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  • Business Expansions and Contractions, Long Island Region

    Business Expansions and Openings

    New Items

    Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based defense manufacturer Orbit International has received an order worth $1.76 million from the U.S. Navy for the manufacture of color programmable (data) entry panels.  Orbit plans to deliver the panels, to be manufactured in Hauppauge, in the second half of this year.  (Long Island Business News.com/February 27, 2012

    Plainview (Nassau County)-based Rechler Equity Partners is appealing to East End real estate brokers to help lease its 50-acre redevelopment of Gabreski Airport in Westhampton (Suffolk County) called the Hamptons Business District.  Totaling 440,000 square feet in seven buildings, as well as a 145-room hotel, the development is scheduled to break ground later this year.  Companies locating there will be eligible for tax benefits from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency and the state's Excelsior jobs program.  (Long Island Business News.com/February 24, 2012

    Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based prescription drug manufacturer, Ascent Pharmaceuticals has purchased a Central Islip (Suffolk County) building formerly occupied by Creative Bath Products.  Ascent plans to use the two-story, 248,000-square-foot building to expand its current facility after renovating it to better fit its needs.  The company has pledged to bring 350 jobs to the area over the next five years.  (Hauppauge Patch.com/February 16, 2012

    Market research firm NPD Group Inc. agreed to expand its current headquarters in Port Washington (Nassau County) - including a new data center - instead of moving to Ireland.  NPD will receive a $490,000 sales-tax break on construction materials, machinery and furniture from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency.  In return the company agreed to add 10 jobs to its workforce of about 500 people.  (newsday.com/February 9, 2012)

    Melville (Suffolk County)-based pizza and pasta chain Sbarro emerged from bankruptcy in November with 70% of its debt was eliminated and $35 million in capital.  Sbarro now plans to revise its menu, add new stores, renovate others and to hire new staff.  (newsday.com/February 9, 2012)

    Previously Reported

    The Old Brookville (Nassau County) police union and a board of police commissioners from the six North Shore villages served by the police force reached an agreement on a five-year labor contract, covering the salaries and benefits of about 24 police benevolent association officers, which would go into effect June 1.  (Newsday/February 21, 2012)

    New Jersey-based Quick Chek, a chain that combines a fresh food market, a pharmacy and a gas station, is looking at potential sites on Long Island.  Quick Chek plans to open about five stores here, primarily in and around the Town of Brookhaven (Suffolk County).  Quick Chek currently has 128 stores in the New York metropolitan area.  (Long Island Business News/February 16, 2012)

    The Town of Huntington (Suffolk County) Planning Board has approved the last phase of a site plan that will add one- and two-story additions at the Walt Whitman Mall in Huntington Station that will include new restaurant space, two-level stores and loading areas.  The mall, which changed its name to the Walt Whitman Shops late last year, expects the expansion to create space for 10 to 12 new stores when the project is finished, in about a year.  (Newsday/February 15, 2012)

    Roanoke, Va.-based Advance Auto Parts recently opened four new stores on Long Island as part of its latest expansion: in Centereach, Central Islip, Huntington Station and Brentwood (all Suffolk County).   Another national chain, Pep Boys, opened two new stores on Long Island in the last six months, in Centereach and Bay Shore (both Suffolk County); they plan to add five or six more stores here.  (Long Island Business News/February 9, 2012)

    Fairway Market plans to open store in Westbury (Nassau County), the Manhattan-based grocery chain's second on Long Island and 10th overall.  The company will lease part of space in the Roosevelt Raceway Center last occupied by Home Depot Expo, which closed in early 2009. The space has been vacant for nearly three years.  (Long Island Business News/February 9, 2012)

    Home-improvement giant Lowe's took a major step toward building a new store on the site of the former Multiplex Cinemas in Commack (Suffolk County).  The company paid a $50,000 site-plan fee and submitted a revised plan to construct a building of more than 100,000 square feet on the property.  Payment of the fee means it is virtually certain that Lowe's will build on the site, near the Long Island Expressway and Sagtikos Parkway.  (newsday.com/February 8, 2012)

    Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) in East Meadow (Nassau County) will consider a proposal to expand outpatient and primary care services and eliminate almost 10 percent of beds.  The proposal calls for the hospital to forge a closer alliance with North Shore-LIJ Health System.  NUMC officials hope the step will help the hospital win a $30 million state grant with which it could build a comprehensive outpatient substance abuse program and an expanded primary care area near the emergency department in an effort to better manage patients' overall care.  The plan also calls for hospital staff to be retrained in an effort to save their jobs.  (newsday.com/February 7, 2012

    Real estate developer Main Road Holdings, bought the mortgage on a half-built and abandoned bowling alley on Route 25 in Riverhead (Suffolk County).  Main Road intends to operate it as a 28-lane bowling alley with a restaurant.  The Riverhead Industrial Development Agency is helping the project with tax abatements and other incentives.  (The Suffolk Times/February 6, 2012)

    The Container Store, "the nation's leading retailer of storage and organization products", plans to open a new store in Westbury (Nassau County) this fall, in the Gallery at Westbury Plaza.  The store will employ about 80.  According to the company, each full-time salesperson at the store receives more than 263 hours of training in his or her first year, compared to the retail industry average of seven to 10 hours.  In addition The Container Store claims to pay its employees 50 to 100 percent more than retail industry average.  (newsday.com/February 6, 2012)

    Four of Long Island's largest developers, Vincent Polimeni and Jan Burman of Garden City, Ed Blumenfeld of Syosset and  Mark Hamer of Jericho (all Nassau County) have jointly proposed to redevelop the 77-acre site surrounding Nassau Coliseum.  The quartet met with Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and revealed a plan to revamp the Nassau Hub, regardless of whether the NY Islanders stay at the Coliseum.  Separately, the county issued an RFP last week to build an exposition center at nearby Mitchel Field in Uniondale.  (newsday.com/February 4, 2012

    Three Long Island-based tech companies,Hauppauge-based accounting and financial consulting firm Fuoco Group, East Meadow-based information-technology company XT Group, and Melville-based LISTnet, a "technology-boosting" organization, all plan to move into a three-floor, 30,000-square-foot building on Parkway Drive South in Hauppauge (Suffolk County) recently purchased by the Fuoco Group and promoted as an "information technology mall".  Other tech companies may move in soon.  (newsday.com/February 2, 2012

    Smashburger, a fast-casual restaurant that will serve up hamburgers made of fresh Angus beef, has opened its first eatery on W. Old Country Rd in Hicksville (Nassau County).  The company plans to open burger joints in Port Washington and Wantagh (both Nassau County) and in Riverhead (Suffolk County).  Smashburger plans to open up to 20 restaurants on Long Island in the next few years.  Each store will employ about 50 people.  (newsday.com/February 1, 2012)

    An alliance of technology and business advocates has devised a concept they say could vault Long Island into the entrepreneurial ranks of San Diego and Silicon Valley.  The Thought Box 1 project would draw technology start-up companies and their employees to the Island.  The facility would serve as an information technology hub and an office for 400 to 500 employees of several companies.  Supporters say they hope to locate Thought Box 1 near the Hicksville (Nassau County) Long Island Railroad station.  They are also considering property near the Babylon (Suffolk County) Long Island Railroad station and two other sites.  Developers hope to have the site completed and tenants moved in by year's end.  (newsday.com/February 1, 2012

     

    Business Contractions and Closings

    New Items

    (UPDATE) Smithtown (Suffolk County) School District officials voted to close Nesconset Elementary School at the end of the school year due to rising costs and declining enrollment.  Officials will now revise the boundaries that determine where students attend the district's remaining eight elementary schools.  (Newsday.com/February 28, 2012)

    (UPDATE) Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is considering increasing staffing at the four proposed community policing centers, Elmont's Fifth Precinct, Baldwin's First Precinct, Manhasset's Sixth Precinct and Levittown's Eighth Precinct, to satisfy concerns of police unions and Democratic county legislators.  Mangano's original plan called special operations, robbery and highway patrol units to be stationed at the centers in addition to two round-the-clock desk officer positions.  Much of the $20 million annual savings in the plan comes from shedding more than 100 administrative jobs, including about 90 held by uniformed officers.  Mangano would reassign 48 desk officers to neighborhood crime prevention.  (Newsday.com/February 28, 2012

    Blockbuster Video owner Dish Network announced that it will close a third of Blockbuster stores - more than 500 stores - in the first half of 2012.  The remaining 1,000 stores might soon face a similar fate, as poor financial performance could force additional Blockbuster stores to close.  (Wall Street Journal.com/February 24, 2012)

