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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region November 2013

Business Expansions and Openings

New Items

A 6,550-square-foot Joe's Crab Shack restaurant will open at the Tanger Outlet Center in Deer Park (Suffolk) in the spring of 2014.  It will be the fourth Joe's Crab Shack on Long Island.  (LI Business News, November 15, 2013)

Developers RRDHC, a partnership of investors from Manhattan and upstate, have secured a long-term ground lease and announced plans to build a 13-acre shopping center on the site of a golf driving range on Broadhollow Road in East Farmingdale (Suffolk).  The company plans to start construction on the new center by spring.  Sabre Real Estate Group in Garden City (Nassau) is currently seeking tenants for the development, dubbed Route 110 Square.  (LI Business News, November 15, 2013)

The Obama administration wants Congress to extend emergency jobless benefits for long-term unemployed workers into 2014.  Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling says that without an extension more than 2 million long-term unemployed people stand to lose their benefits next year.  He says that with a 7.3 percent unemployment rate and with a labor market that has yet to get back to strength, many Americans can't find work.  He says the administration is willing to find ways to pay for the cost of extending such emergency unemployment insurance.  The benefits were last extended at the beginning of the year as part of a deal designed to avert a so-called fiscal cliff of tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts.  (Newsday - November 15, 2013)

The Community Justice Center incubator, intended to support fledgling law practices, has opened in Hauppauge, a project of the Touro Law Center in East Islip (both Suffolk).  The center will provide 10 Touro Law graduates with offices for 18 months so they can launch their own practices in the collaborative environment of the shared space.  So far, nine desks out of 10 at the incubator -- located at 300 East Rabro Dr. -- have been filled.  During their time at the center, the attorneys pay a reduced rent, and must target their services toward local moderate- to low-income communities. (Newsday - November 14, 2013)

Various officials, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, were present at the November 13 groundbreaking for a $194 million, 245,000-square-foot, eight-story Medical and Research Translation (MART) building, to be built in the next two years next to the hospital and health sciences towers at Stony Brook (Suffolk) University.  MART will bring together in one building scientists, clinical researchers and doctors to focus on treating and finding cures for cancer. Scientists and clinicians will be able to bump into each other for a casual conversation that could lead, one day, to a breakthrough, a spokesman said.  MART will house state-of-the-art imaging, including a PET/CT scanner, and informatics to analyze data. Twelve new classrooms will be added, along with a 300-seat auditorium.  In addition, the university is building a $240 million, 10-story hospital pavilion. A total of 150 beds are slated for the tower, 50 of them for Stony Brook's children's hospital. Construction for that also will start within the next few months and be completed about the same time as MART.  University president Dr. Samuel Stanley said the projects would create 4,200 construction jobs and lead to the hiring of 267 new faculty members.  Financing for the projects comes in part from a $35 million state challenge grant and $50 million from the Jim and Marilyn Simons and the Simons Foundatioin, part of $150 million the couple gave to the university last year.  (Newsday - November 14, 2013)

Amazon says it is teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.  The Seattle company says Sunday delivery will be available to customers in the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas at first. Amazon and the Postal Service plan to roll out service to "a large portion of the U.S. population" next year, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, and Phoenix.  Amazon expects Sunday delivery to be popular with members of its Prime service, which costs $79 a year and comes with free two-day shipping on many items on the site as well as access to Amazon's TV and movie streaming service. But Sunday delivery will be available to all Amazon customers.  (LI Business News, November 11, 2013)

A 49-acre tract of vacant land at the northeast corner of Sunrise Highway and Station Road in Bellport (Suffolk) once targeted for a retail/industrial development has been sold to the partnership of Smithtown-based Matrix Group and the Crest Group in Hauppauge (both Suffolk).  The new owners haven't yet announced their plans for the property, but brokers say another combination of retail and industrial development is likely.  (LI Business News, November 11, 2013)

Target Corp. is the latest retailer to open earlier on Thanksgiving this year (following an announcement earlier this week by Wal-Mart that it intends to do the same thing).  The Minneapolis-based discounter said it will open at 8 p.m. on the holiday, which falls on Nov. 28, an hour earlier than last year.  Target stores will remain open through the night and close at 11 p.m. on the following day, Nov. 29.  (LI Business News, November 11, 2013)

