An East End cabinetmaker is planning a $1.6 million expansion on the North Fork, officials said.
Rising Sun Woodworking Inc. wants to buy three buildings at 4460 Depot Lane in Cutchogue that have been used by an online bookseller, Buccaneer Books.
Rising, which is based in Mattituck, produces made-to-order cabinets for kitchens, baths and home libraries, along with doors, windows and interior trim. Customers include architects and builders for houses in the Hamptons.
Michael Drobet, company president and founder, said the move from rented space would increase efficiency and reduce electric bills. He plans to install solar panels on the roofs of the Cutchogue buildings.
Rising must cut its expenses to better compete with rivals from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Ohio, which are increasingly vying for high-end orders from the East End's population, he told the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency this week.
"The market has changed in the last couple of years . . . bids are harder to come by," said Drobet, who started Rising in 1983 in a two-car garage. "We need to modernize and make our operation more efficient."
He said he hopes to add four people to his payroll of 18 by 2017. Records show they earn, on average, $58,888 per year.
"I've tried to do this a number of times in the past," Drobet said, referring to the expansion project. "But I pulled back because either the economy was in a downturn or it was a little bit beyond what I thought the business could support. Now, I think we are ready."
The IDA's board of directors unanimously agreed to reduce Rising's taxes by $68,325 over 10 years, including a $49,500 savings on property taxes.
Responding to a question from IDA board chairman Joanne Minieri, Drobet said he hopes to increase sales by $500,000 per year to $2 million "in the short term."
He also said Rising is applying for an electric bill reduction from the state Power Authority.