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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region February 2013

Business Expansions and Openings

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Savers, a thrift store chain, will open its fourth Long Island store at 755 Larkfield Road in East Northport (Suffolk).  The 19,000-square-foot space was last occupied by Sixth Avenue Electronics.  No opening date for the new store has been scheduled.  Savers has locations in Medford, Holbrook and West Hempstead.  Founded in 1954, Savers recycles and resells donated clothing and household goods, supporting local nonprofits at the same time. The company has given more than $1.5 billion to local causes in the last 10 years, according to its website.  (LI Business News - February 28, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/28/savers-to-open-4th-long-island-store/

Great River (Suffolk)-based Lessing's Hospitality Group is getting into the franchise business with Blaze Pizza, a new fast-fired, build-your-own pie concept out of southern California.  Lessing's, which owns six full-service area restaurants including Mirabelle in Stony Brook, View in Oakdale, and Maxwell's in Islip (all Suffolk), has signed a 10-store deal with Pasadena, Calif.-based Blaze for Long Island, New York City, Westchester and Rockland counties in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut.  Lessing's COO Michael Lessing said the company may build more restaurants depending on the success of the first 10.  Currently seeking sites throughout the New York metropolitan area, Lessing said the company is eyeing Garden City (Nassau) for its first location. The company plans to roll out at least two locations a year.  (LI Business News - February 27, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/27/lessings-inks-10-store-blaze-pizza-deal/

Banking giant Wells Fargo has opened a branch at 2499 Jericho Turnpike in Garden City Park (Nassau), its 14th location and the first new branch since the bank merged with Wachovia in 2011.  The new branch, which employs seven, was designed to conform with U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's Silver standard.  It also has an online banking station, a drive-through ATM and a mural depicting Garden City Park history produced along with the local historical society.  (LI Business News - February 27, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/27/wells-fargo-opens-in-garden-city-park/

A new Hilton Garden Inn has opened for business on the Stony Brook (Suffolk) University campus.  The 135-room hotel, located on 3.5 acres of leased land in front of the university's administrative building, officially opened on February 20.  Currently, the Inn employs about 35 people, but as business picks up, it expects to hire about 15 more employees.  About ten rooms were occupied Tuesday, and there are already more than 200 reservations for the month of March.  (Newsday - February 27, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/hilton-garden-inn-opens-in-stony-brook-1.4714882

A new Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza restaurant opens in Commack (Suffolk) on February 27.  The 3,500-square-foot space in the Peppertree Commons Shopping Center at 6401 Jericho Turnpike once housed a deli and clothing boutique, but will now be the site of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based chain's fourth Long Island location and 37th in the country.  Anthony's already has restaurants in Carle Place and Woodbury, and opened a new location in Wantagh (all Nassau) last month, from which the company donated more than $8,000 to Island Harvest's Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.  This year the chain has plans to open three more restaurants here in Great Neck (Nassau), Bohemia and Greenvale (both Suffolk).  (LI Business News - February 26, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/26/anthonys-coal-fired-pizza-opens-in-commack/

Nassau County officials will launch a new app today aimed at connected job seekers with local employers.  County Executive Ed Mangano is set to announce the app, called NassauWorks and created by California-based TweetMyJobs, at a press conference this morning.  The app will be offered for free to county businesses to post job openings. Job seekers can then use the app to search postings and connect with prospective employers.  Several companies and public entities have already signed up to post their job openings via the new app, including AriZona Iced Tea, Clever Devices, Healthplex, King Kullen, Nassau Council Chambers of Commerce, Astoria Federal Savings, UJA's Connect to Care, Vietnam Veterans of America Nassau Chapter 82, Hofstra University, Molloy College, Nassau Community College and Adelphi University.  (LI Business News - February 26, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/26/county-unveiling-new-nassauworks-jobs-app/

North Hills Village officials and the Great Neck school district (both Nassau) are opposing $9.4 million in tax breaks for a proposed luxury condominium project its developers now want to convert to rent-to-own residences.  Midtown North Hills, a division of Uniondale (Nassau)-based RXR Realty, recently applied for benefits from the Nassau County IDA to help defray costs in building the Ritz-Carlton-branded 244-condo project, which offers housekeeping, concierge, porter and valet services. The units run from $1.5 million to $6 million.  The developer contends the tax breaks are "critical" to the project's success given the current lack of financing available for building condos and the general "downturn of the real estate market."  RXR CEO Scott Rechler said the project would continue to languish if his firm can't secure the requested 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and changeover to rentals. The goal, Rechler said, was to eventually sell the condos to renters. If successful, he said tax revenue over the 15 years would total about $53 million, versus only $6 million if the project does not move forward.  (LI Business News - February 26, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/26/village-battling-rxr-ritz-carlton-tax-breaks/

(Update) State transportation officials overseeing Republic Airport in Farmingdale (Suffolk) will hold a hearing on February 26 on the proposed construction of seven 36,000-square-foot hangars capable of housing 64 corporate jets, among other projects that would greatly expand the footprint of the airport's main tenant, an aircraft-servicing company.   The hearing comes after the January release of a draft environmental impact report by the state Department of Transportation that found the development by servicing company Sheltair, along with planned runway improvements, would have little adverse impact on communities surrounding the 530-acre airport.  But the report drew sharp complaints from one longtime critic of airport expansion, Helen Norjen, a Woodland civic leader. Norjen criticized it for inadequate attention to aircraft emissions, noise and safety concerns in an interview and in testimony before the Babylon Town board last week.  (Newsday - February 26, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/republic-airport-expansion-plan-gets-hearing-tuesday-1.4710981

