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Business Expansions and Contractions - Long Island Region October 2015

Business Expansions and Openings

The Suffolk County Legislature approved an expanded lease with Sheltair, an airport ground operator at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach (Suffolk County). The company's footprint would increase from 16 acres to almost 23 acres, and they also agreed to make $6.6 million in infrastructure improvements, including construction of a new hangar of as much as 26,000 feet within the next two years. The agreement will create 33 construction jobs and 38 permanent jobs.


A proposed 266-unit apartment building in downtown Mineola won approval for tax breaks from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. The $77 million development is expected to include 112 one-bedroom units and 154 two-bedroom units, according to the developer, Lake Success-based Lalezarian Properties. Construction is expected to begin in February and take 21 months, according to the IDA. The developer has promised to create 160 construction jobs for about two years, as well as 18 permanent jobs that will pay, on average, $16 per hour.


Luminati Aerospace LLC, whose plan to make high-altitude, solar-powered drones in Calverton (Suffolk County) is said to be backed by a major Internet company, will create 40 tech jobs "immediately," according to chief executive Daniel Preston. The company, which has not disclosed the identity of its backer, aims to build solar-powered drones that can remain aloft "nearly indefinitely" and beam Internet service back to Earth. Luminati acquired 16.3 acres at a Calverton industrial park from Skydive Long Island and is seeking access to a 10,000-foot runway. Luminati officials said they are seeking employees skilled in information technology and computer-aided design and manufacturing, among other disciplines.


Nassau Candy Distributors Inc., a candy manufacturer, is planning a $4.3 million expansion of one of its five buildings in Hicksville (Nassau County). The company makes chocolate-covered raisins and pretzels, fudge, fruit slices, roasted nuts and hand-dipped chocolate cherries, among other confections. Its customers are chain stores, cruise ships, supermarkets and independent retailers. Nassau Candy won a second round of tax breaks from the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency in return for adding 20 people to its payroll of 328 by 2019. Records show that employees earn, on average, $22 per hour, excluding medical and retirement benefits.


Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, with the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, the Long Island Forum for Technology and the Composite Prototyping Center, has announced plans to give 100 Nassau County young people the skills required by today's manufacturers and to help them find employment opportunities. The learning center recently got a $440,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to help private industry advance manufacturing skills. The program seeks 100 underemployed or unemployed candidates who have a high school diploma or GED, are 19 to 25 years old and are committed to keep up the training. Companies committed to hiring graduates include Precipart, Nordan Composite Technologies, Curtiss Wright-Target Rock and Photonics Industries.


After opening its debut Long Island sales office in Bridgehampton last month, residential brokerage Compass will open an office in East Hampton in January. The rapidly expanding Compass, which began in New York City in 2013, has opened offices this year in Washington, D.C., Miami and Boston, as well as the Hamptons.


Bar Louie, an Addison, Texas-based brand of restaurants marketed as a neighborhood bar and meeting place featuring handcrafted cocktails, local brews and a menu of casual food choices, will make its area debut in Commack (Suffolk County). The average Bar Louie has about 75 to 80 employees. The Commack location is scheduled to open in January or February of next year.

Business Contractions and Closings

The entire staff of about 250 employees at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho (Nassau County), including the establishment's village shops, have been sent layoff notices in anticipation of the property's lease expiration at the end of the year. 


Houston's, the modern American chain restaurant that opened at Roosevelt Field in Garden City (Nassau County) in 1996, is closing. Houston's in Roosevelt Field employs about 150 people, all of whom, she said, would be offered the chance to work at another Hillstone property. Besides East Hampton Grill, Hillstone operates two restaurants in Manhattan.


(UPDATE) Supermarket operator Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) is in the process of selling several stores through bankruptcy court. 25 of 51 stores have been purchased by a variety of grocery chains including Stop & Shop, Best Yet, Wakefern (ShopRite), King Kullen, and Key Food. Four stores have been bought by real estate entities, while five were closed in October. That leaves 13 stores whose fate is still up in the air. There are 1,265 workers at those stores, according to the WARN filing, out of a total of 5,174. If buyers are not found, the unsold stores are expected to close the week before Thanksgiving.


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