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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region August 2014

Business Expansions and Openings

With help from tax breaks from the Babylon IDA, Nicolia Industries, a manufacturer of ready-mix concrete, has agreed to spend $2.7 million to expand the company’s facility in Lindenhurst (Suffolk County) into a brand new manufacturing plant. The company presently employs 55 full-time workers and expects to add 15 to 20 new jobs within the first five years of the new plant’s operation.

Business incubator LaunchPad Long Island has plans to set up shop in Great Neck Plaza (Nassau County) later this year, its third Long Island startup location. LaunchPad CEO Andrew Hazen said the Great Neck Plaza incubator will easily fit 20 to 30 startups.  The village has approved a mixed-use development right next door to the new LaunchPad that will put 30 apartments over 4,000 square feet of retail space which will complement the incoming entrepreneurs.

Long Island’s close proximity to Manhattan could earn local contractors and business owners lucrative contracts with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Over the next decade, the Port Authority is expected to spend $26.7 billion on capital projects that will improve and maintain degrading infrastructure at the regions’ busiest airports, bridges, ports and tunnels. LaGuardia and JFK airports alone are expected to commence 96 improvement projects – 36 at LaGuardia and 60 at JFK – over the next 10 years. Included in the renovations is a $3.6-billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport’s central terminal building that will replace the existing facility constructed in 1964 to create a new 35-gate, common-use terminal. Airport roadways will also be improved and a consolidated warehouse and distribution center will be constructed on-site. The CTB project, Foye noted, will create close to 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.

MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast Thursday urged new funding for his agency's capital spending program and said a second track for the LIRR's Ronkonkoma branch should be done in 2015. The Double Track project will add a second set of rails along an 18-mile stretch in western Suffolk County, allowing the LIRR to run more trains on the Ronkonkoma line.

Nassau County plans to spend $2.5 million to build a 5,300-square-foot, one-story Material Testing Lab in either the Department of Public Works yard in Hicksville or Cedar Creek maintenance area. The lab will contain offices for five employees and be used to test and inspect rebar, asphalt, concrete, wire and paint for county projects. It will not be used to test for asbestos or mold, officials said. Nassau will seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the lab, which replaces a building located near the Bay Park sewage treatment plant in East Rockaway that was destroyed in superstorm Sandy. Construction is expected to begin late this fall and be completed within a year.

Taking advantage of currently low interest rates, Catholic Health Services of Long Island has plans to issue $120 million in bonds to fund various hospital projects. Although funding includes dozens of projects system-wide, the expansion of ambulatory care is a major focus of the planned projects. CHS plans to spend nearly $5 million on improving ambulatory care at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson (Suffolk County) and nearly $3 million at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn (Nassau County). The system also is spending $3 million on private post-partum rooms. Good Samaritan is renovating two cardiac catheterization labs and building a third to keep up with increasing volume. Other funds will be used to expand the healthcare system’s electronic medical record system, pay off debt associated with Good Samaritan’s new linear accelerator and create multi-use operating rooms at various facilities.

Reliance Star Payment Services, an electronic payment services provider, is relocating from Bayside (Queens County) to Great Neck (Nassau County). The company presently employs 20 full-time workers and plans to add 40 new staff positions over the next six months.

Almeria, Spain-based Cosentino Group, a global supplier of natural stone, quartz, recycled and architectural surfacing, has opened a 27,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse in Hicksville (Nassau County). The facility will serve architects, designers, fabricators, distributors and retail consumers.

Merola Tile, importers and distributors of ceramic tile and accessories, will relocate its operations from East New York (Kings County) to Amityville (Suffolk County) with help from the Babylon IDA. Merola will be bringing about 40 jobs to its new Amityville facilities, and has pledged to add another 10 to 15 jobs within the next three to five years.

Life Time Fitness Inc., a national chain of family-geared health clubs, has pledged to hire 181 people in its second Long Island location in Garden City (Nassau County) within the first year in return for tax breaks from Nassau County. Records show employees earn, on average, $40,000 per year.

Quick Chek, the family-owned convenience store and gas station chain based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., will open its first Long Island location in Lake Grove (Suffolk County) on Oct. 27. The Quick Chek chain is also building stores in Bayport (Suffolk County) and Seaford (Nassau County) and the company has plans to eventually open more than 20 retail locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Quick Chek will hire about 40 people for each of its planned Long Island locations.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is opening a new store in Patchogue (Suffolk County) in the fall replacing a former King Kullen supermarket that had occupied the same space.  It will be the sporting goods chain’s sixth Long Island location. Dick’s already has stores in Garden City, Huntington, Commack, Lake Grove and Riverhead.  The new Patchogue store is now hiring about 50 full-time and part-time positions, including management and sales associates.

BJ’s Wholesale Club will hold a grand opening celebration on August 16 for its newest Long Island store at 790 Sunrise Highway in Bellport (Suffolk County).  The new 87,778 square-foot store will be the ninth BJ’s in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The new Bellport store will have 104 full and part-time employees, according to a company statement.

Wild by Nature, the King Kullen Grocery Co. subsidiary with the health-food bent, recently opened its fifth Long Island store in West Islip (Suffolk County). The new market joins existing Wild by Nature stores in Oceanside, Huntington, Hampton Bays and East Setauket and 39 namesake King Kullen supermarkets across Nassau and Suffolk.

Choice Pet Supply, which specializes in holistic and organic pet foods and products, has opened a new 2,300-square-foot store in the Mayfair Shopping Center on Jericho Turnpike in Commack (Suffolk County), its second Long Island location.

National fashion retailer Windsor has opened its first Long Island store, at the Westfield South Shore mall in Bay Shore (Suffolk County), as it expands nationally. The women's apparel and accessory company debuted its 4,100-square-foot store, which employees about 25 people, on Aug. 2, company and mall officials said. Windsor will mark the opening of its second Long Island store in the Westfield Sunrise mall in Massapequa (Nassau County) on Saturday, Aug. 30 The 4,200-square-foot store will have about 20 employees.


Business Contractions and Closings

Actavis PLC of Dublin, the new owner of drugmaker Forest Laboratories, plans to move most of its Long Island operations to New Jersey, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs. Six of Forest's seven facilities in Suffolk County are slated to close. Those six employ 475 people. The seventh facility is vacant. Records show employees earned about $83,600, on average, in 2012. Spokesman Charlie Mayr said about 150 jobs now done on Long Island would be transferred, primarily to New Jersey; most of the other positions are to be eliminated. Mayr said a sales training center within a 400,000-square-foot building at 500 Commack Rd. in Commack would remain open, though the building is up for sale. He estimated 30 to 40 people work at the center. A separate Actavis plant in Copiague, which produces nicotine gum, will remain open. About 100 people work there. Forest, as recently as 2010, employed more than 600 people at locations in Commack, Farmingdale and Hauppauge that are slated to close.

CSC Holdings, a subsidiary of Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corporation, is consolidating inbound telemarketing operations currently housed in Jericho (Nassau County) into existing company facilities in the Bronx and New Jersey.  In a notice filed with the New York State Department of Labor, CSC Holdings noted that 86 people working out of Cablevision’s 310,000-square-foot office at 200 Jericho Quadrangle office would be affected.  McAndrew declined to comment on the potential for future departmental layoffs, adding that all affected employees will be given the chance to apply for other positions with the company, or to continue their careers with Cablevision at either of the two existing facilities. She added that all affected employees had been notified of the impending consolidation effort.

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