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LI trophy maker receives tax breaks for alternative location

A custom trophy order is fulfilled at the

A custom trophy order is fulfilled at the Trophy Depot, an assembler and distributor of awards and trophies for schools, sporting leagues and corporate organizers, seen here at the headquarters in Edgewood on Nov. 20, 2014. Credit: Barry Sloan

Trophy Depot Inc., an assembler and online retailer of trophies, has been awarded tax breaks for a planned $13 million relocation to a former Olympus America Inc. facility in Hauppauge.

The company has 52 employees and will be adding 16 after the project's completion.

Trophy Depot, currently based at 171 Rodeo Dr. in Edgewood, was originally approved Nov. 20 for tax benefits to move to a different facility in Hauppauge. In April, the company requested to amend its application to the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, citing the significant cost of renovations needed to get that facility into shape.

"The new location that we're moving to is a newer building and is laid out so that we can install our equipment and production lines in a much more efficient manner," said David Rosenberg, an attorney representing Trophy Depot. The building purchase will allow the company to "continue to grow in Suffolk County," he said.

Approved by the IDA last week, the 105,000-square-foot Olympus site will serve as the future headquarters of the company, which sells custom engraved trophies to sports leagues, schools and businesses.

Trophy Depot's benefits include a $202,688 sales tax exemption on engraving machinery and equipment needed to renovate the building, an $89,250 mortgage recording tax exemption and a 15-year property tax abatement, with a 50 percent reduction on existing taxes for the first year.

Late last year, the Olympus America facility was placed on the market by the property's owner, Elm Global Logistics of Brentwood, for $12.4 million.

The 400 Rabro Dr. East location had been the site of a returns center for Olympus America, a subsidiary of Japanese medical equipment and camera maker Olympus Corp., since 2001. In 2006, Olympus America moved its headquarters from Melville to Center Valley, Pennsylvania.

Anthony Catapano, executive director of the IDA, said that while it isn't common for applicants to change project locations after being approved for benefits, it does happen.

Because applicants often come to the agency early in their project planning, "they may not have secured the proper engineering reports and review" until after benefits have been awarded, he said.

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