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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region March 2014

Business Expansions and Openings

New York State will spend $65 million to restore iconic Jones Beach (Nassau County) to its original grandeur in one of the largest state park rehabilitation projects in the system's history.  The five-year project will mark the facility's 85th anniversary this year.  The project is expected to create more than 620 construction jobs.  The new construction will make the park, badly damaged by superstorm Sandy, more weather-resistant, state officials said.  The park will add new food venues and menus, including a food marketplace at the former Boardwalk Restaurant, which was to become the Trump on the Ocean catering facility until Sandy inundated the site.  Governor Cuomo said the $65 million will come from capital projects funded primarily through the NY Works initiative, which to date has invested $265 million into the park system with an additional $90 million proposed in the 2014-2015 executive budget.

 

Jupiter, Fla.-based BioRestorative Therapies, which develops products in medical procedures using cell and tissue protocols primarily involving adult stem cells, is relocating its headquarters and research laboratories to a 7,000-square-foot facility in Melville (Suffolk County).  The Suffolk IDA voted unanimously March 27 to approve a tax incentive package as part of the Boost Program, which offers assistance to companies in information technology, life and bio sciences, green technology and energy.  BioRestorative Therapies currently employs three people in Florida and plans to expand its operations to include 16 new jobs in Suffolk with a projected average salary of $83,250.

 

Drugmaker Contract Pharmacal Corp., which employs more than 900 people, will receive 726 kilowatts of cheap electricity from the Power Authority’s ReCharge NY program in exchange for promising to retain 500 workers and hire 200 more in Hauppauge (Suffolk County).  Contract Pharmacal plans to spend $19 million on its operations, which produce over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and dietary supplements for pharmaceutical giants and retailers.  The second-largest allocation is going to Dealertrack Technologies Inc., which makes software for car dealers, for a new headquarters near its current home in Lake Success (Nassau County).  The company is receiving a reduction in electric bills over seven years in return for a $15 million investment and adding 155 people to its local workforce of 500.

 

Satur Farms LLC, a grower of specialty vegetables, is expanding its warehouse on the East End rather than in Florida.  The Cutchogue (Suffolk County)-based company produces baby lettuce, spinach, arugula and other vegetables on the North Fork and in Florida. It supplies Whole Foods, Fresh Direct, Pret a Manger restaurants and wholesalers.  To meet increased demand, Satur is in the midst of $810,550 in improvements to its warehouse in Calverton. The facility is used to process and pack vegetables for shipping.  Satur had promised to protect 21 jobs and create another 10 by 2017 in return for a state grant.

 

The number of solar-power installations on residential and commercial facilities grew nationwide in 2013 – and soared at a faster-than-average rate in New York thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative.  There are other government-driven incentive programs targeting solar growth. At the start of 2013, LIPA introduced a new program permitting the leasing of residential solar systems from third parties, while at the same time a statewide income tax credit was offered for people who lease solar systems.  These two programs – in addition to federal tax credits and increasing financing options – have helped catalyze a market that already had momentum, said David Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar, an Island Park (Nassau County) company that expects to grow its team from 50 to 70 employees this year.  San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity established operations on Long Island in January 2013 – and has subsequently tripled its Long Island staff to 47 people, with plans to hire 15 more, and recently expanded into an 18,000-square-foot Hauppauge (Suffolk County) facility.

 

Manhattan-based Signature Bank said it has hired 12 bankers to make up three teams, including nine bankers to make up two Long Island groups.  Known for its strategy of recruiting teams of bankers from competitors, Signature has grown its operations to 92 teams, often with extensive experience rather than simply by opening new branches.

 

A $300 million mixed-use development proposed for 130 acres in Holbrook (Suffolk County) is a little closer to fruition, after seven years on the board.  The Town of Islip Planning Board unanimously approved the Serota Properties’ Islip Pines plan Thursday, setting the stage for a zoning change that will allow the developer to turn its wooded parcel into a commercial/residential/recreational community promising 3,000 permanent jobs and up to $8.5 million annually in additional tax revenues.  Once approved, the property is slated to have 350 residences, 1 million square feet of industrial/office space, 340,000 square feet of retail space, a hotel, a multiscreen movie theater, multiple athletic fields and tennis courts, a community center, a 12.7-acre “great lawn” with an outdoor stage and a 30,000-square-foot open-air marketplace for farmers markets and other events.  The Serota project will take 10 years to fully build and will create at least 1,600 temporary construction jobs, according to developers.

 

Uniondale-based RXR Realty held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for its 244-unit luxury condominium project called The Ritz-Carlton Residences in North Hills (Nassau County).  The first phase of construction will create 124 residences in two buildings as well as a 25,000-square-foot clubhouse.  The condos will sell for $1.2 million and up and the first residents should be able to move in before the end of 2015.  The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency granted tax breaks to RXR for the project in 2013.

 

North Shore Farms, a local grocery store, opened its fifth location on Long Island on March 27 in Commack (Suffolk County).  North Shore Farms' other stores are in Port Washington, Glen Cove, Great Neck and Mineola.

 

Grocery retailer Aldi will open a new 17,000-square-foot store in Patchogue (Suffolk County) on April 17.  The store will be Aldi’s fifth on Long Island, joining the chain’s other locations in Bay Shore, Lindenhurst, Lake Grove and Riverhead.  Aldi has another five Long Island stores in the pipeline that should open within the next two years.

Business Contractions and Closings

The parent company of Entenmann’s will close its bakery facilities in Bay Shore (Suffolk County) and lay off 178 of its 265 workers, according to a company statement.  Bimbo Bakeries USA announced that the company will shift production to other bakeries that make products under the Entenmann’s brand and shut the Bay Shore operation by July.  Bimbo Bakeries will continue to operate a sales center, distribution facility and thrift store at the 5th Avenue location, as well as corporate functions, research and development, IT and marketing.

Long Island MacArthur Airport’s (Suffolk County) latest airline arrival is already flying the coop.  Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, which began servicing the Town of Islip-owned airport on Dec. 20, announced Tuesday it is suspending all scheduled service to and from MacArthur for the summer and most of the fall months, beginning May 26. Airline officials said in a press release that they anticipate reinstating service in December.

 

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