WE'RE building update set after Canon exits

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After Canon USA leaves its headquarters in Lake Success, the site's owner, Jericho-based WE'RE Associates Co., plans $30 million in renovations.

Canon will vacate the property in April when it moves to its new headquarters in Melville.

"Canon's been in those buildings for a very long time, so we're going to bring the buildings up to date," WE'RE partner Bennett Rechler said in an interview Tuesday. WE'RE, a property management company, built the Lake Success Quadrangle, the 10-building office park where the buildings are located, in the 1960s and 1970s.

There are no new tenants yet for the 360,000 square feet of office space. Rechler said he's had inquiries and hopes to have new tenants in the beginning of 2014.

The list of upgrades includes replacing the heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems as well as new lobbies, roofs and bathrooms.

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Also planned: roughly 250 additional parking spaces, either with a parking garage or by converting underground storage space into parking. "When these buildings were built tenants didn't demand as much parking as they do today," Rechler said.

The project will be privately financed, but WE'RE is seeking tax breaks through the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, which scheduled a hearing on the project on Monday. Rechler said he didn't know the dollar amount of the benefits being sought.

Nassau IDA executive director Joseph Kearney said it was premature to speculate on whether the IDA would approve the request, but he said the agency was committed to try to keep jobs: "Canon moving is really a significant blow to Nassau County."

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