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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region May 2013

Business Expansions and Openings

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ALDI, one of the world's largest food store chains, opened a new store at 481 Park Ave. in Lindenhurst (Suffolk) on May 30.   The German food giant has more than 9,400 stores worldwide and is in the midst of a major expansion in the New York metropolitan area, with plans to add more than 20 in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the next couple of years.  Aldi is currently building a store in Riverhead (Suffolk) that should open in December.  (LI Business News - May 30, 2013)

(Update) Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will add 37,000 square feet to its existing 53,000-square-foot ambulatory cancer care services in Commack (Suffolk).  The nonprofit already obtained the approval from the Town of Smithtown for the expansion, which could open in 2016. The provider already employs about 200 at the Commack site, but expects to add another 50.  (LI Business News - May 30, 2013)

Discount supermarket chain ALDI will hold a hiring event next week in Bay Shore (Suffolk) to fill manager trainee positions throughout the Northeast, the company said.  Representatives of the German discount grocery chain will be on hand to meet with job seekers at its Bay Shore store on June 6, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The event is one of seven being held in the state and in New England on the same day. The company is seeking job applicants to fill 30 manager trainee positions throughout the Northeast region.  Manager trainees earn $25 an hour, the company said.  Store managers can earn more than $75,000 a year, the company said.  Retail and management experience is preferred. Job applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, be able to lift up to 45 pounds and be able to work anytime between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.  (Newsday - May 30, 2013)

The New England franchisee for Hooters is reopening the 4,400-square-foot Hooters on Smith Street in Farmingdale (Suffolk) next month.  The franchisee will also reopen another former Hooters spot in Fresh Meadows (Queens) in July.  The Farmingdale Hooters is now accepting applications to fill some 65 to 70 jobs. The Fresh Meadows restaurant will employ 75 to 80 people.  (LI Business News - May 28, 2013)

Nassau County has backed the $10-million rehabilitation of a former Grumman Corp. factory with tax breaks for Bethpage (Nassau)-based developer Steel Equities, as part of a larger effort to find new uses for the defense complex. The renovations, expected to cost $3 million, include a new roof, facade and heating and cooling systems.  The IDA agreed to freeze property taxes for five years in return for Steel Equities' promise to find tenants that together would employ 340 people. The developer also received a $259,000 sales tax exemption on materials needed to renovate the building.  If the goals are met, Steel Equities would be eligible for more property tax breaks over 15 years.

The IDA last week also supported a proposed 72,500-square-foot office and warehouse in Port Washington for Ivy Enterprises, a subsidiary of beauty-care supplier Kiss Products Inc., also of Port Washington.  Ivy expects to add 30 to its workforce of 80 in the next three years.  (Newsday - May 28, 2013)

The Long Island Home Builders Care Development Corp., the charitable arm of the Long Island Builders Institute, held a ceremonial groundbreaking May 23 at the site of the planned six-home development in Islandia (Suffolk) -- believed to be the nation's first veterans-only affordable housing subdivision.  The homes, which can be customized for those who have disabilities, are to be built on a 3.5 acre parcel on the south side of Motor Parkway, west of Old Nichols Road.  Workers at the site will have to add water and gas lines, and officials hope to begin building the homes in June.  (Newsday - May 23, 2013)

(Update) Rochester-based Conifer Realty and the nonprofit Community Development Corporation of Long Island will develop the old UA movie theater in Coram (Suffolk) into a pedestrian-friendly complex of workforce rentals and mixed-use retail to be called Wincoram Commons.  A mix of state, county and nonprofit funding will pay for the first phase of the project, which received the endorsement of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.  Suffolk County has allocated $1.5 million from a housing capital program.  The Empire State Development granted $1 million, and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island is loaning $500,000.  Construction will begin this fall.  (Newsday - May 23, 2013)

On May 16 Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology broke ground on a new facility at 3235 Hempstead Tpke. in Levittown (Nassau). The facility is expected to open in the spring of 2014. (Newsday - May 21, 2013)

Previously Reported

Great Neck (Nassau)-based Villadom Corp., plans to construct a mixed-use facility on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington (Suffolk) that would include about 350,000 square feet of high-end retail akin to the Americana Manhasset and 100,000 square feet of office space, public plazas and a business center for residents and visitors.  The company has received $18.8 million in total tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.  That's if the deal is passes state scrutiny.  As part of his most recent budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo restored legislation prohibiting IDAs from providing tax breaks to retail projects.  Under the new provisions, the retail component of any project cannot exceed 30 percent of the total costs of the project.  (LI Business News - May 24, 2013)