New York State will spend $13 million on flood barriers for the industrial district of Long Beach (Nassau).  The district was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy. It houses essential infrastructure facilities that include a water treatment plant, storage tower and electrical substations.  The additional bulkheads and flood barriers will help protect the city and its infrastructure from the next major storm.  The $13 million project will add 2,300 feet of bulkhead material to a height of 11 feet along the bayside of the district. In addition, the project will provide about 4,400 feet of permanent flood barrier that can be deployed to a minimum height of 11 feet.  (LI Business News, November 11, 2013)

Roslyn Heights (Nassau)-based venture capital fund Topspin Partners has signed on to partner with Accelerate Long Island, committing an undisclosed amount of money to the Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund (LIETF), a $1.25 million "pre-angel stage" investment fund for fledgling tech companies mainly started at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University.  (LI Business News, November 7, 2013)


Previously Reported

Provided it can overcome several important obstacles, Brookhaven (Suffolk) National Lab's hopes to have built a 730,000 square foot park for housing, administration and research on its campus to be called Discovery Park.  The mixed-use plan calls for the construction of housing, 200,000 square feet of administrative office buildings, a child care facility and a regional energy science and technology center used that will be used to study and improve the energy grid.  Another component, the Portal to Discovery, is envisioned as a privately funded facility "that becomes the heart of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education".  About 40,000 students of all ages visit BNL annually.  The Portal would provide a place where students could receive "hands-on" education outside of the secured BNL area.  Another component of Discovery Park would be a space designated exclusively for commercialization of technology developed at the lab.  The park's future is far from certain, however.  The lab must first obtain funding and US Department of Energy approval for the project, as well as find a private partner to build and operate the facility.  (LI Business News, November 8, 2013)

Construction began November 6 on a $15 million drug testing facility on Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Woodbury (Nassau) campus.  The 8,000-square-foot space at the lab's Genome Center will focus on drugs used to treat lung, liver, pancreatic, brain, prostate and breast cancers as well as melanoma and leukemia.  The state is providing $2 million in return for the creation of 30 jobs and retention of the lab's workforce of more than 900 people.  The state funding was awarded in 2011 on the recommendation of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.  At the time, council leaders said the testing facility would potentially be a boon to the region's growing pharmaceutical industry. (Newsday - November 7, 2013)

(Update) Japanese retailer Uniqlo opens the doors November 8 to a single-story, 10,000-square-foot shop in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove (Suffolk).  The company is considering a second LI store, at the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City (Nassau).  Uniqlo features affordable clothing for men, women and children.  (Newsday - November 7, 2013)

Seattle-based coffee company Starbucks says it plans to hire at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses during the next five years.  The company will develop a system dedicated to matching the skills of veterans and military spouses with jobs throughout its organization.  (Newsday - November 7, 2013)

(Update) Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station (Suffolk) will mark its re-opening after renovation and expansion with a ribbon cutting and celebration on Nov. 21.  Mall owner Simon Property Group spent about $40 million and 18 months on the project that added 72,000 square feet and more than two dozen new retailers to its tenant roster.  Among the new stores are Anthropologie, Bebe, Hugo Boss, Carhartt, C. Wonder, Free People, Henri Bendel, Kate Spade New York, Lucky Brand Jeans, Lululemon Athletica, Microsoft, Pottery Barn Kids, PBteen, Soma Intimates, Sophie Reese, Triumph, and Urban Outfitters.  New eateries include Brio Tuscan Grille, Cups Frozen Yogurt and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar.  Two other new tenants, P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Aire Blow Dry & Beauty, are expected to open next month.  Some existing retailers, such as Bloomingdale's, have also undergone interior makeovers.  (LI Business News, November 6, 2013)

(Update) New Yorkers approved a referendum on election day (November 5) that asked them to approve a massive expansion of casino gaming.  Proponents say the Las Vegas-style casinos will create thousands of jobs and raise hundreds of millions in revenue.  The law would limit casinos to four upstate sites for the first seven years of the plan.  After that downstate sites could be proposed.  Each would have a maximum of 1,000 "video lottery terminals".  About two-thirds of the voters in Nassau and Suffolk approved of the new casinos, according to the respective county Boards of Elections.  Critics, however, say the proposition fails to cite problems associated with gambling, including business lost by local merchants and other entertainment venues.  Opponents also say the rising numbers of casinos are cannibalizing each others' customers, and they decry a business making money off gambling addicts and people who can ill-afford to lose wages.  Independent of the casino vote Nassau and Suffolk had already each won the right to open one video-slot facility.  (Newsday - November 6, 2013)