    (UPDATE)  Clothing retailer Mandee's closed its Babylon, Commack, Smithtown (all Suffolk County) and Carle Place (Nassau County) stores at the end of February.  The company shuttered its Hicksville and Massapequa (both Nassau County) Mandee's locations and an Annie Sez store in Massapequa earlier this year.  (Newsday/February 16, 2012)

    (UPDATE)  Following the recommendation of a special task force and the district superintendent, the Baldwin (Nassau County) School Board voted unanimously to close the Shubert and Milburn elementary schools at the end of the school year.  The superintendent also recommended cutting some elementary and high school teaching positions, scaling back elementary art, music and physical education and eliminating full-day kindergarten.  The board has not yet approved these last recommendations.  (Newsday/February 16, 2012

    Suffolk Community College has ordered departments to cut expenses by 2.5 percent for the coming school year.  The college has kept this year's budget in balance by deferring equipment purchases and being careful about filling job vacancies.  The faculty union, which had no pay increase this year (not counting step increases for experience) has already agreed to a zero increase for the coming school year.  (Newsday/February 16, 2012

    Previously Reported

    Veolia Transportation, the private company which took over LI Bus (now Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus) in January, will unveil a "service redesign" at a community meeting in Uniondale on February 22.  The changes include some improvements for riders, including better coordination with the Long Island Railroad, faster trips between Nassau and Queens, but also some hardships.  The plan would eliminate some midday routes, and two lines will lose Saturday service altogether.  Veolia hopes the service changes, which will take effect April 8, will fill a projected budget gap.  (Newsday/February 22, 2012

    (UPDATE) The Nassau County Police Benevolent Association, Detectives' Association and the Superior Officers Association have agreed to an incentive package intended to encourage higher-paid officers to retire.  The package is part of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano's plan to reduce four of Nassau's eight precincts to community police centers staffed by two officers instead of the full complement of 38; he expects as many as 87 to sign up.  The incentive package gives officers until March 22 to retire.  Meanwhile, noting a sharp increase in burglaries in Nassau County this year, police union leaders called for the county to postpone the precinct conversions.  Mangano, citing the elimination of 100 administrative positions in addition to the police jobs and a savings of about $20 million a year, declined to wait.  The county legislature will vote on the proposal on February 27.  (Newsday/February 20, 2012)

    The Mandee's store in the Pathmark Shopping Center in Commack (Suffolk County) will close this month.  Bloomberg news reported in January that Mandee's parent Big M may seek bankruptcy protection, which could result in more store closings.  (Commack Patch.com/February 13, 2012

    The fermentation process that Patchogue (Suffolk County)-based Blue Point Brewing Co. uses has put a severe strain on the village's wastewater treatment plant, and could prompt Blue Point to relocate.  The brewery is considering several sites that have a greater sewage treatment capacity.  Meanwhile the Patchogue Public Works Department is investigating possible upgrades to its system that would allow Blue Point to stay.  (Long Island Business News.com/February 16, 2012)  

    On February 10 Riverhead (Suffolk County) Central School District told 12 teachers and 9 teaching assistants they will be laid off at the end of the current school year, June 30, unless teacher retirements and a teacher contract renegotiation create new vacancies.  The following teaching positions are on the chopping block:  two math teachers, two special education teachers, two education teachers, one science teacher, one English language arts teacher, one home and careers teacher, one guidance counselor, one health teacher, and one technology teacher.  (Riverhead Patch.com/February 14, 2012

    Reductions in funding have forced Nassau/Suffolk Law Services (NSLS) to reduce its caseload, cut 25 percent of its staff and even consider shuttering one of its three offices.  The nonprofit's 84-person staff, including paralegal and clerical workers, has fallen to about 71, with an additional nine layoffs likely to come this year.  NSLS may be forced to close its Riverhead (Suffolk County) office and relocate staff to its other Suffolk office in Islandia, which holds 30-35 people, but the issue is whether NSLS's clients on the East End would be able to get to Islandia.  (Long Island Business News/February 10, 2012

    PepsiCo Inc. plans to cut 8,700 jobs - about 3 percent of its global workforce - and boost marketing spending for its brands.  PepsiCo said the higher marketing spending will be focused on North American beverages and food, and most of the support will go to 12 key brands, including Pepsi, Lay's, Mountain Dew, Gatorade and Tropicana.  (bloomberg.com/February 9, 2012)

