The developer who renovated some of the old Grumman aircraft factories in Bethpage so they could be used for new purposes has a similar plan for five buildings in Mineola where handsaws and chisels are now made, officials said.
Steel Equities is proposing to purchase and rehabilitate the buildings on East Second Street, along with a parcel on Union Street, from Great Neck Saw Manufacturers Inc.
The $20.6 million transaction, involving 200,740 square feet of commercial space, would take place over four or five years. Improvements costing up to $6 million are planned, according to the officials.
Demand for warehouse, factory space
Glenn Lostritto, co-owner of Steel Equities, said demand for factory and warehouse space is increasing on the Island as apartment buildings and houses are built on land once reserved for industry.
"That need is going to be even stronger over the next three to four years because of all these sites being converted to residential," he said, adding Amazon and other retailers needing more warehouses would likely be the tenants for the Mineola buildings, along with manufacturers.
"Within one year we hope to put new tenants into the first building," Lostritto told a meeting of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency last month.
Steel Equities has applied to the IDA for a sales-tax exemption of up to $327,750, a mortgage-recording tax reduction of up to $161,400 and 20 years of property-tax savings.
The IDA will hold a public hearing on the project Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in Mineola village hall, 155 Washington Ave.
Steel Equities has found new uses for other properties on East Second Street, most notably the former home of defense manufacturer A.K. Allen Co. and its subsidiaries Allenair Corp. and Allen Avionics. That project was awarded 20 years of tax breaks in 2019 and is now fully occupied by new tenants, said Daniel P. Deegan, the developer’s real estate attorney.
Great Neck Saw's plans
Last month, Steel Equities incorrectly told the IDA that Great Neck Saw was leaving New York State after more than 90 years.
Responding to questions from Newsday, Richard Hollingsworth, chief financial officer of Great Neck Saw, said the company "is not moving from Long Island."
He said, "When the sale of the buildings is completed, we will make a decision to either lease space back from Steel Equities or move to another location on Long Island." Great Neck Saw also has a small factory in West Babylon.
The manufacturer of hand tools used in construction and automobile repair is selling the Mineola properties after reducing its production activity because of competition from rivals in Asia.
"The loss of business to Asian manufacturers over the past few years forced us to de-emphasize the role that manufacturing plays in our overall business plan," Hollingsworth said, adding "the current level of manufacturing at the Mineola facility will continue for the foreseeable future."
Great Neck Saw has 349 employees, with 124 in Mineola and four in West Babylon. It also has operations in Massachusetts and Tennessee.
The company’s products are sold by Ace Hardware, AutoZone, Home Depot, Lowe’s, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Walmart stores as well as by Amazon.
"The funds [from the buildings’ sale] will be used to reinvest in all of our U.S. facilities," including new equipment for the local production operations, Hollingsworth said.