photograph of the dock at the Commander Oil Terminal with a view of the harbor.
Mike Picker, CEO of Renaissance Property Associates, the asset management company handling the Commander terminal said, "Commander Holding Terminal has signed a long-term lease for Global Oil [known as Global Partners, LP] to operate the Commander Oil terminal. The lease is for 10 years."
"That in real estate terms is a long lease," said Walter Imperatore of Renaissance Property Associates, the company that also manages Island Properties, Buckingham Variety Store, Mariner's Walk and the Oyster Bay Marine Center. Mr. Picker said the lease still maintains Charles Wang's right to develop the waterfront property.
Mr. Picker said, "If we decide to develop the property as waterfront we have the ability to take back the property and would go through the normal processes of working with the town. We are always looking at that and have never hidden our desire to make that a waterfront property for the area. It would be a combination of things but they are not yet determined."
Mr. Piker said they believed they had the right company in Global Oil to run the terminal. "It was important to get someone with that experience to operate the business," he said.
During the Commander Oil Holdings operation of Commander Oil, they kept the former employees on staff. There will be one change with the Global Oil takeover as of March 16. They fully take over in name as well on May 1. There are currently 14 employees and three of them were offered transitional packages because Global will automate some of the office functions that are currently done manually. There will be a 45-day transitional period for those employees. "We tried to keep everyone there. We work very hard to keep the people employed," said Mr. Picker. [FYI: None of the other Island Properties sites or former Commander sites are involved in the lease.]
Global intends to operate the terminal very similar to how it is today which includes other customers who currently use the facility. "They will continue to work with customers of Commander Oil," said Mr. Imperatore.
When asked if Global Oil will import oil and gas, Mr. Picker said he didn't know. "It's their choice on how their business is run, as long as it is a petroleum facility."
He said, "They have no right to change the site. They will operate it as a petroleum facility. They have a good track record. They are a public company with many facilities around and we believe they will be a great partner to work with at the site and with the employees."
"They have other sites on Long Island in nearby Glenwood Landing and others," added Mr. Imperatore.
"They have a good safety record. We worked very hard to find the appropriate partner for the site," said Mr. Picker.
The dredging at the Commander dock was completed this winter. Now the boats coming into the dock have a better clearance. Before they weren't filling some of the boats all the way up and now they are able to do so and that helps bring the product in, said Mr. Imperatore.
Mr. Picker said they didn't discuss whether Global Oil intended to increase their shipments. "They run a very good operation and that we know. It will be a very good operation for us and the community of Oyster Bay."
When asked if there are plans for something like a restaurant or hotel on the site, Mr. Picker said, "We will develop it in the best interests of the area."
When asked if there was the possibility of a ferry slip there, Mr. Imperatore said, "It's not likely. It's a petroleum terminal and there are security issues."
"There are no answers. Once we know, we will discuss them. We don't want to head in the wrong direction," said Mr. Picker.
Aphrodite Montalvo of the NYS DEC said, the DEC policy regarding permits and other transfers is that they need only a name change. The property's history with the DEC continues as is. "There is no clean slate; everything is transferred over to the new party." There have been spills and remediation at the site - which is an ongoing process.
Friends of the Bay Executive Director Robin Kreisberg said of the lease, "We don't know the impact of the lease. The question is will it mean an increase in operations at the terminal?" As this newspaper went to press Global Partners LP was not available for comment.