OSI's former Melville building sold to developers

OSI Pharmaceuticals former Melville building is to be OSI Pharmaceuticals former Melville building is to be leased. Suffolk County has said it will offer the tenant tax incentives. Photo Credit: Jeremy Dean

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The former headquarters of OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., on Pinelawn Road in Melville, has been purchased by a pair of developers who hope to lease it out to a large corporate tenant.

Damianos Realty Group LLC of Smithtown and Little Rock Construction and Properties Inc. in East Setauket bought the 62,000-square-foot building, designed by renowned architect Richard Meier, in a deal that closed Wednesday. Although the purchase price was not disclosed, it was bought for less than the asking price of $8 million, said X. Cristofer Damianos, principal at Damianos Realty.

Newsday Homes

"It's a great building in a great area," he said.

The modernistic building, whose design has been praised by critics, was built for a single large business occupant -- an increasingly rare kind of tenant on Long Island -- and is difficult to divide into smaller, separate office spaces.

Still, the building "has never been available for lease before, and I think that opens up many options," said Brian Lee, a broker and principal at the Melville offices of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has expressed willingness to offer tax incentives to a business willing to move in, Damianos said. He said the space can fit a company with up to 250 employees.

The building, on five acres of land, was built as Swissair's North American headquarters for $20 million in 1995. After that company went bankrupt in 2001, the site stayed on the market until it was purchased by OSI in 2005. OSI spent $8.5 million on renovations, according to a news release from the two developers.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

OSI, a Long Island-born company known for its lung cancer drug Tarceva, was purchased by the U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Astellas Pharma Inc. in 2010 and left its old headquarters in 2011, leaving some of its research work at the Broadhollow Science Park at Farmingdale State College. The company shut all of its Long Island operations last year.

Since OSI vacated the Meier building it changed brokers and lowered its asking price.

Ownership of the property will be split evenly between Damianos Realty and Little Rock. Damianos said he and Little Rock owner Parviz Farahzad knew each other from the board of directors of Gold Coast Bank."It's not really our style to bring in partners, but we figured we'd give it a shot on this one," he said.

The deal was brokered by Martin Lomazow and Phil Heilpern of the Long Island offices of CBRE.

You also may be interested in: