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Suffolk considers 'innovation zones'

Commissioner Joanne Minieri, of Economic Development, speaks at

Commissioner Joanne Minieri, of Economic Development, speaks at the Suffolk County Legislature. (Aug. 1, 2012) Credit: Chris Ware

Suffolk County is reviewing vacant land that it owns as potential sites for new businesses, the county’s top economic developer said Wednesday.

Joanne Minieri, commissioner of economic development and planning, said her department is reviewing county-owned land at the three campuses of Suffolk County Community College and along major roadways for “innovation zones.”

The zones would provide low-cost space, tax breaks and other incentives to small, growing companies, including recent graduates of technology business incubators. Tax incentives would come from the county’s industrial development agency, Minieri told county legislators on Wednesday afternoon.

County Executive Steve Bellone proposed the innovation zones last year during his successful campaign for office. He has charged Minieri with making them a reality.

Minieri told county lawmakers she envisions the zones will provide new companies with aid, low-cost space, help with permits and access to training and housing for employees. “We’re in the planning stages right how,” she said.

Before joining the Bellone administration, Minieri served as president and chief operating officer of the Forest City Ratner development company.

Photo: Joanne Minieri, Suffolk commissioner of economic development and planning

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