Jessie's Clean Sweep Inc., a Baldwin (Nassau)-based full-service janitorial services company incorporated in 2000, now has 15 people on its payroll and about 30 federal government contracts.   (LI Business News, November 5, 2013)

Agua Enerviva, a manufacturer of energy drinks, recently moved its headquarters to a former Grumman Corp. factory in Bethpage (Nassau).  The company, begun last year by former executives of the maker of Vitamin Water beverages, has a dozen employees.  The former aircraft plant, which totals 372,000 square foot, is being renovated by developer Steel Equities.  In May, the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency agreed to a five-year freeze of property taxes in return for Steel Equities' promise to find tenants for the plant that collectively would employ 340 people. The developer also received a $259,000 sales tax exemption on materials needed to upgrade the building.  If the goals are met, Steel Equities would be eligible for more property tax breaks over 15 years, officials said.  The tax breaks have been passed along in the form of low rents, which attracted Agua Enerviva.  (Newsday - November 5, 2013)

Uniondale (Nassau)-based Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo & Terrana has added 10 attorneys from the former Mineola (Nassau) firm of Agovino & Asselta to its Construction Law Department.  The move boosts the staff count at Forchelli Curto to 61 attorneys and 59 support employees.  (LI Business News, November 4, 2013)

Southampton (Suffolk)-based Hampton Coffee Company has opened a student-run espresso bar on the campus of Stony Brook University (Suffolk).  Called Corner Café, the coffee shop is located inside the 8,000-square-foot West Side Dining Hall and features Hampton Coffee's menu of hot and cold espresso beverages, homemade gelato and bakery items made on campus.  It is run by students and overseen by Stony Brook's Faculty Student Association, Lackmann Culinary Services, and managers from Hampton Coffee.  The Stony Brook shop is the first "licensee location" for the 19-year-old family-owned coffee company, which is partnering with the Compass Group - parent company of Lackmann Culinary - to open more cafes on college campuses on Long island and in New York City.  (LI Business News, November 4, 2013)

The first statewide program in the nation using an innovative school-to-career program to link students with companies in search of specific job skills is set to begin in New York.  More than 6,000 New York students are expected to join the program, which teaches high school students additional workplace skills with the help of mentors and visits to participating companies. That program is designed to run in tandem with two-year college degrees tailored to companies' needs.  The program is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development initiative to grow jobs by capitalizing on existing assets and employers in every region of the state.  For example, high schools and community colleges will continue to teach their classes, but participants will be taught additional skills in the work place.  (LI Business News, November 4, 2013)

Economic incentives from Babylon's Industrial Development Agency have brought a Brooklyn refrigerator maker to Deer Park (Suffolk).  Sub Zero Insulation & Refrigeration Technologies, an independent, family-owned maker of refrigerated transportation equipment, has bought a 20,000-square-foot building at 45 E. Industry Court for $1.52 million. The company, which will bring 24 jobs to the facility, is spending an additional $500,000 to retrofit the new building and should complete its move by the end of the year.  Sub Zero customizes vans, trucks and trailers and turns them into refrigerated transport vehicles, mostly for the food and restaurant industry. The company uses a specialized foam system designed to prevent infiltration of outside air, moisture and heat, allowing vehicles to hold temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero.  The company got a break on property taxes through a 12-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement from the Babylon IDA. The abatement starts at 60 percent and steps down incrementally through the term of the contract.  (LI Business News, November 4, 2013)

Encouraged by the success of its Melville (Suffolk) office, which opened one year ago, Riverhead (Suffolk)-based Suffolk Bancorp, parent company of Suffolk County National Bank, has opened a loan production office at 1055 Franklin Ave. in Garden City (Nassau), which will serve western Nassau County.  The bank in a written statement said it also plans to open a "small branch very soon" in the same building as the loan production office.  (LI Business News, November 4, 2013)

