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Designer moving into historic Sag Harbor church building

Wallpaper designer Elizabeth Dow at work at her

Wallpaper designer Elizabeth Dow at work at her studio in Amagansett. Credit: Handout

Upscale, hand-painted wallpaper and textiles will soon be produced where generations of Methodists once worshipped in Sag Harbor.

Elizabeth Dow Ltd. will move its design studio, factory and sales office to the historic Methodist Church at 48 Madison St., a focal point in the village. The company has been renting in Amagansett.

Dow wallpapers grace a couple of rooms in the White House, including the Oval Office, and the homes of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, movie director Steven Spielberg, "Today Show" anchor Matt Lauer and singer-songwriter Paul Simon.

Referring to her wallpapers last week, owner Elizabeth C. Dow said, "It's a very artistic process, and we need more space."

Dow, who has preservation experience, pledged to restore the exterior of the church, which has been vacant for about six years. The interior will be used for customer service, design and production.  The space that was the church sanctuary will become a showroom.

Dow founded the company in Manhattan in 1992 and moved it to Amagansett's Applied Arts School in 2005, when Dow became school director.

Dow employs seven people who earn, on average, $63,714 per year, records show. She expects to hire four more and continue student internships.

To support the $3.2 million expansion, Dow received a commitment from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency last week for a $250,000 cut in property taxes over 15 years, $14,000 off the mortgage recording tax and a $42,000 sales-tax exemption.

The Suffolk IDA also agreed to help LNK International potentially add two more factories to its eight, all in Hauppauge. The company makes generic drugs for large retail chains such as Costco and Rite Aid.

LNK executive vice president Joseph Mollica said it wants to purchase 325 Kennedy Dr. and adjacent land, where a plant would eventually be built. The $13.6 million project adds about 300 jobs to the workforce of 1,581. Annual salaries average $34,806 per year.

The state is aiding LNK.

In return for IDA assistance, Mollica said LNK would remain in Suffolk for 20 years. The company has requested a $4.2 million reduction in property taxes over the period.

The IDA expressed support for LNK but hesitated at granting a tax cut that would last two decades. "This is extremely generous," said vice chairman David Rosenberg, pushing successfully for more talks with the company.

Robert Kozlowski, LNK's controller, said it is being wooed by Michigan, Ohio and Texas.

"We are a halfpenny business," he said, referring to profit margins. "Any place we can save a penny helps us."

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