New ownership group confirms purchase of Mattituck airport

06/10/2016 11:09 AM |

One week after it was announced that the Mattituck airport is under contract to be sold, the new owners have confirmed the anticipated purchase of the property.

Paul Pawlowski and Steve Marsh, partners in the Sports East proposal and the recently revitalized former Hudson City Savings Bank project on Main Road in Mattituck, are expected to close on the purchase of Southold Town’s only public airstrip later this month under a newly formed corporation, Mattituck Airport, LLC.

“Our plans for the near future are to keep things as is with some minor improvements,” Mr. Pawlowski told The Suffolk Times.

The airport’s longtime owners announced the impending sale in a letter to customers dated June 3. A downturn in the private aviation industry, as well as the demise of manufacturing jobs related to the family’s former engine shop, led to the airport’s sale, said Jay Wickham, who owns the airport along with his wife Cyndi.

The letters were sent last week to the pilots who use the airport’s hangar informing them that the property will be sold. According to the letter, the new owner plans to demolish all buildings on the property except the carriage house, car barn and the newest hangars.

Aircraft owners will need to move their planes by Sept. 30 and the runway will be excavated in October, the letter states.

Mr. Wickham’s father, Parker Wickham, built the airport on a 16-acre former potato farm in 1946 when he returned to the North Fork after serving at an Army Air Corps base in the Mojave Desert, according to his obituary in The Suffolk Times.

The expected selling price has not yet been disclosed.

“It’s been purchased by local residents, so it’s not going to be done by out-of-towners,” Mr. Wickham said earlier this week. “It’s going to remain as it is for a while. I’m not sure how long.”

Mr. Wickham, who lives around the corner from the airport, said his priority over the past three years has been finding a buyer who wouldn’t “wreck everything around the area here.”

“I don’t think I’d sell it to anyone who do anything bad to it, because I’m still here,” he said.

State records show Mattituck Airport, LLC is registered to an Oregon address of Mr. Marsh, a tech CEO who lives in Portland, Ore., but summers in New Suffolk,

Mr. Pawlowski,  a builder and longtime Mattituck resident, said the new owners “respect the property and the history.”

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