(Update) A contract between the Defense Logistics Agency and Applied DNA Sciences was activated today with the first delivery of services to the government agency.  The DLA has mandated that all microcircuits provided to it from outside suppliers use Applied DNA's SigNature DNA technology.  Applied DNA, a provider of DNA-based anti-counterfeiting technology and product authentication solutions, will forensically authenticate the DNA-marked components received by the DLA through its year-long contract, with a maximum value of $150,000.  The execution of the contract is expected to be a boost for the Stony Brook (Suffolk)-based tech company, which saw revenue generated for the fourth quarter of 2012 drop roughly $200,000 from the fourth quarter of 2011.  (LI Business News - February 15, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/15/dla-activates-contract-with-applied-dna/

As national union membership averages continue their decades-long decline, New York unions, including Island-based collective bargaining units, remain robust. The Long Island Federation of Labor, an affiliation of 32 local unions, claims over 250,000 members - it's largest-ever roster - and while some individual Island unions have recorded dips, most are holding steady.  (LI Business News - February 15, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/15/unions-thrive-on-long-island

The Community Development Banking division of Bank of America Merrill Lynch is providing $24.5 million in debt and equity for Concern Amityville, which is creating 60 apartments for formerly homeless veterans on a former U.S. Army Reserve site.  The development by Concern for Independent Living will provide residents with support services and counseling on health care, entitlements and benefits, mental health and employment.  The money for the Amityville project is part of $2.6 billion provided by the bank in 2012 to help create nearly 11,000 affordable places to live.  (LI Business News - February 14, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/14/boa-gives-amityville-veterans-housing-24-5m/

 (Update) Three months after superstorm Sandy forced them to evacuate, most of Long Beach Medical Center's nursing home residents have returned.  And a top official is hopeful the hospital will reopen by the end of next month.  (Newsday - February 6, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/news/health/long-beach-nursing-home-reopens-hospital-to-take-longer-1.4576401

Miami Lakes, FL based BankUnited announced it is rolling out branches in New York City and Long Island, converting Herald National Bank branches in Melville (Suffolk) and Manhattan to BankUnited over the next few weeks.  The new banks will be part of a "concentrated effort to recapture significant market share (of the commercial real estate market) in New York" and to be "a powerful, competitive force in the market."  (LI Business News - February 13, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/13/kanas-makes-ny-bankunited-hires-as-noncompete-ends/

Peconic Landing, a 144-acre continuum of care community in Greenport (Suffolk), will embark on a $45 million expansion that will add 62 new apartments for staff and residents.  Construction on the project isn't slated to start until December.  The expansion will add 46 residential apartments ranging in size from 750 to 1,100 square feet, along with expanded fitness facilities, new administrative support spaces and enhancements to the community's educational amenities, including a technologically enhanced "smart" classroom.  In addition, the project will also create 16 new private skilled nursing accommodations, each including a common area with country kitchen, dining area, great room and activity area.  A 16-suite memory support assisted living wing for those with cognitive impairment will also be added.  Construction of the memory care and skilled nursing additions are expected to take a year to complete, and the residential living addition, including underground resident parking, should take from 14 to 16 months.  The expansion will create about 40 to 45 new jobs, which will make the nonprofit Peconic Landing one of the largest employers on the North Fork with nearly 250 employees.  (LI Business News - February 13, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/13/peconic-landing-to-undergo-45-million-expansion/

 (Update) LaunchPad Long Island, the new co-working space in Mineola (Nassau), officially opened its doors February 12.  The building, a project of local investors Andrew Hazen and Rich Foster, allows start-up companies to rent share office space for cheap and work in a social environment to promote creativity.  About 10 start-up groups have been accepted to the co-working space at LaunchPad to start using the space, and there are about 50 more applications in the pipeline.  Hazen said the project has received widespread interest from the community, as well as investors and start-ups from outside New York. Hazen and Foster are already planning a similar co-working space in Suffolk County.  (Newsday - February 13, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/doors-are-open-at-launchpad-long-island-1.4629411

Henry Schein Inc., a Melville (Suffolk)-based distributor of medical products, reported record fourth-quarter profits February 13 as its sales of supplies to dentists, doctors and veterinarians continue to grow around the globe.  The company's net income rose more than 7 percent, to $ 112,467 million or $1.26 per share, during the last three months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. Sales rose nearly 3 percent, to $2.4 billion.  (Newsday - February 13, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/henry-schein-reports-record-fourth-quarter-profits-1.4637742

Leviton Manufacturing Co. will host a job fair at its headquarters in Melville (Suffolk) on Feb. 20.  The company, which makes electronic products, including equipment for charging electric vehicles, is hiring for a variety of positions. Among them are engineering, product management, e-business and technical customer service.  Leviton is looking for experienced professionals but also offers internships for college students.  Click http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/SectionDisplay.jsp?section=37578&minisite=10251  for more details on the job far and to register and search for job openings.  (Newsday - February 13, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/leviton-to-host-job-fair-to-fill-positions-1.4629920

Uniondale (Nassau)-based RXR Realty and an affiliate of Walton Street Capital have entered into a contract to purchase 237 Park Ave. from an entity controlled by Lehman Brothers Holdings, according to a company statement.  The price wasn't disclosed. (LI Business News - February 12, 2013)              http://libn.com/2013/02/12/rxr-realty-walton-street-buy-237-park-ave/