Westbury (Nassau) - based maker of injection molding and LED lighting Autronic Plastics Inc. (API) received $1.2 million in tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to consolidate and expand its operations in Central Islip (Suffolk) instead of moving to North Carolina, where the company has a factory.  The project will cost the company $9.5 million.   Suffolk's IDA will cut API's property taxes by $1 million over 12 years and extend a sales tax exemption on the purchase of equipment.  In exchange, API will keep all its employees on Long Island, move its lighting operations from North Carolina to Central Islip and agree to create an additional 10 jobs within two years and a total of 40 over the next five years.  (Newsday, May 25, 2013)

In unrelated business, the Suffolk IDA approved tax breaks through the county's new "Boost" program for Farmingdale (Suffolk)-based nutraceutical company Vitamix Laboratories.  Vitamix currently employs 11, but will add 20 as part of the IDA agreement over the next two years.  (LI Business News - May 24, 2013)

(Update) Fresh from a $10 million venture capital injection, software maker WorkMarket is scouring downtown Huntington (Suffolk) for space that would serve as an expanded company headquarters and technology accelerator.  Now located just off Main Street in Huntington, WorkMarket has 15 employees packed into 2,200 square feet, with room for maybe a half-dozen more.  Rather than grow into a bigger building alone, WorkMarket founder Jeff Leventhal wants to buy space to share with other area startups, creating an accelerator program similar to Mineola's LaunchPad and the Thought Box incubator in Hicksville (both Hicksville).  Complicating the move, potentially, are tax breaks WorkMarket received for the property from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. The company was the first to receive benefits under the county's Boost program, an initiative launched last year to steer tax breaks and fee reductions to small, innovation-based companies that don't meet the usual $1 million project cost threshold.  Founded in 2010, WorkMarket's top software product allows employers to manage freelance and contract workers through the cloud.  (LI Business News - May 24, 2013)

Senate Republicans are proposing five Las Vegas-style casinos including up to three in the Catskills with two video slot machine sites on Long Island.  The bill sponsored by Sen. John Bonacic calls for two video slot machine casinos run by off-track betting agencies in Nassau and Suffolk counties.  (LI Business News - May 23, 2013)

The Jericho (Nassau)-based Beechwood Organization will break ground this month on a 79-home subdivision in North Bellmore (Nassau).  Named Country Pointe at North Bellmore, the development between Linwood and Maple Avenues will feature single-family homes with four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, full basements and single family two-car garages.  Pre-construction pricing for the 2,100- to 2,900-square-foot homes start at slightly over $500,000, and sales begin next month. (LI Business News - May 22, 2013)

(Update)  The Oyster Bay (Nassau) town board voted unanimously on May 21 to approve the sale of 54 acres of surplus land in Syosset to a team led by Indianapolis-based mall developer Simon Property Group.  The Simon-led group will pay $32.5 million for the property and allow the town to use it for free for 5 years, with an option to lease all or part of it for three more years at $8 a square foot.  The land, the former town landfill and Department of Public Works site, adjoins the 39 acres of the former Cerro Wire property, where Simon competitor Taubman Centers Inc. has spent 17 years and $150 million in an effort to build an upscale mall. The town had discussed selling the land to Michigan-based Taubman but no deal was ever reached.  The land sale would effectively cut off Taubman's access to Gordon Drive and out to Jericho Turnpike, creating a significant roadblock for the mall, which has been fought by local civic groups, reportedly funded by Simon.  Simon is partnering with Castagna Realty in Manhasset (Nassau) and Garden City (Nassau)-based Albanese Organization on the property acquisition and any eventual development of the land.  Taubman attorney Ron Rosenberg of Rosenberg Calica & Birney in Garden City argued that Taubman would have outbid Simon for the property and that the town orchestrated the sale as a backroom deal.  Meanwhile, town officials are girding for an expected legal challenge to the land sale. (LI Business News - May 22, 2013)

