Drug firm shuns relocation to expand on LI

PL Developments plans to expand in Hicksville rather PL Developments plans to expand in Hicksville rather than out of state, creating at least 150 jobs, officials said. (Aug. 17, 2012) Photo Credit: Chris Ware

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A drug manufacturer will expand in Hicksville rather than out of state, creating at least 150 jobs, officials said last week.

PL Developments plans to purchase and renovate a building at 609-2 Cantiague Rock Rd. The $13 million project also involves new equipment and other investment.

Empire State Development Corp. agreed to provide $2.7 million in tax credits to the pharmaceutical company after its expansion was backed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council last year. Project details are expected to be announced today.

PL Developments, which employees call PLD, was founded in 1988. It's a major player in Long Island's growing generic drugs and vitamins industry, which has created hundreds of jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Westbury-based PLD is "a key component to strengthen and grow" the local industry "and ensure long-term regional economic prosperity," said council co-vice chairmen Kevin Law of the Long Island Association business group and Stuart Rabinowitz of Hofstra University.

The company was designated last year to receive one of the largest aid packages among about 70 local businesses, universities and not-for-profit groups that will share $101.6 million in state tax credits and grants.

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Of New York's 10 regions, the Island and three others received the most in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's 2011 competition for economic help from Albany. Another contest is under way.

PLD chief executive Mitchell Singer thanked the state for its help. He also said his company specializes in analgesics, digestive and sleep aids, and cold and allergy remedies. PLD's products are sold under other company names by major retailers.

The business has sales of about $13 million per year, according to an estimate from the Dun & Bradstreet research service.

About 450 people work at a large factory and warehouse in Westbury and another warehouse in Farmingdale. There also is a small plant and warehouse in Miami.

Florida tried to persuade PLD to expand there. "When we heard another state was interested in the company it was a top priority for us to ensure the business and the hundreds of jobs they provide for Long Islanders remained right here," said a New York State official, who requested anonymity.

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The company appears to be shrinking in the Sunshine State. In April, it told Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity of plans to shed 82 jobs at the Miami plant and warehouse, records show.

Long Island's skilled workforce, along with Cuomo's effort to reduce taxes and regulations, were factors in PLD's decision to expand here, said Kenneth Adams, president of Empire State Development.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), a recent appointee to the development council, agreed, saying, "Government's role as we work our way out of this [economic] downturn is to create a more friendly business environment to encourage investment and job growth."

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