Goya Foods Inc. will close its Bethpage distribution operation in July after 17 years on Long Island and move the jobs to New Jersey, according to the company and a state regulatory filing.
The plant's 57 workers can apply for jobs in New Jersey, the company said Tuesday. Those who decide not to go will receive a severance package based on years of service.
The closing comes amid a $500 million global expansion in the past 10 years that includes a new headquarters in Jersey City that will open later this month. The company is currently headquartered in Secaucus. Goya, which bills itself as the largest Hispanic-owned food company, has 26 facilities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain.
"We are consolidating Goya's operations from Long Island into our new Jersey City facility," said public relations director Rafael Toro. "This will help to reduce inventory, overhead and carrying costs while providing a higher level of service to our customers and affordable products for our consumers."
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency issued $9.5 million of bonds in 1998 to finance Goya's construction of its distribution operation, said IDA executive director Joseph J. Kearney. That agreement with Goya expired in 2010, he said. The company also received $200,000 in state grants and loans. At the time, Goya said it planned to employ more than 150 workers.
"We made an effort to get Goya to stay," Kearney said. "They were not interested."
Bethpage-based commercial developer Steel Equities plans to buy and renovate the 161,360-square-foot building and construct a 44,000-square-foot structure next to it. The added structure will serve as a new location for FedEx Freight. Steel Equities has obtained county tax breaks for the project.
With Victor Ocasio