Florida-based Hurricane Grill & Wings will open two new Long Island locations next month - one in Garden City (Nassau) and one in Manorville (Suffolk).  The Garden City restaurant, at 630 Stewart Ave., will seat 220 and is scheduled to open on June 17.  The Manorville eatery, at 496 Country Road, is scheduled to open June 24 and seat 125.  Both restaurants say they are having hard times finding applicants to fill the roughly 150 combined job openings, especially kitchen staff.  A third Hurricane Grill & Wings may open in Melville (Suffolk) in October.  (LI Business News - May 21, 2013)

New York Value Club, a maker and distributor of hair and nail products, has agreed to pay $5 million for the 100,000-square-foot building it currently leases at 100 Adams Blvd. in East Farmingdale (Suffolk).  The company plans to relocate part of its manufacturing operations to Long Island from Chicago, a move that will also add jobs at the firm.  The firm, which has added 10 to its staff of 105 in the last two weeks, has applied for $631,529 tax abatements from the Babylon Industrial Development Agency.  The company is also looking at other buildings in the area to purchase.  (LI Business News - May 20, 2013)

Manhattan-based skin care and cosmetics giant Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. will transfer its technology and "best production capabilities" to Melville (Suffolk) and "produce skin care [products] of super high quality".  Estée Lauder had previously announced it would be closing its facilities in Oakland, N.J., and consolidating jobs and fragrance-filling operations at its Melville location. The goal is to increase efficiency and cut costs.  The company will also move its distribution business from Melville to Pennsylvania.  Estée Lauder has not specified how many jobs there will be in the Melville office.   Since 2009 the company has emphasized introducing new products from research and increasing the amount it spends on advertising.  (Newsday - May 18, 2013)

North American Waste to Energy Group is eyeing a former Grucci Fireworks property in Yaphank (Suffolk) for a 525,000-square-foot plant that would convert trash and other waste into 87 octane gasoline.  The plant would create about 90 high-paying jobs, the company said.  Proponents say it will convert an average of 1,800 tons of municipal waste - all produced right here on Long Island - into 145,000 gallons of gasoline a day, using a process called "gasification."  To fuel the local plant, the company would need a steady supply of municipal solid waste. By coincidence - or not - the Town of Brookhaven plans to seek bids next year to contract out disposal of its municipal solid waste, which can total 1,400 tons per day.  The Energy Group has applied for tax breaks in the form of sales tax, property tax and mortgage recording tax abatements. No vote would be taken until after the state's environmental review, but Brookhaven IDA chairman Fred Braun said the board would likely approve the application.  (LI Business News - May 17, 2013)

 The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has opened its eighth imaging center at 100 Lafayette Drive in Syosset (Nassau) with hopes to open six more across Long Island in the next year and a half.  The center employs 25 technologists, nurses, support staff and a nurse navigator, who arranges and coordinates follow-up care for patients.  In addition to magnetic resonance imaging; low radiation-dose computed tomography and positron emission tomography, the center offers conventional and 3D mammography systems, digital X-ray and bone densitometry.  The center also offers a full range of breast imaging services including ultrasound, stereotactic and MRI-guided breast biopsies.  (LI Business News - May 17, 2013)

(Update) Bren-Tronics Inc., a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries used by soldiers, has moved into a new factory in Commack (Suffolk) and is contemplating building a second factory within a year.  The Empire State Development Corp. unanimously approved a $500,000 grant to Bren-Tronics for the just-completed plant.  Since 2010, the company has received state tax credits as part of the former Empire Zones program, but that aid will end in six years.  The Commack plant will add 47 jobs to a local payroll of 217.  The new factory will allow Bren-Tronics to produce lithium-ion batteries in Suffolk County instead of importing them from Asia, and to develop large-scale energy storage systems for homes and businesses that lose power temporarily.  About 90 percent of the company's sales come from military contracts. Its batteries and chargers are found in radios, sensors, robots and jammers used to combat roadside bombs in Afghanistan and other war zones.  (Newsday - May 17, 2013)

