Developer pitches bringing indoor sports activities amenities and new outside fields to Veterans Memorial Park


Veterans Memorial Park could see the development of more than one ice rink in the not too distant future as another company seeks to construct indoor athletic facilities and multipurpose outdoor rinks in a vacant section of Calverton City Park.

Peter Bellard of Setauket, President and CEO of Conscience Bay Group, presented a plan to the City Council at today’s working session to construct three multi-purpose indoor sports buildings totaling 45,000 to 50,000 square feet and two professional-size outdoor multi-purpose fields.

Bellard said his company would pay the full cost of developing the new buildings and fields that would be donated to the city. His company would then enter into an agreement with the city to operate the indoor facilities and run programs from them, he said. The agreement would be similar to the one the city made with the Peconic Hockey Foundation to bring a proposed bubble dome rink to the park.

The development would occupy approximately six vacant acres in the northeast portion of the park, just north of where the Peconic Hockey Rink is planned. The indoor facilities would cater to soccer and lacrosse players and include bathrooms and special function rooms for birthdays and corporate events, he said.

“Obviously, given the demographics I’ve been looking at and everything that’s going on, the outdoor facilities are in high demand, as we all know,” Bellard said. “And the hall [facilities]it seems like something that stops when you get into the Huntington area, where there just isn’t that much food when you get further east to indoors.”

“So I think that’s really something that’s needed, especially at the north and south fork, and having Riverhead so centralized gives so many opportunities for all these townships, especially Riverhead,” he added.

“As far as I know, since 2005, the city has been trying to get things like this into Veterans Memorial Park,” said councilman Bob Kern, who Bellard said helped make the proposal to the board

A plan for Veterans Memorial Park, then known only as a public park within Calverton Enterprise Park, calls for four multipurpose fields in the park at the proposed site.

Bellard said demand for the facilities is “exponential” and there is a need for full-size fields, about 320-360 feet by 190-220 feet, for touring football and lacrosse programs. He said he is exploring the possibility of using the indoor fields for pickleball at times when children are in school.

Peter Bellard, President and CEO of Conscience Bay Group, presents his idea for constructing indoor sports buildings and outdoor multipurpose fields at Veterans Memorial Park. Photo: Alex Lewis

Recreation Superintendent Raymond Coyne, who was present at the working session, said he was briefed on the proposal by Kern shortly before the meeting. “I kind of learn like you do,” he said.

“So you’re building this for profit. So where does the Riverhead fit – where does my department fit into this business model?” Coyne asked during the presentation.

Bellard said the outfields would be owned by the city and could be used at the discretion of city officials. Riverhead residents would use the indoor facilities for free during certain hours — between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays — Bellard wrote in a letter to the board outlining his proposal.

Bellard said he will also pay for the paving and marking of the 72-space parking lot planned as part of the park’s new expansion, put irrigation, football goals and corner flags on the outfields, and also make donations for the park’s development in the future. He said he will coordinate with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department on how the outfields would be maintained.

“I can imagine the fields running in summer, like in June. But I would have liked to have opened the hall for the school year ’23,” he said.

Aguiar said Bellard would need to present himself to the city’s Recreation Advisory Board and continue to consult with Coyne and then work with prosecutors to come to an agreement.

Bellard said he has been a currency options trader since 2000 and has been in the real estate business since 2010. The Conscience Bay Group was formed in July 2017, according to the New York Department of State Divisions of Corporations.

Bellard said in an interview that he manages and leases real estate, builds and flips homes under various limited liability companies. He said he has developed residential and single-family homes, but no commercial real estate.

Bellard said that while he’s never run a sports facility, he knows people who have been researching the project for the past year and a half and already have a manager on the line for the facility.

“It’s going to be a big undertaking,” Bellard said in an interview. “It’s just something I can easily grab or move with my hands.”

Editor’s Note: This article was modified after initial publication to remove a paragraph of repetitive information.

The survival of local journalism depends on your support.
We are a small family business. You rely on us to keep you informed and we rely on you to make our work possible. Just a few dollars can help us continue to provide this important service to our community.
Support RiverheadLOCAL today.