Attorney Daniel P. Deegan, center, shows the Nassau County Industrial...

Attorney Daniel P. Deegan, center, shows the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency board where developer Steel Equities wants to build a warehouse in Bethpage. Steel Equities owners Joseph and Glenn Lostritto are seated in the front row (far right), at the Sept. 5 IDA meeting in Mineola. Credit: Newsday/James T. Madore

The developer who brought new business activity to the former Northrop Grumman manufacturing complex in Bethpage wants to build a $51 million warehouse there for FedEx, officials said. The project would create 190 jobs.

Steel Equities has proposed buying 6 acres of the 105-acre Grumman property that it doesn’t already own from Nassau County for the warehouse. The county would receive $3 million, according to a purchase agreement.

In 2011 Steel Equities purchased 84 acres from the county and began transforming the old aircraft hangars and factories into a film production operation, Gold Coast Studios, a Federal Express Ground distribution center and other commercial uses.

The county’s Industrial Development Agency, in a rare move at the time, granted a reduction in property taxes for 40 years because the land was environmentally contaminated. Steel Equities' tax payments have gradually risen over time as rental income on the property has increased.

Last week, the IDA agreed to consider incorporating the proposed 244,500-square-foot warehouse into the 2011 tax deal.

The agency also is weighing a request for a sales-tax exemption of up to $2 million on the purchase of construction materials and supplies, and a reduction in the mortgage recording tax of up to $288,250, according to Steel Equities’ preliminary aid application.

Steel Equities owners Joseph and Glenn Lostritto said last week that the tax breaks are critical to constructing the warehouse, which will be used by FedEx for at least 15 years. The existing FedEx operation on the Grumman site will move to the new, larger  facility, according to the aid application. 

“Timing is critical,” Glenn Lostritto told the IDA’s board of directors, adding the land purchase along Aerospace Boulevard will not move forward without the tax breaks.

Joseph Lostritto said he and Glenn have agreed to relocate a U.S. Navy facility used to clean up contaminated soil and construct a new training facility for the Bethpage Fire Department with no rent charged for 30 years. Both facilities would be nearby.

“This project will produce new revenue to the school district and the Town of Oyster Bay because right now the property is off the tax rolls because it’s owned by the county,” said Daniel P. Deegan, an attorney representing Steel Equities.  Before the county  took the land, it hadn’t been taxed since 1947 because of Navy ownership.

Deegan also said Oyster Bay Town has scrapped plans for a park on the parcel because of the contaminated soil.

IDA board member John Coumatos, who owns a restaurant in Bethpage, said Gold Coast Studios and other Steel Equities tenants have helped “build a tax base” for the community:  “Business is starting to come back because of you.”

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