 Walmart has opened a hiring center at 148 Gardiners Ave. in Levittown (Nassau), as the retail giant prepares for the Long Island debut of one of its smaller format stores this summer.  Walmart plans to recruit about 90 people to work at the first Walmart Neighborhood Market on the Island.  The store in Levittown's Gardiner Plaza will have a pharmacy and sell produce, meats, dairy products, frozen foods and deli items in addition to household and pet supplies.  Development of the store generated about 100 construction jobs.  The company is accepting applications at the center between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Applicants can also apply online.  Most of the new employees will start in June to help prepare the store for its grand opening in July. In the company's promotional materials, it notes that the average full-time hourly wage for Walmart associates in New York is $12.74 an hour.  (Newsday - May 17, 2013)

 Nassau County granted tax breaks to an automobile dealership in Valley Stream earlier this week, using a loophole in the new state law that bars retailers from getting such aid.  Bical Chevrolet sought help from the county's industrial development agency for $1.5 million in renovations to its showrooms and maintenance garage at 709 W. Merrick Rd. The car dealer's property taxes will be frozen for three years, then increased by 2 percent in each of the next nine years in return for creating eight jobs and protecting the current workforce. Bical employees, on average, earn $55,000 per year, records show.  Bical Chevrolet qualified for IDA assistance because 50 percent of its customers come from outside Nassau.  (Newsday - May 17, 2013)

Island Park (Nassau) -based Bayview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is getting $6 million in property tax breaks toward repairs incurred during Hurricane Sandy from the Nassau County IDA.  This is the first time the Nassau IDA has given this property tax breaks to victims of the storm.  Previously, the IDA assisted in the purchase of machinery and supplies to allow companies to reopen.   In return for the aid Bayview promised to return its employment to its pre-Sandy level of 125 employees from the current 90.  (Newsday - May 16, 2013)

Suffolk County received $852,582 and Nassau County $629,949 from the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to help low-income youth find summer jobs.  The funds can be used to subsidize wages and provide training activities for low-income teens ages 14 to 20.  Last year 580 young people from Suffolk and 180 from Nassau participated in the program. A majority of them got jobs.  To be eligible for the program, teens must come from families who receive public assistance or have a household income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $38,180 for a family of three.  Many of the jobs are in public schools and government and include clerical, camp-counselor and maintenance jobs, said Ana-Maria Hurtado, commissioner of the Town of Hempstead Department of Occupational Resources. That office will provide some of the training and will also work with other groups to help place program participants in jobs.  The young people will receive training in leadership development, conflict resolution, computer skills and social media. Those interested in participating should contact their county social services office. Click here for that contact information:  (Newsday - May 16, 2013)

Tropical Smoothie Café plans to open new stores at 285 South Broadway in Hicksville (Nassau) and 4250 Veterans Memorial Highway in Bohemia (Suffolk) within the next six months. The Hicksville will open in July.  The Bohemia store   will open in September or October.  The Bohemia location still needs to receive approval from the Town of Islip. (LI Business News - May 15, 2013)

The Hilton Garden Inn at Stony Brook University (Suffolk) hosted a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting on May 13.  The 135-room hotel, located at the entrance to the Stony Brook campus, across the street from Stony Brook University Hospital, is operated and managed by Crescent Hotels and Resorts.  (Newsday - May 14, 2013)

(Update) Forest City Ratner developer Bruce Ratner wants to rebrand Nassau County in much the same way he's repositioned Brooklyn.  The owner and developer of the Barclays Center discussed his plans to redevelop the Nassau Coliseum on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on May 15.  Ratner leads one of four groups vying to be chosen by Nassau to redevelop the Coliseum.  The Ratner plan, which will cost $230 million, includes scaling down the Coliseum and surrounding it with an entertainment district featuring restaurants, an outdoor amphitheater and clubs.  Ratner partners with LiveNation to bring live events to the Barclays Center and would do so at the Coliseum as well.  The other companies that have submitted proposals to the county for the Coliseum are the Madison Square Garden Co., the Blumenfeld Development Group and New York Sports and Entertainment. (LI Business News - May 15, 2013)

The United Way of Long Island is building a science lab in Deer Park (Suffolk) to be used to train students in energy efficiency with the help of $250,000 in funding through the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.  The funding, approved through the second round of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional Council Initiative, will be used to build a two-story "lab-house" to provide students with energy-related training and certification programs.  Lab houses are built so the structure becomes a building-science laboratory, demonstrating energy loss and other problems used to train students in energy efficiency.  The lab house will be used by participants in YouthBuild, serving low-income, out-of-school, unemployed young adults between age 18 and 24, and VetsBuild, serving returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.  (LI Business News - May 15, 2013)

