2 NYC companies seek move to LI, tax breaks

Display Technologies hopes to move from Queens to Display Technologies hopes to move from Queens to this building at 1111 Marcus Ave. in Lake Success, and is asking for tax reprieve. (Dec. 18, 2012) Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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Two small businesses based in New York City are seeking tax breaks to move their headquarters to Nassau County and employ about 130 people, officials said Tuesday.

R-Best Produce Inc. plans to move from the Bronx to Port Washington. The supplier of fruits and vegetables to independent supermarkets wants to buy a 160,000-square-foot building at 99 Seaview Blvd.

The $16.6-million project would bring 51 jobs to Nassau in 2013, and 12 more over three years. Salaries will average $45,000 per year, according to government documents.

R-Best "was unable to renew its lease in the Bronx," said Louis Soloway, an attorney for the company. "They looked at properties in New Jersey and were offered incentives there."

R-Best, whose owners operate Uncle Giuseppe's Marketplace food stores, is seeking help from Nassau's industrial development agency.

R-Best has asked for a Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreement that would freeze property taxes for 10 years and then cap annual increases at 2 percent for five years. It also requested $100,000 off the mortgage recording tax and a $138,000 sales-tax exemption on renovations and machinery.

R-Best's application is to be considered Wednesday night by the IDA directors. County Executive Edward Mangano, who helped recruit the company, said Nassau was committed to "helping businesses grow."

Also on Wednesday night's agenda is a $2-million expansion by Display Technologies, a maker of equipment used in vending machines and stores to sell soda, snacks and other items.

The company plans to move its headquarters from College Point, Queens, to a 24,000-square-foot rental space at 1111 Marcus Ave. in Lake Success.

Display Technologies will have 61 workers initially but expects to hire four more by 2016. Wages, on average, are about $100,000 per year.

The company wants a 10-year freeze on property taxes and a $105,000 sales-tax exemption on renovations.

Display Technologies "was seriously thinking about leaving . . . they have facilities in other parts of the United States," said Joseph J. Kearney, the IDA's executive director. "We were able to persuade them not move out of New York State."

Peter L. Curry, a lawyer for Display Technologies, wasn't available to comment.

In addition, the IDA directors will consider a request from Grumman Studios in Bethpage to extend property-tax breaks given in 2009, and to allow it to do work beyond television and film production.

Daniel P. Deegan, an attorney for the studio, said it needs help "to lure movie productions from other states" that offer generous tax breaks to filmmakers. The studio has been used for movies such as "Salt" and "The Avengers."

Deegan estimated about 100 people are employed part time during filming. The cavernous facility has seven soundstages where Grumman Co. built the lunar modules in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Developer Parviz Farahzad plans to pour $11 million into further improvements to the 600,000-square-foot building, which he purchased from Nassau. That's on top of about $10 million he's already spent, his lawyer said.

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