A designer and wholesaler of home furnishings, who sold its Bethpage building to the MTA for use by the Long Island Rail Road, wants to move to Woodbury, officials said.
Kravet Inc. hopes to open a headquarters and showroom at 250 Crossways Park Dr. next year. More than 170 employees would work there, according to president and co-owner Cary Kravet.
He said the company’s current HQ, at 225 Central Ave. South in Bethpage, was "sold to the MTA in June under the threat of eminent domain for the Third Track project."
MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said, "We didn't threaten eminent domain and the property is not being used for Third Track."
The $20 million transaction involves an 80,000-square-foot building and a rail siding that will be used by the MTA to store equipment and materials for the LIRR as well as for employee offices, according to a document prepared for the agency’s board of directors. The MTA wants to replace rented space nearby at 610 Hicksville Rd, the spokesman said.
Kravet, which is 102 years old, has been searching for a new home for months. It initially planned to move to Melville with $1 million in tax breaks over 15 years from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. However, the company decided not to move forward with that project, officials confirmed on Wednesday.
Kravet now wants to purchase the 60,070-square-foot Crossways Park building for $12.5 million and to secure tax breaks from the Nassau County IDA. The Crossways Park property became available as the company was negotiating to buy two other offices, Cary Kravet said on Wednesday.
"This office park is where we started on Long Island when we moved here in 1963," from New York City, he said.
The company was founded by Samuel Kravet, a tailor from czarist Russia, and his four sons, Morris, Sam, Sol and Hy, before the end of World War I. Today, Cary, his wife, brother and sister — all members of the family’s fourth generation — are active in the business, along with three members of the fifth generation.
The company designs and sells fabrics, furniture, wallpaper and other home furnishings to interior designers and architects for use in homes. Designers of new products rely on a company archive of textiles dating to 200 B.C., Cary Kravet told last week’s meeting of the Nassau IDA.
The move to Woodbury, estimated to cost $16 million, would keep Kravet on Long Island, said its real estate attorney Eric C. Rubenstein. Other operations are in Manhattan, Chicago, South Carolina, Canada, England and France, with 600 employees in North America, he said.
Kravet has requested more than $217,500 in tax breaks over 15 years. The IDA board voted unanimously to negotiate a tax deal with the company.
CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this article failed to note the MTA disputes Kravet's description of the circumstances surrounding the sale of its Bethpage headquarters.