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency will consider an application for property tax relief from WE'RE Associates Co. for a $30-million plan to revamp the former Canon U.S.A. headquarters in Lake Success (Nassau). The property served as Canon's headquarters for decades; this spring, the company moved to new offices in Melville (Suffolk).  WE'RE plans more parking spaces and improvements to the buildings' heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems as well the lobbies, roofs and bathrooms.  The IDA's board of directors also will consider aid packages for the Bayview Manor nursing home in Island Park and the Bical Chevrolet of Valley Stream. (Newsday - May 15, 2013)

Hauppauge (Suffolk)-based development firm The Northwind Group is moving ahead with projects totaling more than 530 age-restricted residences in six Suffolk County communities.  The latest is a 124-residence, over-55 rental development on 13 vacant acres in Selden. The Town of Brookhaven held a public hearing May 14 on Northwind's request to rezone the property on Middle Country Road as a planned retirement community.  Other senior housing projects already under construction by Northwind include 52 for-sale condominiums in Eastport.  In July, Northwind expects to break ground on 148 townhomes on 23 vacant acres in Bayport, and this fall the developer begins construction on the Preserve at East Moriches, a 70-residence luxury rental community, also restricted to those 55 and over.  (LI Business News - May 13, 2013)

AA Technology, a 52-employee maker of circuit boards for everything from computers to fire trucks, is planning to build a 35,000-square-foot facility in Islip's (Suffolk) Foreign Trade Zone, making room to double its workforce.  The firm, a trade zone tenant since 2004, is negotiating with Islip Town officials on a 40-year ground lease of 3.5 acres, with construction to follow before the firm's current lease expires next August.  The company anticipates adding up to 60 workers at the new facility.  As a Foreign Trade Zone tenant, AA Technology is not subject to property taxes and has a reduced tax burden on certain goods it imports and exports.  (LI Business News - May 10, 2013)

Manhattan-based Hospital for Special Surgery has more than doubled its space on Long Island and added three physicians.  The Upper East Side Manhattan hospital in April renovated and more than doubled its space in the Omni Building in Uniondale (Nassau) from 7,000 square feet to 14,500 square feet, doubled its exam rooms to 18, opened an MRI suite and is planning a third X-ray room.  The hospital, which first opened in Uniondale in 2000 with six physicians, has grown to 18.  (LI Business News - May 8, 2013)

Officials in the Village of Farmingdale (Nassau) agreed unanimously May 6 to change the zone to "downtown mixed use" for the 285 Eastern Pkwy. property owned by Old Field-based developer Cary Staller, despite the fact that the proposed construction of a 27-unit residential building about five blocks from Main Street in Farmingdale strays from the village's original plan to revitalize the immediate downtown area.  Voting 5-0, trustees said zoning-change approval doesn't equate with project approval, as Staller still must undergo site plan and building permit reviews to move his development forward.  (Newsday - May 8, 2013)

A former oil distribution and storage facility on Manhasset Bay (Nassau) will be the site of Avalon Bay Communities next multifamily rental project.  The Virginia-based homebuilder is presenting its plan to develop a six-story luxury apartment building with two levels of parking (one below and one above ground) and four stories of residences on the 4-acre waterfront parcel at 240 East Shore Road. The actual number of apartments is yet to be determined, but could wind up at around 200 units.  (LI Business News - May 7, 2013)

Long Island's first K9 Resorts franchise, an "upscale doggie daycare and hotel", will open in Oceanside (Nassau) by early next year. The franchisee is considering Syosset, Massapequa (both Nassau) and northwest Suffolk County for the next three stores. K9's guests are walked three times a day and can schedule two private playtimes with a human staffer or enjoy the company of other dogs at group play. Five to seven employees are needed to run each pet hotel.  (LI Business News - May 7, 2013)

The largest single property owner in downtown Riverhead (Suffolk) is planning to build 107 apartments over 54,000 square feet of retail on the site vacated by Sears seven years ago.  Lynbrook (Nassau)-based Riverhead Enterprises, the owner of several downtown buildings, submitted the plan to the Riverhead town board to review but has yet to file a site-plan application.  The new proposal will bring the number of new housing units planned for downtown Riverhead to more than 250.  Its master plan calls for 500 new residences, but Walter said the lack of sewer capacity and necessary parking may force the town to trim the number back.  (LI Business News - May 6, 2013)

