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Spirit Pharmaceuticals to create 147 jobs, open factory in Islip Town

Spirit Pharmaceuticals will open a factory in Islip

Spirit Pharmaceuticals will open a factory in Islip Town as part of a plan to create nearly 150 jobs on Long Island, state records show. Credit: iStock

A manufacturer of generic over-the-counter drugs will open a factory in Islip Town as part of a plan that would create nearly 150 jobs on Long Island, state records show.

Spirit Pharmaceuticals LLC will construct a 75,000-square-foot building south of Long Island MacArthur Airport for production, according to documents from Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency.

Centereach-based Spirit makes analgesics, laxatives, cough and cold medicines, sleep aids and nutritional supplements that are sold by Dollar Tree, Dollar General and other retailers.

The $15 million expansion project also calls for consolidating the Centereach office and previously outsourced warehousing operations into 55,000 square feet of rented space at 2004 Orville Dr. N., also south of the Ronkonkoma airport, according to Rechler Equity Partners, which owns the Orville Drive building.

Empire State Development and the town's Industrial Development Agency are providing almost $2 million in tax breaks over 10 years in return for Spirit's creating 147 jobs. It currently employs about 12 people locally, according to the IDA.

The proposed factory will be in the town's foreign trade zone, where businesses can import goods into the United States and pay reduced or no customs duties on them.

"Spirit joins the ranks of a highly successful pharmaceutical manufacturing industry that serves as a key economic driver for the region and employs thousands of Long Islanders," Cara Longworth, Long Island director for Empire State Development, said Wednesday.

Spirit is among more than a dozen drugmakers that have embarked on expansion projects on Long Island in the past few years. Together, the businesses are spending about $400 million on facilities and expect to create more than 2,000 jobs.

Spirit executives did not respond to requests for comment.

The company promised the IDA late last year to hire 18 people by 2017 for the Orville Drive operation. Workers currently earn, on average, $46,650 per year.

The executives also told the IDA that Spirit's sales totaled $17 million per year and would likely grow to $24.5 million in two years.

News of the local plant comes two years after Spirit announced it was moving production from India to South Carolina and investing $12.2 million and creating 296 jobs there.

Spirit told the IDA it had considered moving to South Carolina and New Jersey.

Empire State Development will provide the company with $1.5 million in state tax credits. The IDA has granted a sales-tax exemption of up to $240,000 on materials to refurbish the Orville Drive building -- where a Snapple beverage distributor is also located -- and $247,188 in property tax savings over 10 years.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie M. Carpenter said, "Having a foreign trade zone enables us to attract companies such as Spirit to Islip, which is fast becoming a hub for pharmaceutical companies."

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