Eleven years after it opened, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Commack (Suffolk) outpatient facility is running out of room.  Officials of the Manhattan-based hospital are planning a 37,275-square-foot expansion -- increasing the Commack facility by 71 percent -- to meet what they say is a growing need for cancer treatment services on Long Island.  The expansion would house more rooms for surgical consultations, chemotherapy infusion bays -- or chairs where patients receive treatment -- and a second MRI and second CT scan device.  It would also allow the center to expand physical therapy and radiology services. The addition would create about 40 jobs when it opens, expected to be in the summer of 2016.  (Newsday - February 12, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/commack-cancer-center-expansion-proposed-1.4624116

(Update) The Islip Town (Suffolk) board is set to vote February 12 on the extension of a 10-year tax break for the $4 billion, long-stalled Heartland development in Brentwood.  Under the agreement, developer Gerald Wolkoff would pay $1.65 million in taxes annually through 2017, with the annual bill increasing to $1.66 million for the final five years, until 2022.  Wolkoff said Monday that he was "tied up" and couldn't talk.  Brentwood Union Free School District officials could not be reached for comment Monday; the school system was closed due to the blizzard.  Wolkoff purchased the 450-acre property from the state for $20 million in 2002 with plans to build 9,000 apartments and an entertainment district.  (Newsday - February 12, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/islip-town-board-vote-tonight-on-heartland-tax-break-1.4628478

The Babylon Town (Suffolk) Chamber of Commerce will help host the grand opening of a new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in East Farmingdale on February 18.  The restaurant, the chain's sixth on Long Island, was built on the one-acre site that used to house a Chase Bank at 1080 Broadhollow Road, next to the Crazy Donkey nightclub.  Buffalo Wild Wings is also opening a location in Westbury (Nassau) this month on the site of the former Glo nightclub on Merrick Avenue.  Other restaurants in the chain are located in Bay Shore, Centereach, North Babylon (all Suffolk) and Hicksville (Nassau).  (LI Business News - February 11, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/11/buffalo-wild-wings-opens-in-east-farmingdale/

In an effort to boost services in Suffolk County, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has opened a $3.5 million, 17,000-square-foot Contemporary Women's Care facility in Islandia (Suffolk).  Drs. Brian McKenna, Gloria Escamilla, Joyce Rubin and Vanessa Soviero lead the facility, which also includes three nurse practitioners.  The practice, which had been on the campus of St. Catherine of Siena in Smithtown (Suffolk), cares for 30,000 women and delivers more than 400 babies a year. Women seen by those doctors typically have babies delivered at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore (Suffolk).  The new office, which includes two procedure rooms, ultrasound suites and lab testing, is part of the North Shore-LIJ Medical Group.  (LI Business News - February 11, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/11/north-shore-lij-opens-islandia-ob-gyn-facility/

Smithtown belongs to the Long Island Green Homes Consortium, formed in 2010 with six other Long Island towns -- Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, Southampton (all Suffolk) and North Hempstead (Nassau)  -- and other organizations.  The nonprofit Community Development Corp. of Long Island received a $5 million federal-state grant in 2010 to act as a regional coordinator among the towns.  Smithtown received $100,000 per year from the grant, which lasts through this fall, to market and administer the program. There have been 2,943 audits completed across Long Island between the inception of the program in 2009 and early this year, CDC officials said, and 1,543 of those homeowners have had retrofit work completed.  About 260 Smithtown residents have received energy audits -- free for homeowners with an annual income below $215,000, Murray said. At least 45 Smithtown residents have paid for improvements through a low-interest state loan, or loans that can be paid via the homeowner's electric bill, she said.  (Newsday - February 11, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/program-saves-fuel-cash-for-homeowners-1.4615101

Long Island's county executives have floated a plan to create a joint video gambling facility that would spin off an estimated $175 million in revenue to be shared by local schools and the state and local governments.  The counties peg their potential split at as much as $12 million a year each, welcome new money in an era of flagging sales tax revenue and depressed property values.  (LI Business News - February 8, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/08/nassau-suffolk-pitch-video-lottery-terminals/

(Update) Community opposition may have soured a plan to build an over-55 housing development on the grounds of the historic Oak Tree Dairy in East Northport (Suffolk).  The dairy, which has operated on a 38-acre site on Elwood Road since the late 1930s, has been a frequent source of grumbling from the residential neighborhoods that have grown up around it, including complaints over smell, noise and truck traffic.  But members of a coalition called Preserve Elwood Now are opposing the housing development, fearing it will increase traffic and noise, affect school spending votes and forever change the area's "visual character and quality of life."  The opposition is a blow for the developer of the proposed 444-unit, $200 million residential community, Garden City-based Engel Burman, which has offered the local school district a $1 million arrival bonus, plus the promise of almost $3 million a year in taxes, as compared to the $113,000 Oak Tree currently pays.  Community opposition is also an unexpected setback for the dairy, which has struggled in recent years and no longer runs at full capacity.  (LI Business News - February 8, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/08/neighbors-oppose-oak-tree-dairy-redevelopment/