(Update) Uniondale (Nassau)-based RXR Realty will partner with Renaissance Downtowns in its massive redevelopment of the village of Hempstead (Nassau). The two organizations will team up on the effort to transform several sections of Hempstead's 90-acre downtown into a mix of housing, retail stores, offices, hotels and entertainment venues.  They expect to break ground on the first of many downtown Hempstead redevelopment sites in the fall.  Urban America, the Manhattan-based development firm that helped pitch the Hempstead plan to village officials, will remain involved in the project.  Under the new plan, which has the full support of the current board, a new overlay district provides a zoning code that rewards property owners who cooperate with the master developer, but also gives them the choice to opt out of the redevelopment project. (LI Business News - May 6, 2013)

The Jewelry Emporium and Mall, a space housing about 60 small vendors, is expected to open later this week at the Mall at the Source in Westbury (Nassau). (LI Business News - May 6, 2013)

A Lord & Taylor outlet store will open at The Mall at the Source this summer, a move the mall's leasing agent expects will boost efforts to turn around the long-struggling Westbury (Nassau) property.  (Newsday - May 7, 2013)

Westbury (Nassau)-based Buckle-Down Inc., which creates custom and novelty buckles, coasters, collars, keychains and other items for a long list of companies that includes Disney and Nascar, plans to relocate manufacturing operations from Los Angeles to Farmingdale (Suffolk) in an IDA-backed deal that would include acquiring a $2 million Smith Street property, build-out and an initial 30 new jobs.  The Farmingdale move was still awaiting environmental review at press time.  When approved, the project is in line for a 55 percent property tax abatement that phases out over 12 years, according to the Babylon Industrial Development Agency.  The tax deal is expected to be approved this month.

Also: the Town of Brookhaven (Suffolk) IDA is negotiating with Pallets-R-Us, which manufactures and refurbishes pallets and skids and processes aged or damaged pallets into wood chips that are available in 15 colors for sale to landscapers, on a $2.8 million sawmill at the firm's 20-acre Bellport facility.  The company is seeking $170,000 in sales tax abatements from the IDA in exchange for building the new facility and adding 12 employees to its existing workforce.

Also: In nearby Islip, Commack (Suffolk)-based Kelco Landscaping and Construction is seeking IDA help to purchase a 2.8-acre property at 25 Newton Place in Hauppauge from its current owner, Exit 55 Construction Corp.  The company plans to demolish the existing 11,000-square-foot building on the site to make way for a 32,000-square-foot facility that will house storage, maintenance and office operations for Kelco. The Islip IDA is offering abatements on property tax, mortgage recording tax and sales tax as part of the deal.  The company has handled landscaping and construction projects for Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Museum of Modern Art and Citi Field, among others.  (LI Business News - May 3, 2013)

(Update) Four developers, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, the Madison Square Garden Company, Syosset (Nassau) developer Edward Blumenfeld and Bayville (Nassau)-based New York Sports LLC, submitted proposals on May 2 to redevelop the 40-year-old Nassau Coliseum after the NY Islanders' lease expires in 2015.  Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who issued a request for proposals to redevelop the arena in Uniondale earlier this year, is expected to make a decision by July 15.  The county legislature would have to approve the contract with the winning bidder.  The proposals made public on May 2 include entertainment venues, convention center space, restaurants, sports bars, retail, bowling and an outdoor amphitheater.  (Newsday - May 3, 2013)

A 4,200-square-foot Panera Bread store will be opening on Merrick Road in Bellmore (Nassau) before the end of the year.  The Town of Hempstead just approved Bellmore-based MGD Investment's $2.3 million plan to level three vacant retail properties and a house that sits behind them to make room for a 118-seat Panera store and 44 parking spaces in back.  (LI Business News - May 2, 2013)

New York State is backing the expansion of a local defense contractor with $250,000, allowing it to move work to Long Island from the South.  The grant from the Empire State Development Corp. will help GSE Dynamics Inc. to open another factory in Hauppauge (Suffolk).  The company purchased 110 Oser Ave. for about $3.4 million and is now relocating there production that has been done in Georgia.  Anne D. Shybunko-Moore, company president, had considered moving most of GSE's manufacturing to Georgia or South Carolina, where taxes and energy costs are lower.  But she decided last year to expand in Suffolk County because of the company's skilled workers, training programs in the county to produce more of them, and loyalty to the Island.  She expects to add 10 people to her payroll of 48.