Construction began on The Club at Melville (Suffolk), a 261-unit income-restricted senior community on Deshon Drive, the site of a former Newsday preprint distribution warehouse.  The project emerged from a complex, three-way deal that allows construction of the affordable senior units, a park and a house of worship on two sites in Melville.  The complex will include apartments designed for residents at a variety of income levels, as specified in town code or state regulations. The developer signed a covenant that the units will remain income restricted in perpetuity.  (Newsday - November 3, 2013)

PalliaTech, a Sea Cliff (Nassau)-based company developing technology related to the medical use of cannabis, has obtained a multimillion infusion of venture capital.  According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, PalliaTech received $10 million, while company officials would only say that the funding was "more than $5 million."  The investors in PalliaTech included the Sputnik Group, led by CEO Boris Jordan, an American businessman who lives in Russia.  PalliaTech, which was founded in 2010, is privately held firm.  Overall, 114 New York metropolitan area companies received $696 million in venture capital funding in the third quarter up 13 percent in deals and a decrease of 1 percent in dollars from the previous quarter.  (LI Business News, November 1, 2013)


Business Contractions and Closings

New Items

More than 800 Long Island employees will lose their jobs this December if Staten Island-based Atlantic Express Transportation Corp. can't find its way out of bankruptcy.  Atlantic Express, a transportation company that primarily operates buses for various school districts, including many on Long Island, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, citing large costs associated with its union workforce, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181.  Atlantic Express has local offices in Plainview, Oceanside (both Nassau) and East Farmingdale (Suffolk).  To get out of bankruptcy, Atlantic Express will need numerous labor concessions and a new source of financing, according to a company spokeswoman.  Union officials scoffed at that premise, saying the transportation company's wounds were self-inflicted.  If Atlantic Express is forced to liquidate, the company's contracts, including many with local school districts, would be placed up for sale.  (LI Business News, November 14, 2013)

Two weeks after Provident New York Bancorp acquired Sterling Bancorp, the company announced 83 layoffs, including six on Long Island.  The Montebello, N.Y.-based institution, which took the name Sterling National Bank, announced the layoffs would occur between Feb. 2 and March 31, 2014.  The job losses include two employees at the bank's 310 Crossways Park Drive location in Woodbury and four at 98 Cuttermill Road in Great Neck (both Nassau).  Sterling said 37 employees also would be laid off at its 42 Broadway location in Manhattan, the biggest reduction at a single site, and 14 at its 400 Rella Blvd. location in Montebello.  (LI Business News, November 14, 2013)


Previously Reported

Suffolk Bancorp, parent company of Suffolk County National Bank, plans to close four branches by next March,  The Riverhead (Suffolk)-based bank said it will close branches in Mattituck, Port Jefferson Station, Manorville and Montauk (all Suffolk) by the end of the first quarter of 2014. The closings affect 18 employees.  Suffolk Bancorp will have 24 branches after the closings, six fewer than it had just two months ago. The bank last month closed branches in Water Mill and Middle Island (both Suffolk).  (LI Business News, November 8, 2013)

East Meadow (Nassau)-based Century 21 American Homes has merged with independent brokerage firm Cruse Real Estate in Seaford (Nassau).  With the merger Century 21 American Homes has now expanded to 10 offices with nearly 450 real estate agents. The integration of the Cruse brokerage enables Century 21 American Homes to expand its services from full service residential real estate to the default market, with a focus on short sales and REOs, which was a Cruse specialty.  (LI Business News, November 7, 2013)

Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy court in 2011, expects to close the remaining 300 Blockbuster stores nationwide by early January.  It says about 2,800 people will lose their jobs.  It is not clear how many stores or employees on Long Island will be affected.  (Newsday - November 7, 2013)

Melville (Suffolk)-based PJP Health Insurance Agency Inc plans to close some or all of its business and lay off 95 employees, a state filing shows.  The mandatory filing comes almost three months after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the brokerage over what the federal agency called "egregious" age discrimination.  In its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act filing the company cited a loss of its operating license. The filing didn't explain what prompted the loss of the license or how many employees the company has.  Neither PJP's executives nor its attorney have returned telephone calls seeking comment.  The WARN notice, filed with the State Labor Department, is dated Oct. 29 but lists an Oct. 21 closing date.  It says the closing would affect 55 employees in Melville (Suffolk) and 40 in Lake Success (Nassau).  (Newsday - November 5, 2013)

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