Altice USA Inc., the provider of Optimum cable television, internet and telephone service, is seeking millions of dollars in tax breaks from Nassau County to renovate half of its office space in Bethpage, officials said.
The aid request won preliminary approval Thursday night in a 7-0 vote by the county’s Industrial Development Agency.
Daniel P. Deegan, an attorney representing Altice, told the IDA board that the company wants to move many of its Nassau employees to the 528,000-square-foot building at 1111 Stewart Ave., including those now at the News 12 Long Island studios in Woodbury.
Altice plans to invest up to $60 million in the Bethpage facility and employ 1,800 there once the renovations are completed. The building now is home to 1,088 employees, according to its aid application.
The request for help from Nassau County comes after job cuts at Altice, which was formed in 2016 by parent company, Altice N.V. of the Netherlands. In June 2016, Altice N.V. purchased Cablevision Systems Corp. of Bethpage for $17.7 billion.
The Bethpage building served as the headquarters of Cablevision and previously aerospace giant Grumman Corp.
In June 2017, Altice USA announced plans to move its headquarters to Long Island City, Queens, and to consolidate five satellite offices into the Bethpage facility.
“The company is looking for the IDA to help it continue to invest in the county…but these types of operations don’t necessarily have to be located in Nassau County. They could be located any place,” Deegan told the IDA board Thursday.
Altice wants an incentive package that potentially cuts its property taxes over 10 years, plus a sales-tax exemption of up to $2.5 million on the purchase of construction materials and equipment for the renovations, according to the application.
IDA board chairman Richard Kessel said Thursday the agency "wants to retain jobs at both News 12 and at Altice.”
Altice employed nearly 10,270 people at the end of 2017 in the former Cablevision territory, which consists of Long Island, parts of New York City and its northern suburbs, northern New Jersey and southwestern Connecticut, according to securities filings. Two years earlier, Cablevision had about 12,180 employees, excluding Newsday, which the company owned at the time.
Altice spokeswoman Lisa Anselmo said Friday, "Our Bethpage office is a core Altice USA Operations Center ...providing services to the company across our national footprint, and we are excited at the opportunity to invest further in this Long Island facility by building a new multimillion dollar state-of-the-art News 12 studio and providing a collaborative work environment to help expedite innovations and advanced technologies.”
Altice has nearly 5 million customers across 21 states.