Touro Law Center's newly opened Disaster Relief Clinic, which offers free legal aid to superstorm Sandy victims from law students and volunteer lawyers, has received an $80,000 grant from the Robin Hood Relief Fund.  The grant will allow the clinic to continue through the year.  (Newsday - February 8, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/touro-law-clinic-for-sandy-victims-gets-80g-grant-1.4589055

Two companies that provide equipment and services to the Long Island Rail Road and other train systems are planning expansions in Suffolk County.  KLD Labs Inc., which makes measuring equipment, wants to more than double the size of its office and factory by purchasing a building in Hauppauge.  CooCoo SMS Inc. also needs more space in Huntington as its applications for accessing train schedules and purchasing tickets via mobile devices catch on with commuters.  The projects were endorsed Thursday by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency with tax breaks.  (Newsday - February 7, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/suffolk-ida-backs-2-rail-related-companies-1.4583953

Even as construction of a new apartment building snarls traffic at the intersection of Peconic Avenue and East Main Street in downtown Riverhead (Suffolk), a site plan for a second big residential project across the street has been filed with the town.  Summerwind, the 52-apartment building under construction and slated to open later this year, includes restaurant and commercial space and workforce housing. The 48 condo units in the proposed Blue River Estates will be set at market prices.  But the two projects have at least two things in common: They will bring hundreds of people onto Main Street, and they already are changing the image of the town.  (Newsday - February 7, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/complex-may-be-first-for-downtown-riverhead-1.4584323

Buffalo Wild Wings will open its 5th restaurant on Long Island, in Westbury (Nassau) at 737 Merrick Ave., a space that formerly housed the Glo nightclub.  It's slated to open later this month.  (LI Business News - February 7, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/07/buffalo-wild-wings-opening-in-westbury/

Home Depot Inc. said that it will hire more than 80,000 seasonal workers for this year's spring selling season - up from about 70,000 a year ago. It cited expectations of sales growth.  That includes 900 temporary workers at Long Island's 23 stores. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, The Home Depot also hired more than 2,000 workers in New York and New Jersey.  The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer said that spring is its busiest hiring and selling season, similar to the winter holiday season at other retailers.  Home Depot said the jobs include both part-time and full-time positions and are available on a market-by-market basis based on individual store needs and geographical variance in climate.  Anyone interested can apply at http://careers.thehomedepot.com/.  (LI Business News - February 7, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/07/home-depot-to-hire-900-li-seasonal-workers/

(Update) New York state has been awarded a $185.8 million federal grant to implement a state health benefit exchange designed to make it easier for New Yorkers to obtain affordable health insurance coverage.  New York was one of only five states to obtain a Level Two Exchange Establishment grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  New York plans to use the money to create an online marketplace where individuals and small businesses can obtain comprehensive health insurance.  New York plans to begin open enrollment in its Health Benefit Exchange on Oct. 1, 2013 with coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2014. The state plans to allow open enrollment for six months.  Cuomo expects more than 1 million New Yorkers to obtain insurance through the exchange, including 615,000 individuals and 450,000 small business employees.  (LI Business News - February 6, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/06/ny-advancing-with-health-benefits-exchange/

(Update) Paving work just finished between exits 68 and 73 on the Long Island Expressway was the last project to be completed in the NY Works program, part of 2,157 miles of road repaired throughout the state.  The NY Works program replaced pavement at 172 sections of roadways at a cost of about $229.9 million, according to a statement.  Designed to put residents back to work while rebuilding the state's infrastructure, the program also provided $33.6 million for upgrades at state parks.  The paving portion of NY Works focused on improving roads that were in fair condition as preventive maintenance, guarding against the need for more costly, in-depth construction.  Two other projects on Long Island were part of the NY Works program, including repairs to Route 25A between Bread & Cheese Hollow Road and the Sunken Meadow State Parkway in Suffolk, and the Meadowbrook Parkway between Merrick Road and the Southern State Parkway in Nassau.  (LI Business News - February 6, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/06/ny-completes-long-island-expressway-repaving/

The Bohlsen Restaurant Group is branching out into the event industry this summer, adding an upscale caterer to its portfolio of high-end restaurants.  The caterer, called the Harbor Club at Prime, sits on Huntington Harbor (Suffolk) next door to Prime, one of six restaurants belonging to the family-owned Bohlsen Restaurant Group in Islip (Suffolk).  In June, the Harbor Club at Prime will be the third business the Bohlsens have opened in 31/2 years.  (Newsday - February 6, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/bohlsen-group-to-launch-catering-operation-in-huntington-1.4568285

More than a decade after going dark, the Westbury Theatre (Nassau) is staging a comeback, courtesy of a multimillion-dollar makeover. And if it's successful, the hope among political and business leaders is that downtown Westbury will follow suit.  (Newsday - February 6, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/revamped-theater-key-to-westbury-revival-1.4569293

Adchem, a manufacturer of adhesive tape products in Riverhead (Suffolk), will hold a recruitment event to fill eight positions on February 5.  The event, run through the Suffolk County Department of Labor, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Riverhead County Center.  This is the first time that the Suffolk Labor department has run a recruitment fair on the East End, which should make the event more accessible to job seekers on the North and South Fork, said Kirk Cronk, director of the business services unit for the Suffolk Labor department. The department's events are usually in Hauppauge (Suffolk).  The open jobs include two skilled positions as a web developer and a supervisor, and about half a dozen operation machinist posts.  Those interested should come prepared with a resume and to interview with Adchem executives.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/riverhead-manufacturer-seeks-to-fill-8-positions-1.4559335

