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1-800-Flowers to get over $2.6M in tax breaks, grants

The 1-800-Flowers headquarters in Carle Place. The company

The 1-800-Flowers headquarters in Carle Place. The company will receive tax breaks for its move to Jericho. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr. Inc. has been awarded more than $2.6 million in incentives to create its new $10 million headquarters in Jericho instead of moving out of state, officials said.

The public company will receive a $1 million grant from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, to cover some of the costs of equipping 96,870 square feet at 2 Jericho Plaza to be a corporate office, an ESD spokeswoman said last week.

1-800-Flowers also will get $1 million in state tax credits for adding 57 jobs, bringing its local workforce to 414. The company appears to have already created 20 jobs since asking ESD for help over a year ago, the spokeswoman said.

Records show 1-800-Flowers’ HQ employees earn, on average, more than $100,000 per year.

Besides the state aid, the company received a sales-tax exemption of up to $556,312 for the purchase of construction materials, equipment and office fixtures from Nassau County.

1-800-Flowers also negotiated a 15-year deal with the county’s Industrial Development Agency that freezes property taxes at the current level of $430,782 for eight years followed by increases of 1.81% per year for seven years. The company had sought a 10-year freeze followed by 1.81% increases for five years. The deal only covers the company's portion of 2 Jericho Plaza.

IDA vice chairman Lewis M. Warren called the tax incentives “a pretty thoughtful and proactive commercial deal to keep an iconic company in Nassau County.”

1-800-Flowers, which was started in Manhattan in 1976 by the McCann family and moved to the county in 1990, reported a profit of $35 million for the year ended June 2019 on revenue of $1.2 billion.

Besides its namesake brand, the retailer owns, Cheryl’s Cookies,, Harry & David, Moose Munch, the Popcorn Factory, Wolfermann’s, Simply Chocolate, Stock Yards and Shari’s Berries, among others.

IDA chairman Richard Kessel, during last week’s virtual board meeting, said, “This is a major save. They looked at locations all over the country, but we convinced them to stay in Nassau County and to grow here.”

To retain and attract workers, 1-800-Flowers needs a headquarters with collaborative workspaces, new technology and ample parking, said senior vice president Brian McGee. That wasn't possible at 1 Old Country Rd. in Carle Place, the company’s home since 2005, he said.

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