Andrea Lohneiss, regional director for Empire State, said the state money would be used to offset $1.3 million in equipment purchases. GSE needs the machinery to fulfill federal contracts for about $50 million in parts for the Air Force's C5 transport airplanes over five years.  Empire State's board of directors unanimously approved the grant last week. Shybunko-Moore serves on the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, but it did not vote on her aid application.  In July the county's industrial development agency offered GSE $749,000 in tax breaks. (Newsday - May 1, 2013)

Long Beach Medical Center (Nassau) hopes to reopen its emergency department and some of its hospital beds within the next few weeks, officials said.  Many of the repairs to the four-story hospital, badly damaged during superstorm Sandy, have been completed.  The reopening of two of the hospital's five wings, which contain its emergency department, some medical-surgical beds, the lab and radiology department, is pending approval by the state Department of Health and Nassau County's fire marshal.   The reopening will mean some of the 500 hospital workers laid off since the Oct. 29 storm will be able to return to work. Officials are trying to figure out how many will be asked to come back.  (Newsday - May 1, 2013)

Business Contractions and Closings

New Items

N. Massapequa (Nassau)-based provider of medical health management services ProHealth Corp. will close on August 31 for economic reasons and lay off all 17 employees.  (WARN, May 31, 2013)

Holbrook (Suffolk)-based ambulance company American Medical Response will close on July 1 for economic reasons and lay off all 119 employees.  (WARN, May 30, 2013)

After losing its contract with the Suffolk County Pre-K Program school bus company Acme Bus Corporation/Baumann and Sons Buses, Inc. will close on June 30 and lay off 52 employees in Medford and 70 in Westhampton (both Suffolk).  (WARN, May 30, 2013)

Capital One is closing a Brentwood (Suffolk) location used to process cash after deciding to outsource those operations.  The move will result in the loss of 26 jobs.  The bank said the cuts are expected to occur during the fourth quarter of this year with the closing expected by year's end.  Employees at the site will be given a minimum of 90-days notice prior to their last day with the company, which hasn't yet been determined.  Workers can apply for other jobs at the company.  Those who don't continue to work for Capital One will be eligible for severance.  Capital One said associates can access its career development center during at least four hours of paid time each week during their 90-day transition.  (LI Business News - May 22, 2013)

(Update) The Cuomo administration is trying to generate support for its plan to overhaul the Long Island Power Authority by getting business groups to sign on to a letter it is circulating.  The letter underscores the administration's rush to get the state legislature to back LIPA reorganization -- and do so in the next few weeks.  Cuomo has been calling for a LIPA overhaul since superstorm Sandy hit this past fall. He originally called for privatizing the utility, but modified his plans in the wake of opposition. He unveiled a new plan last week that would: shrink LIPA from about 100 current employees to 20 to 30, and allow it to exist only as a financial holding company with no day-to-day grid management; allow the state to privatize operations and planning decisions of the Long Island grid; refinance LIPA's current debt; and freeze customer rates for three years.  The governor wants lawmakers to approve a plan before the legislative session is adjourned, slated for June 20.  Long Island lawmakers have said the plan provides a good framework but have said many questions remain regarding future rates for consumers, LIPA's $7 billion debt and the impact of LIPA property tax assessments on ratepayers and local school districts. Some lawmakers and business groups have expressed a desire for public hearings before any plan is accepted. (Newsday - May 21, 2013)

Two local editors for AOL's hyper-local news website Patch have been let go as part of a broad restructuring plan by the company.  (LI Business News - May 17, 2013)

Previously Reported

Drug maker Astellas Pharma Inc., parent company of OSI Pharmaceuticals is shuttering its remaining facility in the region and laying off all 115 of its local employees at its laboratories at the Broad Hollow Bioscience Park located on the campus of Farmingdale State College (Suffolk).  Most employees were dismissed immediately; a handful will stay to close the labs over the next four months. The workers will receive severances and continue to be paid for 90 days in accordance with state law.  Without OSI as an anchor tenant, Farmingdale State is postponing plans to add a third building to the 102,500-square-foot bioscience park, school officials said.  In exchange for staying and expanding, OSI has received roughly $676,000 in county sales tax breaks and state economic development aid, which officials plan to demand back.  (Newsday - May 14, 2013)

