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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region July 2014

Business Expansions and Openings

A Yonkers-based developer plans to begin construction later this year on a long-delayed housing and retail project at the former Parr Meadows racetrack site in Yaphank (Suffolk County).  A legal challenge brought by an environmental group had stalled the $231 million Meadows at Yaphank project after the Brookhaven Town Board approved zoning changes three years ago.  Rose-Breslin plans to build a 220-room hotel, 850 housing units and 327,000 square feet of retail space on 322 acres. Construction may take up to 10 years.  The project is expected to create 811 construction jobs and 2,681 permanent full-time jobs, and add more than $351 million to the local economy, said the Brookhaven IDA, which is considering granting the project exemptions from mortgage and sales taxes.  Construction on the project's first phase, a 240-unit apartment complex, will begin in the fall and take up to two years to complete.


Reiko Wireless, a Brooklyn-based wholesale tech accessory distributor, has purchased a 130,000 square-foot facility in Central Islip (Suffolk County) which it will use as an office and distribution center.  In exchange for tax breaks from the Islip IDA, Reiko will bring its entire 36-employee Brooklyn workforce to Central Islip, in addition to creating 68 new jobs there.


Bio-Botanica Inc., a Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based producer of plant extracts used in food, medicine and cosmetics, has changed a 2012 expansion plan to now include two factories, instead of one, and to add 28 jobs.  Bio-Botanica is one of about a dozen makers of drugs, vitamins and extracts on Long Island that are bulking up to meet greater consumer demand.  Bio-Botanica has benefited from the popularity of its Nature's Answer products and more production for third parties. Nature's Answer is sold by independent health food stores and chain retailers such as GNC, The Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods Market.  The extracts producer has added 23 jobs in the past two years, bringing its total workforce to 189. It expects to hire 28 more people by 2017.  Records show that employees earn, on average, $46,395 per year.


Contract Pharmacal Corp., a manufacturer of over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and dietary supplements for pharmaceutical giants and retailers in Hauppauge (Suffolk County) which employs more than 900 people, has been awarded 572 kilowatts of discounted electricity from the New York Power Authority in return for promising to retain 406 workers and hire 33 more.  The help comes five months after Contract received 726 discounted kilowatts in exchange for protecting 500 jobs, adding 200 more and pledging to invest $19 million in operations.  The drugmaker is among six businesses and not-for-profit organizations on Long Island winning utility-bill reductions under the Power Authority's ReCharge NY program.


Autronic Plastics, a Long Island plastics manufacturer, has relocated and expanded to Central Islip (Suffolk County), after closing plants in New Cassel (Nassau County) and North Carolina.  Autronic, which currently employs 85 people, projects it will add several more jobs within the next year.  To assist in the move and expansion, the New York Power Authority provided low-cost electricity and the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency kicked in tax breaks.


International Shoppes, a Valley Stream (Nassau County) retailer that operates duty-free stores at airports throughout the Northeast region will spend $17 million to expand its headquarters on Long Island.  The expansion will create as many as 15 construction jobs.  Upon completion, the renovated building will house the main distribution center for all International Shoppes operations.  In exchange for tax incentives from the Hempstead IDA, the company agreed to retain 110 jobs here on Long Island, while adding 40 new full-time positions within two years.


AG Food Corp., a Hauppauge (Suffolk County)-based manufacturing and food preparation company that provides products to food trucks and airline caterers, plans to relocate to a nearby 53,100-square-foot facility as part of a $5.66 million expansion project.  In exchange for tax breaks from the Suffolk County IDA, the company, which has 31 current employees, has promised to create 20 new jobs over the next two years.  Records show the company's employees earn, on average, $20,967 per year.


New York State will provide up to $300 million in new funding to elevate more than 6,000 Long Island homes, most of which suffered major flood damage during superstorm Sandy.  Since the 2012 storm, nearly 1,400 homeowners who live in a 100-year flood plain have received state funding to begin elevating their properties.  Most live in Nassau and Suffolk, and so far 166 homeowners have completed their elevations.


TD Bank plans to open 22 New York metropolitan area branches this year, including four on Long Island, three in Westchester and 15 in New York City.  In March, TD Bank opened a new branch in Williston Park, with the others slated for Bohemia, East Islip and Deer Park (Suffolk County).  TD Bank currently has 60 Long Island branches.  Bridge Bancorp, the parent of Bridgehampton National Bank, plans to open in Bay Shore, Smithtown and Port Jefferson (Suffolk County) over the next nine months.


Huntington Hospital (Suffolk County) is preparing to undergo a $50 million expansion as it moves to create a 23,997-square-foot two-story addition to its emergency room.  The hospital expects to begin construction early next year, with completion scheduled for late 2016. The hospital is a member of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.


East End Hospice held a groundbreaking ceremony on July 25th for its new 11,000-square-foot facility in Quiogue (Suffolk County).  The new building is the first inpatient facility for the Westhampton Beach-based organization, which provides home healthcare for East End residents.  Construction on the new freestanding facility is expected to be completed by fall 2015.


Fairway Market, opened a new store in Lake Grove, the first in Suffolk County, on July 23.  The Lake Grove store, which Fairway officials said created 400 new jobs, will offer traditional, organic and specialty foods, fresh produce, seafood, an on-the-premises bakery, and cheeses from around the world, among other items.


International fashion retailer F&F has opened its first New York store, on Long Island, as it attempts to infiltrate the U.S. market.  The 6,571-square-foot store, which opened June 28 at the Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore (Suffolk County), employs 20 people.  F&F, based in England, plans to open a second Long Island store at Westfield Sunrise mall in Massapequa (Nassau County) in mid-August.


Costco Wholesale has applied for economic incentives from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency to assist in building a new store in an industrial section of Oceanside.  Costco has approvals to build a 151,000-square-foot store on a 13-acre industrial property.  The $49-million project would employ more than 200 people.  The store will be Costco’s eighth on Long Island.


Business Contractions and Closings


Microsoft will lay off 32 employees working at its Hauppauge (Suffolk County) office.  The layoffs are scheduled for October and are part of the largest downsizing in the computer software giant’s 39-year history.  Microsoft announced it would axe 18,000 jobs — about 14 percent of its workforce — including 12,500 jobs associated with the company’s acquisition of the Nokia mobile-device unit in April, according to Associated Press.


Remy USA, a Bay Shore (Suffolk County) auto parts manufacturer, is closing and laying off all of its 271 employees here, as its parent company moves its Long Island operations overseas. Formerly known as USA Industries, the company which has been manufacturing and reconditioning starters, alternators, axles and disc brake calipers in Bay Shore since 1985, was re-christened Remy USA after being acquired by Pendleton, Ind.-based Remy International — once known as Delco Remy, a former division of General Motors — in January.

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