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Tonsa Automotive seeks tax breaks to expand on LI

The company's proposed $14 million project in Port Washington would add six jobs to the company's local payroll of 52.

Tonsa Automotive's headquarters in  Port Washington, seen

Tonsa Automotive's headquarters in  Port Washington, seen in June 2018. Photo Credit: Google Maps

An automotive parts supplier in Port Washington is seeking tax breaks to expand nearby instead of in New Jersey or the Midwest, officials said.

Tonsa Automotive Inc. hopes to purchase 83 Harbor Rd. in Port Washington, consolidating two locations into one. The $14 million project would add six jobs to the company’s local payroll of 52.

Tonsa needs more space to accommodate its growing inventory of auto parts, which it sells to repair shops, company attorney William Cornachio said Thursday.

Most of the family-owned business’ customers are located outside of the metropolitan region and overseas. They require quick delivery of parts to fix motorists’ vehicles, he said.  

“What’s key to its success is prompt delivery of automobile parts. … [Motorists] don’t want to wait several days for the part to arrive,” Cornachio said last month at a meeting of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency. “So quick delivery is absolutely essential. If you are in the Midwest, you can service both coasts much more rapidly than you can from here.”

The IDA board approved a resolution to negotiate a package of tax breaks in return for Tonsa’s commitment to remain in Nassau.

Cornachio said Thursday that Tonsa plans to move its entire Port Washington operation to 83 Harbor Rd., which has been home to hair care products distributor Model Model Hair Fashion.

Tonsa will retain ownership of its current headquarters and warehouse at 30 Seaview Blvd., which likely will be rented to another business. It will exit another warehouse that it rents at 27A Seaview Blvd., he said.

Records show Tonsa employees earn, on average, $59,000 per year.

Tonsa was started in 1981 by two immigrants, Tony Bobelian and Santo Muradian, in a small warehouse in New Hyde Park. The company’s name is a combination of the men’s first names. Tony’s sons, Leon and Michael, now run the business.

Tonsa initially supplied the repair shops of automobile dealerships in the metropolitan region. However, since the recession the company has shifted to supply repair shops across the country and is engaging in export sales and internet sales through rockauto.com, according to its aid application.

Tonsa is a key supplier of ACDelco and General Motors Corp. parts. The latter represents more than half of Tonsa’s annual purchases of parts that it then resells, according to the application.

IDA chairman Richard Kessel said the agency “will work to keep this business on Long Island.”

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