Manhattan real estate developer Donald Zucker has bid $6 million to purchase the bankrupt Long Island National Golf Club in Riverhead (Suffolk), according to court filings made this week.  If accepted by the federal bankruptcy judge in Suffolk County, the filing could set in motion the auction and sale of the course on June 25.  (Newsday - May 10, 2013)

Islandia (Suffolk)-based software giant CA Technologies is laying off 1,200 workers across the globe in an attempt to boost its revenue, the firm announced on May 7.  CA announced the corporate restructuring in its earnings report for its fiscal fourth quarter and 2012 year-end, which showed that revenue dropped 2 percent to $1.15 billion from $1.18 billion in the quarter and to $4.6 billion from $4.8 billion for the year.  The layoffs are expected to be completed by the end of this quarter.  The company plans on backfilling a majority of the positions over the next year with new employees that will allow it to focus on specific products and markets. It also plans on streamlining its sales structure to increase efficiency.  (LI Business News - May 8, 2013)

Bunzl PLC, a London, England-based distribution company, is closing its Hicksville (Nassau) warehouse and laying off 30 employees, according to a state regulatory filing. The warehouse operations of Bunzl New York will be consolidated into two New Jersey operations.  Some of the laid-off workers will be offered jobs in New Jersey, a spokesman said; he didn't say how many. The 22 remaining Long Island employees will work in sales and administration. The layoffs will take place during August. The company distributes to retailers such products as shopping bags, register paper, janitorial supplies and visual display props. (Newsday - May 7, 2013)

The Wingate by Wyndham hotel in Brentwood (Suffolk) has closed, Wyndham Worldwide Corp. confirmed yesterday. The future of the five-story building, owned by Able Management Group Inc. in Plainview, is uncertain. Last month, Newsday reported the hotel had stopped taking wedding party reservations and was planning renovations. Workmen appeared to be installing office partitions in the lobby yesterday. (Newsday - May 4, 2013)

(Update) Only five employees accepted buyouts in the Town of Oyster Bay (Nassau)'s most recent round of early-retirement incentives, though the town had said high demand inspired the latest stage of the program.  The five departures are expected to save Oyster Bay $272,683 in salaries this year and a projected $412,447 next year, according to town data. The employees had salaries ranging from $44,305 to $98,582, the data shows.  The town paid the five a collective $123,000, or $1,000 for each of their 123 full years of service, the data shows.  Town attorney and Deputy Supervisor Leonard Genova said many people approached him with interest in retiring who had not previously been eligible to do so with incentives. He said he had expected "about 20" would sign up.  Genova said he expects more employees will step up during the second window, between now and Jan. 30.  About 230 employees are eligible to retire.  (Newsday - May 3, 2013)

The Northport-East Northport (Suffolk) board of education adopted a 2013-14 budget that does not pierce the state tax levy cap, trims 18 full-time-equivalent positions and adds to current district programs, officials say.  Superintendent Marylou McDermott said the $156,596,051 adopted budget includes more than $100,000 in security upgrades and funding for additional math and English labs at the high school. She said the loss of jobs is necessary because of declining enrollment. Officials say enrollment is expected to drop by 251 students - from 6,084 this year to 5,833.  McDermott said about half of the staffers who would be cut are expected to return next year as leave replacements or to fill part-time positions.  Residents will vote on the budget on May 21. (Newsday - May 2, 2013)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Wednesday he would "aggressively" move to give New Jersey utility PSEG nearly complete control of Long Island's electric grid, currently under the purview of the LI Power Authority (LIPA).  Cuomo intends to have some major pieces in place by the end of next month.  Long Island lawmakers briefed on the governor's plan said they generally support the idea, but one said the "very, very tight timetable" is a concern. They also are pushing for more public involvement and a temporary rate freeze.  Meanwhile, watchdogs questioned whether the state could increase the responsibilities of -- and payments to -- PSEG of Newark, without having to open bidding to other competitors. And a New Jersey regulator voiced concerns about PSEG being stretched too thin to provide service in both states.  (Newsday - May 2, 2013)

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