Regional supermarket chain Best Market plans to open a new headquarters, distribution center and food business incubator at the site of the iconic Entenmann’s property in Bay Shore.
As part of the Bethpage-based family-owned grocery company’s expansion, Best Market will consolidate the operations of its Bethpage headquarters and Farmingdale distribution center at the old Entenmann’s bakery, which ceased production on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore in August 2014.
Best Market would lease 295,000 square feet of space. About 200,000 square feet would be used for its headquarters, distribution center and a future store. The other 95,000 square feet would be available for an incubator for emerging food businesses, Best Market’s vice president and general counsel Or Raitses said.
The distribution center would open by the end of this year, the headquarters by spring 2017 and the new store shortly after.
“It is part of our plan for future growth on Long Island,” Raitses said.
Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, is providing the company with up to $1 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. Best Market has agreed to create 125 new jobs over the next five years and retain 2,077 existing jobs across Long Island. It will also invest more than $6 million to upgrade the facility.
“Best Market is a great Long Island success story, and it is only fitting that they will be creating jobs and growing its business in a location that had been a major part of the Bay Shore community,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. “This expansion underscores the state’s commitment to improving our business climate, helping New York businesses flourish, and helping regional economies thrive.”
Suffolk County Industrial LLC of Melville plans to buy the entire 519,493-square-foot Entenmann’s property for $10.75 million by early fall, and lease it to Best Market. The owners of the buyer are Mark Fischl of Huntington, a Long Island Power Authority trustee; Tod Buckvar of Woodbury, a commercial real estate developer and broker; and Best Market co-owners and brothers Aviv and Eran Raitses.
Bimbo Bakeries USA, the current owner of the building and Entenmann’s parent company, still distributes baked goods out of the facility and will also lease space after the sale. Nearly 180 jobs were lost when the old bakery ceased production due to high operating costs. The bakery had operated there since 1961.
In January, the Islip Industrial Development Agency approved $3.21 million in tax breaks for Suffolk County Industrial’s plan to buy the Entenmann’s site, including $112,000 in savings on the mortgage recording tax; $200,000 in sales tax savings for construction and a 15-year tax abatement worth $2.9 million.
Best Market increased its store count by 50 percent after it bought nine former Waldbaum’s and Pathmark locations on Long Island and a former Food Emporium in Manhattan last year. Best Market will have 30 locations in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, including 25 on Long Island, after a former Pathmark in East Rockaway opens by early September.