A New Hyde Park business that constructs the interiors of retail stores won tax breaks on Wednesday to expand in Nassau County instead of out of state.
Piece Management Inc. will carry out plans to buy and renovate a 41,000-square-foot building at 790 Summa Ave. in Westbury to house its millwork shop and warehouse, company president Michael Sumersille said. The expansion is valued at $6.7 million.
He said Piece’s decision to grow in Nassau was contingent on tax incentives from the county’s Industrial Development Agency. He had considered moving some operations to Maryland, Massachusetts or New Jersey, where the company already has offices, or to Suffolk County.
“I can go any place that I really want to” in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, all with lower operating costs than in Nassau, Sumersille told the agency’s board of directors. The tax incentives “will allow us to stay here,” he said.
The IDA awarded Piece a sales-tax exemption of up to $112,988 on the purchase of construction materials, equipment and supplies, and $44,625 off the mortgage recording tax. The manufacturer’s property tax rate on the Westbury building will be frozen for three years, followed by increases of 0.73 percent in each of the following 12 years.
In return, Piece has promised to hire 23 people by 2021. They will join a millwork division workforce of 42, Sumersille told the IDA.
Records show these employees earn, on average, $45,000 to $85,000 per year depending on their job title. This excludes health insurance and an employee stock ownership plan, in which workers now own 30 percent of Piece and will eventually own 100 percent.
“My whole gig is to retain employees and make sure they don’t leave,” Sumersille said, referring to the reasons that led him to establish an ESOP in 2013.
Separately, the company has won up to $400,000 in state tax credits for its expansion in Westbury, said Howard Zemsky, CEO of Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.
Piece constructs interiors for national chains such as Starbucks Coffee Co., Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Regal Cinema; fashion houses such as Michael Kors and Donna Karan, and cultural institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
Timothy Williams, outgoing IDA board chairman, lauded the company’s ESOP, saying, “We appreciate what you are doing for your employees.”
Incoming IDA board chairman Richard Kessel added, “We are glad that you are staying. . . . The goal of the IDA is not just to bring in new businesses but to keep businesses here.”