The former Tower Diner across from Long Island MacArthur Airport in Bohemia (Suffolk) will be the site of the newest Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza restaurant.  The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based chain, which already has four locations on the Island, leased the 5,400-square-foot diner space on Veterans Highway and plans to open sometime this summer. (LI Business News - February 5, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/05/anthonys-coal-fired-pizza-leases-tower-diner/

New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have asked the White House to increase physics research funding by $50 million next year, hoping to keep Brookhaven (Suffolk) National Laboratory's ion collider from closing.  Their efforts come after a scientific advisory committee last week ranked the atom smasher last among three projects vying for funding ahead of potential federal budget cuts. If Washington doesn't boost nuclear research funding, the Upton facility, which supports about 800 jobs, could be shuttered. (Newsday - February 5, 2013)  http://newyork.newsday.com/business/schumer-gillibrand-urge-continued-funding-for-bnl-collider-1.4562306

Previously Reported

Newtek Business Services Inc. said it plans to double its facility space in West Hempstead (Nassau) by leasing an additional 11,000 square feet at 60 Hempstead Ave.  The 13-year-old Manhattan-based company, which specializes in lending and services for small and medium-size businesses, says it plans to move into the new space in the next 60 days.  It also plans to add 30 jobs over the next two years to the 65 to 70 now at the West Hempstead location, in preparation for what it believes will be an increase in demand for its business loans.  New hires are to include loans assemblers, underwriters, loan servicing managers and asset managers.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/newtek-doubling-office-space-in-w-hempstead-1.4562453

Nassau County lawmakers agreed Monday to increase payments to a Huntington (Suffolk) firm to a total of nearly $70 million for removing damaged trees and cleaning up other debris left by superstorm Sandy.  The legislature's Rules Committee unanimously approved the county's emergency hiring of Looks Great Services for an additional $32.5 million to cover the costs of tree removal and $16.287 million for cleanup of debris at Nickerson Beach.  The county is hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse as much as 90 percent of the costs.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/nassau-to-spend-millions-more-on-sandy-debris-removal-1.4563111

Brookhaven (Suffolk) Supervisor Edward P. Romaine will introduce legislation at the town's February 5 board meeting that would give a minimum of three-year tax exemptions for constructing or revamping green buildings.  The resolution, co-sponsored by the entire town board, follows a state law authorizing local governments or school districts to provide property-tax exemptions for buildings meeting LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Design, certification standards.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/brookhaven-bill-would-grant-tax-exemption-for-green-buildings-1.4562603

The Town of Smithtown is facing nearly $1 million worth of repairs and improvements to fix problems caused by superstorm Sandy.  At a town board work session February 4, several department chiefs requested approval for capital spending to repair buildings and parks damaged by Sandy. They requested millions more for upgrades unrelated to the storm.  Approval of capital expenses, which are funded by bonds, requires the votes of four of five town board members. The board may vote on the requests within a month.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/spending-approval-sought-for-post-sandy-repair-1.4563025 

Champion Office Suites has taken space at 1325 Franklin Ave. in Garden City (Nassau), adjacent to the building housing its headquarters.  The new space, 5,600 square feet that formerly belonged to a law firm, will give the virtual office and professional business services firm more office space to rent to clients on a month-to-month basis.  It has 13 offices and four work stations, making it slightly larger than the company's current space, which is completely rented out. New tenants will be able to rent space in the building and share two conference rooms.  Companies and individuals that take space with Champion Office Suites also get mail forwarding, phone and voicemail, virtual assistant services and video conferencing.  (LI Business News - February 4, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/04/champion-office-suites-expands-in-garden-city/

Islandia (Suffolk)-based Stalco Construction and Ehasz Giacalone Architects in Farmingdale (Nassau) have started work on a $700,000 renovation of the Peter W. Addiego Health Sciences Library at the Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow (Nassau).  The two-story, 12,000-square-foot library will feature an improved layout, energy-efficient building systems and new interior finishes.  Stalco, the project's general contractor, began work with demolition of pre-existing interiors and will construct new interiors, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sprinkler infrastructure, computer and telecommunications cabling, and a security system.  (LI Business News - February 4, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/04/work-begins-on-numc-library-renovation/

The 20-acre dream park slated for Central Islip (Suffolk) that's been billed as a mini-Prospect Park is getting closer to breaking ground.  On January 29, the Islip Town Board approved a resolution to award a $73,960 contract to L.K. McLean Associates of Brookhaven (Suffolk) for engineering of the site plan and soil testing at the property, located on one of the sites of the former Central Islip Psychiatric Center.  Soil testing would be needed at the town-owned lot -- bordered by Clayton Street and Lowell Avenue -- because there could be some environmental issues associated with the property's past use.  There could be asbestos in the soil, residue from demolished buildings dating to the 1800s that never were fully removed.  The park, which will be constructed in three phases and will include a band shell and picnic pavilion, will be paid for by grants and a $1.2 million fund set aside for recreation at the site of the former psychiatric facility.  (Newsday - February 4, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/soil-testing-contract-awarded-for-central-islip-park-site-1.4558684

(Update) Conceived as a home for independent startups and baby firms in which the investors will have a stake, the LaunchPad Long Island incubator spans three floors and all 12,000 square feet of a Mineola (Nassau) building that most recently housed a law firm and deli.  Developers have invested $100,000 in the space, adding such technology gotta-haves as chalkboard walls and glass desks.  In addition to conference and meeting rooms, there's also a lounge with plasma-screen TV, plus pingpong, foosball and pool tables.  The building's owner, Hicksville (Nassau)-based L&L Painting Co., plans to raze the building to make way for a three-tower multi-use development that would sport office and retail space, plus a hotel and restaurant in one to four years.  In the interim, L&L is proud to lease to LaunchPad.  (LI Business News - February 1, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/01/landlord-may-stymie-launchpad-long-island/

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency approved tax breaks on January 31 for Westbury (Nassau)-based PL Developments, an expanding pharmaceutical maker with 569 employees. The IDA deal requires the company to create an additional 150 jobs.  PL Developments, which had been courted by other states to relocate its operations off Long Island, will spend $8.1 million to acquire and equip a 102,000-square-foot building on Cantiague Rock Road and renovate its existing 171,166-square-foot facility on Hicks Street.  The company, which specializes in manufacturing and packaging generic and over-the-counter private label pharmaceutical products, will also lease additional parking facilities and remain in two other buildings - one on Union Avenue and another on Hicks Street.  The IDA benefits would exempt PL Developments from mortgage recording tax and sales tax for its acquisitions and renovations.  It would also hold the line on property taxes for 11 years, adding 2 percent annual increases for the nine years after that.  (LI Business News - February 1, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/01/nassau-ida-oks-pl-developments-incentives/

Business Contractions and Closings


New Items

Stony Brook University may take it on the chin if the sequester, scheduled for March 1, comes to pass.  With $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts about to kick in, U.S. Rep Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, is warning of significant job losses and a dramatic decline in federal research funding at Stony Brook.  The university, the second-largest employer on Long Island, is slated to lose over $7 million in federal funding that pays for research projects being performed for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and other federal agencies.  About 60 "high-quality research and development jobs" could also disappear from the university over the next seven months.  The Stony Brook cuts are a typical example of how sequestration will hurt job growth and stunt the nation's continuing economic recovery - not only from the Great Recession, according to Bishop, but from disasters like Hurricane Sandy.  (LI Business News - February 28, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/28/stony-brook-university-wary-of-sequestration-cuts/

Members of the supermarkets workers union will vote on March 1 on striking Stop & Shop stores on Long Island and throughout the New York metropolitan area, after contentious contract talks have stalled.  If they vote to strike, more than 1,100 meat, seafood and deli workers at Stop & Shop stores who belong to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342 would participate in "job actions" against the chain, according to a union statement.  The Stop & Shop employees have been working under a contract that expired in October 2011 and the supermarket union contends that the company, owned by Dutch retail conglomerate Ahold, has proposed wage freezes for the time that the contract has been expired, significant reductions in pension benefits, large scale cuts to the hours of part-time workers and changes to health care coverage that would shift more of the cost burden onto its members. (LI Business News - February 28, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/28/union-authorizes-vote-to-strike-stop-shop/

Banking giant JPMorgan is trimming about 4,000 jobs, becoming the latest big bank to shrink its work force.  The bank says the cuts will be focused in consumer banking and mortgages. A bank spokeswoman stressed that many of the cuts would come through attrition, but the bank will lay off workers as well.  The cuts amount to about 1.5 percent of JPMorgan's work force and are part of the bank's bigger cost-cutting campaign.  They come after a year when the bank increased both profit and revenue, and the move could signal a new direction in jobs: JPMorgan already shed about 1,200 jobs in 2012, after adding jobs in 2011 and 2010.  (LI Business News - February 26, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/26/jpmorgan-to-trim-4000-jobs-many-in-consumer-bank

Al Horowitz, owner of Smokin Al's Famous BBQ Joint, has closed his decade-old Bay Shore (Suffolk) restaurant, leaving locals with a hankering for his slow-smoked ribs, brisket and chicken the option of driving 12 miles to the newer Massapequa Park (Nassau) restaurant.  Smokin' Al's has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,which allows a company to reorganize, since June 1, 2012.  Horowitz says he was informed by the Suffolk County sewer department that he would have to redo the 60-seat eatery's entire sewage system.  This, he said, was an undertaking that didn't pay for a space so small.  Instead, Horowitz chose to close and begin a search for larger quarters somewhere in Suffolk County.  Horowitz added that he expects to make deliveries from Massapequa Park to the Fire Island ferries as usual this summer.  (Newsday - February 26, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/feed-me-1.812004/bay-shore-s-smokin-al-s-closes-amid-sewer-bankruptcy-woes-1.4707693

Threatened cuts in federal school aid could hit a wide array of student services in dozens of Long Island's hardest-pressed districts during the 2013-14 academic year.  More immediately, if the planned across-the-board cuts occur, local school officials will be drafting budgets this month and next -- ahead of May votes by district voters -- without a clear idea of how much financial help they can expect from Washington.  Most Long Island districts have never relied much on federal assistance. Overall, such aid will total between $160 million and $170 million this year -- or 1.6 percent of total school revenues in Nassau and Suffolk counties, according to analysts at Eastern Suffolk BOCES.  However, districts with substantial pockets of poverty qualify for significant aid. Amityville's school district, for example, is one of the Island's larger recipients of federal money -- this year, more than $5 million.  Most federal aid comes in two forms: from the No Child Left Behind law that pays for remedial tutoring in reading and math, and from the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act that pays for special education.  (Newsday - February 26, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/education/planned-federal-cuts-could-hurt-li-school-college-budgets-1.4710980

