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Business

Brokerage opens Plainview HQ, will add jobs

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, left, talks with

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, left, talks with Marc Blumencranz of BWD Group at the company’s new headquarters. (Nov. 9, 2011) Photo Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

A large insurance brokerage firm Wednesday unveiled its new headquarters in Nassau County to the public, with executives saying they're seeking more workers.

BWD Group Llc now employs 180 people in 70,000 square feet of rented space at 45 Executive Dr., which is a section of the Long Island Expressway's South Service Road in Plainview. Marc J. Blumencranz, one of the company's owners, said he expects to add at least 20 people to the payroll over the next five years.

BWD's headquarters had been located in Jericho. When its owners began looking for new space three years ago, they considered moving to Pennsylvania, where they have a satellite operation, or to Suffolk County, Blumencranz said.

He said assistance from Nassau's Industrial Development Agency reduced BWD's costs sufficiently so that it could remain in the county. The IDA provided a $475,000 break on sales tax for equipment purchases and a 15-year payment- in-lieu-of-taxes agreement, which provides some relief on property tax bills.

The assistance "allowed us to remain competitive and committed to Nassau County," Blumencranz said at a grand opening ceremony.

Founded in 1929, BWD is best known for selling insurance to the sports and entertainment industries, but it also serves media, retail and real estate.

Blumencranz said the company's annual revenue totaled more than $35 million.

Besides Blumencranz, BWD's other leaders are his brother Eric, father Roger and the father and son team of Stuart and Brian Wilkins. Roger is company president.

Touring the sleek and airy office Wednesday, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said the IDA and his administration are working to "send out the welcome mat" to businesses. "We want to put up the sign that says, 'Help Wanted,' instead of 'For Lease' and 'For Rent.' "

Mangano, referring to the recent decision by Arrow Electronics, Long Island's largest public company, to move its headquarters to Colorado, said, "In Nassau County, job one is job retention and job growth."

BWD's new headquarters is in a building owned by 45 EXEC Llc, an investment group led by developer Michael Ambrosino. 45 EXEC spent about $12 million refurbishing the dilapidated structure it had purchased in 2009.

IDA chairman Jeffrey Seltzer noted he hopes BWD's move will spur other companies to expand in the county.


A LOOK AT BWD

Business type: Insurance brokerage specializing in sports, entertainment, media, retail and real estate coverage
Address: 45 Executive Dr., Plainview
Revenue (annual): $35M+
No. of employees: 180
Management: Principals are Roger, Marc and Eric Blumencranz; Stuart and Brian Wilkins
History: Founded in 1929

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