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Clothing firm plans $33.7 million expansion, wins $2 million in tax aid

Hats are embroidered at David Peyser Sportswear in

Hats are embroidered at David Peyser Sportswear in Bay Shore Tuesday. Credit: Barry Sloan

A manufacturer of sweatshirts, caps, jackets and blankets emblazoned with the logos of college sports teams, vacation resorts and the U.S. military hopes to double its space in Bay Shore and add 50 jobs, officials said.

David Peyser Sportswear Inc. wants to purchase a 167,730-square-foot building at 100 Spence St., which is adjacent to its two existing facilities. The third building would cost $33.7 million to acquire and renovate, executives said.

"One of the challenges we are facing is space," said Josh Peyser, president of the company’s MV Sport division, which is based in Bay Shore.

"In order to meet the growing demand for our products, we have fully utilized all of our current space…We need more room for decorating equipment, silk-screening equipment and warehousing," he told a meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

Peyser and other company executives said they want to expand in Bay Shore but also have an operation in Alabama, where rents, taxes and wages are lower. They estimated they would save more than $11 million over five years with a second building in Alabama.

The IDA board granted preliminary approval last week for $2 million in tax breaks for David Peyser Sportswear, including property-tax savings of $1.7 million, or a 29% savings over 15 years.

In return, the family-owned company promised to maintain its Bay Shore work force of 278 people and hire 50 more in the next two years. Records show that employees earn $41,000 per year, on average.

The company also has 228 employees off Long Island, including sales and marketing personnel at two Manhattan showrooms.

"We understand that there is a premium for operating and expanding in New York," said CEO Eliot Peyser. "We are requesting IDA benefits to assist in mitigating some of these additional costs."

David Peyser Sportswear was founded in 1948 in Manhattan and has been on Long Island since 1968, first operating on Candlewood Road in Brentwood. The company received three loans from the state Job Development Authority for prior expansion projects, including $880,000 in 1979 to move to Bay Shore, state records show.

In 2009, David Peyser Sportswear added a second building on Spence Street. The $8 million project received tax breaks from the Islip Town IDA in return for the creation of at least 70 jobs. Records show those incentives have since expired.

Besides its MV Sport division, David Peyser Sportswear produces clothing sold under The Game, Weatherproof, Weatherproof Vintage, 32 Degrees, Junior Gallery and Tumi brand names.

Eliot Peyser said three generations of his family work at the company, including his 94-year-old father, Paul, who attends daily meetings as board chairman.

IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said the tax breaks would help the company "to remain in Suffolk County for at least the next 15 years."

AT A GLANCE

David Peyser Sportswear Inc.

Headquarters: Bay Shore

No. of Employees: 506, including 278 on Long Island

What it does: Manufacturer of clothing, caps and blankets sold under The Game, MV Sport, Weatherproof, Weatherproof Vintage, 32 Degrees, Junior Gallery and Tumi brand names

Leadership: Three generations of the Peyser family work in the business

History: Founded in 1948 in Manhattan; moved to Long Island in 1968

SOURCES: David Peyser Sportswear Inc., Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency

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