(Update) Half Hollow Hills School District officials have decided they won't close any school next year, after they announced about a month ago that the closings was a possibility to save money.  (Newsday - February 14, 2013)  http://pages.cdn.pagesuite.com/4/f/4f421011-3049-4bd4-9150-80fe2291684c/page.pdf

Middle Bay Country Club in Oceanside (Nassau), which had $3.5 million in damage from superstorm Sandy, is closing and headed for bankruptcy, general manager Ed Closs said February 11.  The private South Shore country club, which has hosted golf and tennis tournaments, weddings and high school reunions for decades, plans to file for bankruptcy this week, he said.  (Newsday - February 14, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/middle-bay-country-club-in-oceanside-a-victim-of-sandy-1.4447471

News and financial information company Thomson Reuters on February 13 said it is cutting 2,500 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, this year as it tries to reduce costs and turn around its largest division.  The company is eliminating the positions from its "Financial and Risk" division, which rents out trading terminals to the financial industry. It accounts for just over half of Thomson Reuters' revenue. (LI Business News - February 13, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/13/thomson-reuters-to-cut-2500-jobs/

Previously Reported

Barclays PLC has announced plans to cut at least 3,700 jobs in a major restructuring that follows a scandal-hit year for the U.K. bank.  The bank said February 12 it will cut at least 1,800 positions in the Corporate and Investment Bank unit and 1,900 retail and business banking jobs outside the U.K.  The cuts come after the British institution was forced to pay a $453 million fine for manipulating a key market interest rate that serves as the basis for trillions in mortgage loans. A slew of executives, including chief executive, Bob Diamond, were forced to resign. It also faced criticism for mis-selling of insurance and interest rate products to consumers and small businesses.  The bank's new CEO, Antony Jenkins, has warned his staff that making money won't be the only thing on which they'll be judged. Ethics count - and matter more in the long run than what happens in the fourth quarter.  (LI Business News - February 12, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/12/barclays-to-cut-at-least-3700-jobs/

Fitch Ratings has given Nassau County a negative outlook for its long-term debt.  The bond rating agency released the results of its audit on February 11.  Fitch backed its rating by noting the county had "minimal financial flexibility evidenced by its high dependence on economically sensitive sales tax revenue, consistent use of non-recurring measures to close budget gaps, depletion of reserves and long-term labor contracts."  In addition, Fitch lambasted the county's reliance on short-term borrowing and a broken tax assessment system.  Even with the negative outlook, Fitch did reaffirm Nassau's A+ rating for $1.4 billion in outstanding general obligation bonds and $163.3 million in general improvement bonds.  The rating agency did warn that future downgrades would be likely if Nassau doesn't find a way to reduce labor costs and the deficit.  (LI Business News - February 12, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/12/fitch-gives-nassau-negative-outlook-on-debt/

The East Meadow (Nassau) Pathmark on Front Street will close its doors in May, according to its parent company, A&P.  The store is closing because of an upcoming expiration of the lease, said an A&P spokeswoman.  The company filed a WARN notice -- required for mass layoffs and plant closings -- with the state Department of Labor noting that 118 employees will be affected.  It is unclear how many employees will be laid off as a result of the store closing, said a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500, which represents many of the store's workers. Depending on seniority, union employees can move to jobs at other stores, "bumping" others from those positions. A severance package will be offered to Local 1500 members, he said.  (Newsday - February 12, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/east-meadow-pathmark-to-close-in-may-1.4624535

Debt-strapped Oyster Bay Town has suffered another credit rating downgrade, this time at the hands of Moody's Investors Service, which said on February 11 it was dropping the town two notches from Aa3 to A2.   Standard & Poor's, the agency that Oyster Bay uses to have its debt rated, last April also bumped the town down its rating scale from AA to A.  Town Comptroller Robert McEvoy Monday said Moody's decision is a reflection of the S&P downgrade.   Moody's assigned a "negative outlook" to Oyster Bay, citing the town's "deteriorating financial position due to multiple years of structural imbalance resulting in significant declines in reserve levels." The town will have trouble replenishing its fund balance given the continued use of that balance and current operations, Moody's said.  (Newsday - February 12, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/moody-s-downgrades-oyster-bay-credit-rating-1.4625760

Capital One Financial Corp. is closing a Mattituck (Suffolk) facility, as part of a previously announced plan to consolidate some operations to Melville (Suffolk) and Richmond, Va.  The facility houses a Lockbox and Deposit Escrow operation.  The location will close on June 1, and the 42 employees there will be offered jobs in Melville, according to the company and a state regulatory filing dated February 6.  Employees who agree to accept a job in Melville will be eligible for a transition bonus, the company said.  In 2011, Capital One said it would eliminate all 135 back-office jobs at the Mattituck center.  At the time it decided to maintain the Lockbox and Deposit Escrow functions at that Main Street location until the move to Melville was finalized.  (Newsday - February 7, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/business/inside-long-island-business-1.811933/capital-one-to-close-mattituck-operation-1.4582692

(Update) A key state health committee voted unanimously February 7 against the sale of Suffolk's John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank, but the administration of County Executive Steve Bellone vowed to continue his campaign to sell the 264-bed facility.  A State Health Department spokesman said the advisory committee will vote again on the proposal next month and the full Public Health and Planning Council will make a final decision in April.  Deputy Suffolk County Executive Jon Schneider said the administration was determined to complete the deal.  (Newsday - February 7, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/state-committee-rejects-foley-nursing-home-sale-1.4580874

