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Queens marketing company to move HQ to Islandia

A Queens company that had been courted by New Jersey plans to relocate to two facilities in Islandia, bringing with it 135 jobs, according to the Town of Islip Industrial Development Agency.

Long Island City-based Century Direct LLC, a printing and direct-mail marketing company, plans to purchase the assets of Islandia-based direct-mail marketer Mailmen Inc. Century intends to retain the 177 jobs based at Mailmen's two 85,000-square-foot buildings at 15 Enter Lane and 130 Hoffman Lane.

"Mailmen had been struggling as of late, and there was a chance that they would have shut their doors and all 177 jobs would be lost," said William Mannix, executive director of the Islip IDA. The asset purchase is "saving Mailmen from a potential shutdown," he said.

Executives at Century and Mailmen did not respond to requests for comment.

Mailmen owns the 15 Enter Lane property and will continue to serve as landlord of that facility. A lease agreement on the second building, which is owned by a third party, has yet to be finalized, Mannix said.

The Islip IDA, whose members also sit on the town's council, gave preliminary approval to Century's request for tax breaks in its planned move to the Island earlier this month. Final approval, pending completion of an environmental impact review, is expected to be given in mid-January.

According to the IDA, the financial aid package includes a sales tax exemption of up to $211,312, mortgage recording tax savings of $31,500 on the 15 Enter Lane facility and a 15- year property tax abatement with a 60 percent reduction in the current tax bill for the first three years on both buildings.

Century plans to invest about $4.2 million into the facilities over the next five years, including $1.7 million in equipment and machinery.

Mannix lauded the move as a win for both the region and the state, as the company had received competitive offers from New Jersey's economic development initiative, Grow NJ, including $4 million in tax breaks.

From 2011 to 2013, Nassau and Suffolk counties competed with New Jersey for at least 15 business expansions, according to a Newsday survey of state agencies and the eight local industrial development agencies.

"Not only do we gain 135 jobs in our region, New York retains the 135 jobs," Mannix said.

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