The old Entenmann’s bakery on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore — which ceased production in August last year — will rise again to become one of Islip Town’s newest industrial parks.
In a $14.2 million deal, Suffolk County Industrial LLC of Melville is looking to transform the 519,493-square-foot building into a two- to six-tenant space for companies in the food and beverage trade.
Islip Town’s Industrial Development Agency, headed by William Mannix, proposed an inducement package — for $112,000 in mortgage recording tax savings; $200,000 in sales tax savings for construction; and a 15-year tax abatement worth $2.9 million — for the LLC at a town board meeting this week.
Islip Town Board members, who make up the IDA board, voted unanimously to approve the incentives. It is still subject to a public hearing, which could happen in mid-January, Mannix said.
Entenmann’s began production in 1961 in the building — which was erected in 1955 — and produced pastries in the hamlet for more than five decades. The company cut 178 jobs after the factory shuttered when it proved not to be cost-effective compared with other bakeries in its system, an executive at the company said at the time.
Bimbo Bakeries USA, Entenmann’s parent company and current owner of the building, continues to distribute its baked goods out of the facility and will lease a space after the sale closes, Mannix said.
A spokeswoman for Entenmann’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The LLC, whose principals are Mark Fischl of Huntington, a Long Island Power Authority trustee, and Tod Buckvar of Woodbury, a commercial real estate developer and broker, is purchasing the property for $10.75 million and will invest around $3 million in renovations, Fischl said.
Fischl said he hopes the sale will close at the beginning of 2016’s first quarter, and he will begin construction immediately after. A loose timetable puts renovations ending sometime around December, with occupancy on Jan. 1, 2017.
Mannix said the property has “very good sewer capacity, which is at a premium in Suffolk County,” and would be prime real estate for companies in the food and beverage industry. Fischl said his company has several interested lessees that deal with food and beverage, but said he could not disclose which companies since the leases have not yet been signed.
Both Mannix and Fischl said they believe the project will bring additional jobs back to the area, with a low estimate put at 150.
Fischl, who has purchased other iconic Long Island buildings, including the first Grumman building and Liberty Aircraft site in Bethpage, said the market is strong now for industrial buildings — especially ones like this, which has high-ceiling warehouse space.
Its newly chosen name: Entenmann’s Corporate Park.
“We intend to retain the character of the building,” Fischl said. “We hope to create jobs and bring money to the town and for us as real estate developers. It benefits all parties.”
Town officials were hopeful the property would sell to an owner interested in keeping its manufacturing and industrial use, Mannix said, and not someone looking to change the zoning.
“They were a great employer in Bay Shore for a really long time,” Mannix said of Entenmann’s. “Clearly we are very pleased that because of this transaction, it will not become a white elephant in a key corridor in the Bay Shore-Brentwood community.”