 (Update) The Long Island Association has created a special committee to review the governor's proposal to privatize the Long Island Power Authority.  The committee, which held its first meeting Wednesday plans to make its recommendation to the LIA's Board of Directors by the end of March.  "The future of LIPA and how Long Island's energy system is owned and operated is one of the most important issues facing Long Island today," said LIA President Kevin Law, a former LIPA CEO.  The LIA formed the committee "to give the business community and all of the ratepayers a voice in how the state should proceed."  (LI Business News - February 7, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/07/lia-forms-committee-to-study-privatizing-lipa/

Barclays Capital says it plans to lay off 275 employees at three offices in New York.  The investment bank disclosed the plans Wednesday to the Department of Labor, which posted the details on its website.  Barclays says the layoffs will take place during a 14-day period beginning May 15.  The company listed economic factors as the reason for the layoffs.  The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act requires employers of companies with 100 workers or more to provide notice 60 days in advance of a plant closing or mass layoffs.  Barclays Capital is the investment banking division of British lender Barclays PLC.  In October, Barclays PLC reported a net loss of 200 million pounds ($322 million) for the third quarter.  (LI Business News - February 7, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/07/barclays-to-lay-off-275-employees-at-nyc-offices/

Catholic Health Services of Long Island has implemented electronic medical records at two of its hospitals and is gearing up to roll them out at a third within the next month.  All of the system's six hospitals are expected to be live by the end of the year.  Late last year, the Rockville Centre (Nassau)-based system debuted its electronic medical records, made by Epic Systems Corp., first at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center, followed by St. Francis Hospital.  CHSLI hopes to go live with the electronic medical records at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center on March 9 and to roll out the system at its three other hospitals - Mercy Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and St. Charles Hospital - later this year.  (LI Business News - February 6, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/06/chsli-rolling-out-electronic-medical-records/

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service said on February 6 it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but will continue to disburse packages six days a week.  The service expects the Saturday mail cutback to begin the week of Aug. 5 and to save about $2 billion annually.  The move accentuates one of the agency's strong points - package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet services.  Under the new plan, mail would be delivered to homes and businesses only from Monday through Friday but still would be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open that day.  (Newsday - February 6, 2013)  http://newyork.newsday.com/news/nation/u-s-postal-service-to-stop-saturday-mail-delivery-1.4570292

(Update) Debt-strapped Oyster Bay Town (Nassau) is poised to launch a new round of buyouts -- the second effort to purge high-salaried employees since its bond rating tumbled three notches last spring.   Eligible employees who accept buyouts would be off the payroll by May 1, town officials said yesterday. They would receive $1,000 per full year of service to the town.  The program is modeled after the one implemented from June until December, during which 92 of Oyster Bay's about 1,200 employees retired with incentives.  (Newsday - February 6, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/oyster-bay-town-mulls-new-buyouts-1.4568735

(Update) Suffolk's pending sale of the John J. Foley Skilled Nursing Facility in Yaphank will go before a state health panel for possible approval on February 7 despite the denial of a key permit by Brookhaven Town.  A 28-page staff review made public late last week by the state Public Health and Health Planning Council called for "contingent approval" of the $23-million sale. The sale "will allow the facility to continue successfully operating," the staff report said.  The report makes no mention of a Brookhaven zoning board ruling last month that bars Foley from operating as a nursing home if sold to private owners.  It also does not discuss a pending lawsuit to block the sale that was brought by several lawmakers and the county union representing nursing home workers.  (Newsday - February 5, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/state-agency-to-consider-foley-nursing-home-sale-1.4567083

When Half Hollow Hills (Suffolk) school officials announced a raft of cost-cutting proposals, public outcry swiftly focused on those that called for closing district schools.   But another option is emerging that officials say would produce significant savings with minimal impact on students: eliminating one class period at each of the two middle schools.  District officials said they used three sets of savings -- the reduction from nine periods to eight, declining enrollment and a planned retirement incentive package -- to produce an estimated total of $3.5 million in savings.  That would entail a reduction of about 20 positions, not including retirements.  The change could force a reduction in course offerings in such subjects as music, art, health and sixth-grade world language.  (Newsday - February 3, 2013)  http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/half-hollow-hills-weighs-options-for-cuts-1.4556808

Morton Haves Real Estate, a Hewlett (Nassau)-based residential real estate brokerage founded in 1947, has been acquired by Coach Realtors.  Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.  The acquisition expands the reach of the family-owned real estate chain into Nassau County's south shore and the Five Towns area.  (LI Business News - February 5, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/05/coach-realtors-acquires-morton-haves-re/

Amid widespread closures of restaurants due to Hurricane Sandy and litigation costs, Nathan's Famous reported fourth quarter net income slipped to $1.06 million from $1.21 million a year ago.  For the three months ended Dec. 31, the Jericho (Nassau)-based firm saw revenue rise 1.5 percent to $15 million, even though Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 closed all of the firm's company-owned restaurants and 78 franchises in the New York metropolitan area.  Two franchises, the firm's flagship Coney Island restaurant and new Coney Island Boardwalk restaurant (both Brooklyn) remain closed.  (LI Business News - February 1, 2013)  http://libn.com/2013/02/01/nathans-earnings-drop-due-to-sandy-litigation/

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