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Catholic Health Services gets nod for 2nd tax break for move to Melville

Catholic Health Services plans to rent additional space

Catholic Health Services plans to rent additional space in the building it currently occupies at 320 S. Service Rd. in Melville, seen on Thursday. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Catholic Health Services of Long Island plans to move its marketing department and more administrative and technology jobs to a Melville office building, saving money and freeing up space for patient care in its hospitals, officials said Thursday.

The health care system will rent an additional 14,065 square feet at 320 S. Service Rd., bringing its total space there to 40,103 square feet. The system’s headquarters is in Rockville Centre.

This second phase of moving employees to Melville, as with the first phase, will receive tax breaks from Suffolk County.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency on Thursday gave preliminary approval to an incentive package that will save Catholic Health about $212,500, including $140,792 off property taxes over 10 years, or a 27.5% reduction.

A year ago, the IDA awarded a 10-year tax deal for the first phase, valued at $361,000.

James Proce, vice president for real estate and facilities administration at Catholic Health, said on Thursday, “We’re just trying to gain efficiencies and freeing space up at the hospitals for clinical services.”

An additional 52 employees will work in the office building off the LIE. They will join 175 who  will be based there by the end of next year, according to IDA records.

Many of the affected employees now work at six hospitals: Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown, St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill and St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage.

The employees earn, on average, $73,000 per year, the records show.

Proce told Thursday’s meeting of the IDA board that Catholic Health plans to build a video production studio and printing production area for the marketing department as part of $1 million in renovations to the Melville building.

He said the 108 employees who now work in Melville have found collaborating and communicating with one another is easier. Desks are arranged in a “beehive” formation with low partitions.

IDA board member Josh Slaughter asked if Catholic Health was creating jobs in Melville as well as transferring employees there.

Proce said most of the hiring is taking place at the hospitals. “We are centralizing” in Melville, he said. “Everyone of the hospitals is always tight for space. When we free up space, that brings opportunity.”

Later, Catholic Health spokeswoman Chris Hendriks said the system has 18,000 employees, an increase of 500 over the past few years.

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