A Long Island landlord is spending more than $2 million in an effort to keep one of its tenants -- a 78-year-old company that once serviced Charles Lindbergh's typewriter.
West Rac Contracting Corp. of Hauppauge, a contract construction company and landlord, has been approved by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency for tax benefits to expand and renovate its 43,560-square-foot property at 130 Spagnoli Rd. in Melville.
Its tenant, Carr Business Systems, a Xerox-owned distributor of copy machines, says it has outgrown the space. Keith Elgort, vice president of operations, said Carr's parent company is evaluating its options. Its lease ends in April 2016.
Carr has grown exponentially since it moved into the Spagnoli facility in 2001, and now has about 200 employees on the Island, Elgort said.
He said lack of parking and business growth contributed to logistical problems, including difficulty loading and unloading trucks. The company has had to rent additional space nearby to accommodate an outside sales group.
West Rac president and chief operating officer Gary Krupnick said his plans for the property include building an 8,900-square-foot, 40-foot-high warehouse adjacent to the main building, and purchasing an adjacent 26,000-square-foot strip of land owned by the Town of Huntington that would be developed into additional parking space.
The warehouse addition would feature two additional loading bays for large tractor trailers.
West Rac's IDA benefits include a $100,050 sales tax exemption, a $21,000 mortgage recording tax exemption, and a 10-year property tax abatement on the planned warehouse addition, with a 50 percent reduction on existing taxes for the first year, according to IDA documents.
Carr, founded in Great Neck in 1937, started as a dealer of Victor adding machines and Royal brand typewriters. The company was sold to Global Imaging Systems of Tampa, Florida, in 1998. Xerox Corp. acquired Global Imaging in 2007. Today, Carr services and sells equipment to business customers on Long Island and in New York City.
Lindbergh, known for his historic 1927 trans-Atlantic takeoff from what is now the Roosevelt Field mall, lived in the Revolutionary War-era Joseph Lloyd Manor in Lloyd Neck -- now owned by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities -- for a short time in the years leading up to the nation's entry into World War II.
While there is no guarantee Carr will stick with the facility, Krupnick has committed to fill the building with one or more tenants who could bring at least 100 employees if Carr opts out, said Anthony Catapano, executive director of the Suffolk IDA.
"There are a lot of jobs that are attached to this and everybody, not just me, would like to keep [Carr] right where they are," Krupnick said.