The MTA has purchased the headquarters of Kravet Inc. in...

The MTA has purchased the headquarters of Kravet Inc. in Bethpage, seen above on Wednesday, for office space and to store equipment and materials for the LIRR. Credit: Randee Daddona

A designer and wholesaler of fabrics, furniture, wallpaper and other home furnishings will move its headquarters from Bethpage to Melville, instead of out of state, because of $1 million in tax breaks, officials said.

Kravet Inc. must move because it has agreed to sell its corporate office, showroom and warehouse to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for $20 million.

The authority wants the 80,000-square-foot building and rail siding at 225 Central Ave. S. to store equipment and materials for the Long Island Rail Road as well as for employee offices, according to a document prepared for the MTA board.

An LIRR spokesman said the facility will eventually replace leased space nearby at 610 Hicksville Rd.

Kravet, which is more than 100 years old, wants to purchase and renovate 1700 Walt Whitman Rd., a smaller building than the one in Bethpage. The $16.8 million project would keep 233 jobs on Long Island, according to the company’s real estate attorney, Daniel P. Deegan.

“They were relatively content in Nassau County, but the MTA has come to them and said, ‘We need your building,’ ” Deegan told a meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. “So, they are being forced to move …This company is a flight risk, but they want to stay here and need your help to do so.”

He said Kravet has an office and warehouse in Anderson, South Carolina, and could move much of its Bethpage operation there.

The IDA board agreed unanimously last week to grant the company a sales tax exemption of up to $360,525 on the purchase of construction materials and equipment, and $82,500 off the mortgage recording tax. It also awarded a property tax reduction of $587,307 over 15 years, or a 29% savings.

IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said Kravet “is a successful, family-owned business that pays its people well.” Records show employees earn, on average, $90,128 per year.

Company president Cary Kravet said members of his family’s fourth and fifth generations work in the business, which has nearly 600 employees. Besides its U.S. operations, the company has a subsidiary in Britain that supplies home furnishings to the royal family.

“Most of our business is in North America,” Kravet said in an interview. “But we purchased GP&J Baker in the U.K. in 2001 and we use them as our base to sell in Europe.”

He said the Bethpage office and warehouse are about 100 feet from the LIRR tracks, and the old rail spur was once used to transport automobile parts for General Motors Corp.

Kravet was founded by Samuel Kravet, a tailor from czarist Russia, and his four sons, Morris, Sam, Sol and Hy, toward the end of World War I. They initially sold fabric and trimmings to interior designers.

The company moved to Long Island in 1963, opening a headquarters and warehouse in Woodbury.

Cary Kravet said the company designs home furnishings, has them manufactured by others, and then sells them to interior designers. It added upholstered furniture to its product line in 1992 and sells under the Kravet, Lee Jofa, Groundworks, Brunschwig & Fils and GP&J Baker brands, among others.

From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book. Credit: Newsday Staff

Elisa DiStefano kick-starts summer with the Fun Book show From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book.

From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book. Credit: Newsday Staff

Elisa DiStefano kick-starts summer with the Fun Book show From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book.

Latest Videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME