Amazon plans to rent this warehouse on the site of...

Amazon plans to rent this warehouse on the site of the former Newsday building on Pinelawn Road in Melville. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Amazon will rent one of two warehouses on the site of the former Newsday headquarters in Melville, a real estate broker who represented the developer in the transaction told Newsday.

The online retailer recently signed a 10-year lease for the 276,500-square-foot building at 90 Ruland Rd., which is owned by developer Hartz Mountain Industries Inc.

"I can confirm that that lease is signed," said Phil Heilpern, senior vice president at the commercial real estate brokerage CBRE.

Amazon spokeswoman Verena Gross told Newsday, "While this prospective project is still in the early stages, we are excited about the potential to bring new jobs with great pay and benefits to the area and to continue our investment in the state of New York."

She did not elaborate on how Amazon plans to use the new building. It’s about one mile from a two-building complex on Route 110 in Melville that the retailer will use to make "last mile" deliveries to customers’ doorsteps.

That 309,500-square-foot facility is among at least 10 last-mile warehouses that Amazon plans for Long Island.

Four are operating, in Bethpage, Carle Place and the Shirley-Yaphank area; one will open in spring in Westhampton Beach, and one will open in Holbrook in the October-December period, officials said. The others will be in Hauppauge, Syosset and Woodmere.

New Jersey-based Hartz Mountain also is completing a 669,186-square-foot warehouse on the former Newsday site, adjacent to the future Amazon warehouse, according to its application for tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

Together, the two buildings cost $126 million to construct on top of the $54.5 million that Hartz paid to purchase the site from Tribune Media Co., Newsday Media Group’s former landlord, the application states. Newsday's headquarters is now at 6 Corporate Center Dr. in Melville.

In October 2020, Hartz won $16.8 million in IDA tax incentives. A year later, the developer requested that the tax-aid package be split in two, with each building assigned specific incentives and job commitments. It said it was making the request at the behest of a potential, undisclosed tenant.

The Amazon warehouse, first reported by Long Island Business News, would receive a sales-tax exemption of up to $1.9 million and a mortgage-recording tax reduction of up to $274,100, according to IDA documents. The property-tax savings would be $2.7 million over 20 years. In return, 175 permanent jobs must be created within two years, according to the documents.

"Hartz has not contacted us about a tenant," said IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano. "At the end of January, Amazon reached out to us and said they were looking at the building…They also said they might ask Hartz to terminate the IDA agreement," he said.

If the agreement were terminated, Amazon would be released from the requirement to create 175 jobs. Also, the IDA would claw back the portion of the sales-tax exemption already used by Hartz, Catapano said, adding the developer has yet to qualify for the other benefits.

Catapano also said the future tenants of the larger warehouse would be required to create a total of 500 jobs, an increase of 75, if the Amazon warehouse is no longer part of the IDA deal, under an amendment unanimously approved in December by the agency’s board of directors.

"We haven’t gotten any official word from Hartz on this," Catapano said.

An executive at Hartz had no comment on Monday.

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