    The West Islip Daycare Center has announced that it close on February 24.  In a letter sent out to parents on Feb. 3, the center's Board of Directors pointed to declining enrollment and a failed effort to reduce expenses as the main reasons for ceasing operations.  11 staffers will lose their jobs.  (westislip.patch.com/February 9, 2012

    In addition to eliminating 13,000 jobs as part of a bankruptcy reorganization, American Airlines plans to lay off 500 flight attendants this spring due to reduced business.  The union that represents the workers, said Wednesday that those at the bottom of the seniority ladder could be out of work by April 1.  American may furlough some workers if it cannot free up enough jobs through voluntary measures, such as 1-year leaves of absence.  The company has 73,000 employees worldwide, including 16,000 flight attendants.  (Business Week/February 8, 2012

    Commercial laundry Oceanside Institutional Industries Inc. is considering laying off 105 workers and possibly closing its Freeport (Nassau County) plant, according to a state filing.  The reason stated for the potential cuts, to begin May 3, is "economic."  The company provides services to hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, labs and supermarkets, according to its website.  Oceanside has more than 400 workers and four plants.  (newsday.com/February 8, 2012

    The City of Long Beach (Nassau County) may lay off workers, increase taxes, reduce services and cut spending in order to correct the city's budgetary woes.  Moody's has put Long Beach on a negative watch list.  If the city fails to stabilize its finances, the agency could further downgrade the city's credit rating.  (longbeach.patch.com/February 8, 2012

    Citing concerns about increased traffic, the Oyster Bay (Nassau County) Town Board voted 6-0 to deny Costco Wholesale Corp. a special-use permit to build a store on W. Marie St in Hicksville.  Costco has been trying since 2003 to build a store on the site.  (newsday.com/February 7, 2012

    CA Technologies has decided to switch vendors, replacing Sodexo with Restaurant Associates, at the Islandia Café, the facility that provides breakfast, lunch and catering services in the firm's headquarters in Islandia (Suffolk County).  The change will take effect April 2 and affect 26 workers.  (Long Island Business News/February 7, 2012)

    The Talbot's Outlet in the Mayfair Shopping Center on Jericho Turnpike in Commack (Suffolk County) will soon close.  The store is one of 25 nationwide described by the clothing retailer as "underperforming".  Employees learned of the closing in late January, though the company did not give a specific date.  Talbot's announced in December plans close to 110 stores by the end of 2013.  (commack.patch.com/February 6, 2012

    As part of its exit from the home mortgage origination business, MetLife Inc. plans to shut its Hauppauge (Suffolk County) office, resulting in the loss of 55 jobs.  Most of the layoffs will take effect on April 30; the office will close on May 31.  MetLife is laying off thousands nationwide.  (Long Island Business News/February 6, 2012

    Northport Ford in Commack (Suffolk County), which sold new and used cars in addition to providing car service and repairs, closed suddenly during the first week of February.  (commack.patch.com/February 6, 2012

    A committee in the Town of Smithtown (Suffolk County) recommended closing the district's smallest school, Nesconset Elementary, moving staff out of the district's Joseph M. Barton office building in Smithtown and renting out the space.  Nesconset students would be shifted to Mills Pond, and about half of Mills Pond students would be moved to St. James Elementary School.  Enrollment at all 14 district schools is expected to decline during the next decade.  The school board will vote on the measure on Feb. 28.  (newsday.com/February 5, 2012)

    American Airlines plans to lay off 13,000 workers, or about 15 percent of its workforce, as part of a bankruptcy restructuring plan.  This could have a significant impact locally.  American employs 3,855 people at Kennedy Airport and 3,006 at La Guardia Airport.  It is not clear how many of these workers live on Long Island.  (newsday.com/February 2, 2012

    Madison National Bancorp of Melville (Suffolk County) said that federal regulators and shareholders have approved its takeover by FNBNY Bancorp of Manhattan by the end of next month.  Madison National branches in Massapequa, and Merrick (Nassau County) and Melville (Suffolk County) will eventually be renamed First National Bank of New York.  Most current officers and staff, a total of 51 full time equivalents, will keep their jobs.  (newsday.com/February 2, 2012

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