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Home Depot asks for 15 years of tax breaks to rent new Nassau warehouse

Without the tax breaks, Home Depot won't rent

Without the tax breaks, Home Depot won't rent the warehouse, which is under construction in Hicksville, its local real estate attorney said.  Credit: Danielle Silverman

Home Depot Inc. is requesting tens of thousands of dollars in tax breaks over 15 years to rent a new warehouse in Hicksville, officials said.

The home improvement retailer would use the 195,610-square-foot building to store and deliver appliances in the metropolitan area. The project would create 25 jobs.

Home Depot is asking the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency for a sales-tax exemption of up to $172,500 on the purchase of equipment and materials to operate the “last-mile" distribution center; last mile refers to the final leg of an online purchase's journey to a customer's doorstep. The retailer also wants a property-tax reduction for 15 years, according to its application for IDA assistance.

However, Home Depot refuses to publicly disclose its investment in the project, the average employee salary and other information that has been provided by IDA applicants since at least 2011. The retailer, with headquarters in Atlanta, redacted much of the 109-page aid application including the identity of the person who signed it.

“We decline to provide that information,” Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said, when asked for the average salary of the new jobs.

“We don’t disclose that number,” she said, referring to the company’s investment in the 344 Duffy Ave. warehouse, which is being built by developer Lincoln Equities Group LLC of East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

Home Depot plans to spend about $2 million in equipping the warehouse, according to two sources who read an unredacted copy of the IDA application. They requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak about the project.

Smith said, “This distribution center sorts and consolidates parcels and is part of a previously announced investment to speed up delivery to customers and stores around the country. We’re investing a significant amount in this specific site.”

Home Depot had considered sites in New York City, Westchester County and elsewhere in the state, “but we brought them to Long Island; they had many choices,” developer Joel Bergstein said during the IDA's virtual board meeting earlier this month.

Without IDA tax incentives, the retailer won’t rent the new warehouse, said its local real estate attorney Garrett L. Gray. “But for the granting of financial assistance, the applicant has advised that they will seek to locate their distribution center in another county,” he said.

The IDA board agreed unanimously to begin negotiations with Home Depot. If a tax-break deal can be reached, it would be the subject of a public hearing and board vote.

If Home Depot moves forward with its warehouse, other retailers may follow suit. “This could be the beginning of a new industry in the county,” said IDA chairman Richard Kessel.

He said online retailer Amazon wants to open a similar warehouse six miles to the west at 2 Westbury Ave., the site of a former Waldbaum’s supermarket.

“We’ve met with the Amazon people but they’re not looking for financial assistance from the IDA,” Kessel said. “We’re helping them in other ways, like introducing them to local officials.”

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