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North Atlantic Industries buys bigger HQ to foster staff collaboration

After renovations, North Atlantic Industries will move its

After renovations, North Atlantic Industries will move its 200-plus employees from two nearby buildings to 116 Wilbur Place. Credit: Town of Islip/Daniel Goodrich

North Atlantic Industries Inc., a maker of embedded electronics used in aerospace, is consolidating into a new, 94,000-square-foot headquarters and production facility in Bohemia, the company and government officials announced.

The company, with about 200 full-time employees and more than 20 paid interns, will be moving into a building at 116 Wilbur Place, across the street from its current headquarters at 110 Wilbur Place.

The company's new home, purchased for $14 million in December, is being remodeled, with occupancy expected in June.

John Walser, executive director of the Town of Islip Industrial Development Agency, said North Atlantic Industries would receive a package of property tax abatements and mortgage recording and sales tax exemptions totaling $1.25 million over 12 years.

In exchange, the company has agreed to expand its head count by 50 over three years.

William Forman, president and chief executive of North Atlantic Industries, said the company currently occupies a total of 52,000 square feet at 110 Wilbur Place and a second, nearby building on Orville Drive.

"We needed a facility where we could move everybody into one building and encourage collaboration," he said.

Forman said that the company's technicians and test, mechanical, software and electrical engineers "need to speak and work together."

The move comes against the backdrop of a global coronavirus pandemic and economic and fiscal uncertainty, Forman acknowledged.

"We're extremely optimistic in our business going forward," he said, but the pandemic has forced the company to implement policies on social distancing, masking and remote work, bringing the head count down to about 60% at the current locations.

Walser said the company's move was expected to cost about $17.5 million overall, including retrofitting the new location.

"This is a big jump in footprint and presence on Long Island," he said.

Forman said the company's business has grown steadily, increasing more than 10% compounded annually since 1992.

Yearly revenue now is "well north of $50 million," he said, and about 20% of revenue is funneled into research and development. "That's driven the revenue growth," he said.

The company's customers include aerospace giants Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space company), Thales Group and Bell Textron.

"Ten of the top 10 aerospace companies in the world buy from us," Forman said.

North Atlantic's proprietary computer and electronic devices can be found on aircraft including the F-18 and F-16 jets, the Blackhawk helicopter, and Global Hawk and Predator drones.

A previous plan in 2017 to expand at the 110 Wilbur location was scrapped, Walser said.

In addition to about 20 paid college interns drawn from Stony Brook University, Hofstra University and schools from around the country, North Atlantic hires a few high school students in an effort to promote science, technology, engineering and math education, Forman said.

Forman said the company currently has about 15 job openings for engineers, technicians and mechanical assemblers.

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