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Hicksville post office eyed as tech spark

Artist rendering of Thought Box 1. It's an

Artist rendering of Thought Box 1. It's an incubator of start-up technology firms envisioned to include affordable housing and a commercial component. Credit: Empire State Development / Canrock Ventures

Sen. Charles Schumer has asked the United States Postal Service to sell or lease its Hicksville office to a Long Island company hoping to start a high-tech business incubator.

"Long Island could become a new hub for technological innovation -- if we commit to fostering and growing start-up tech businesses," Schumer said in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe.

Using the Hicksville post office, Schumer wrote, would "demonstrate Long Island's commitment to being the next home of innovative, cutting-edge entrepreneurs and companies."

Schumer asked Donohoe to work with Accelerate Long Island on a project that would transform the underused Hicksville facility into space for innovative companies and entrepreneurs involved with Brookhaven National Laboratory and other institutions.

The project, dubbed Thought Box 1, received a $3 million state economic development grant in December.

"It would be for residential and commercial space, near the Long Island Rail Road, where young, start-up companies would collaborate with many of our research institutions," said Kevin Law, who heads the Long Island Association and its subsidiary, Accelerate Long Island, which links the area's research labs and universities in an attempt to turn into businesses the technologies developed at the institutions.

Law, who also co-chairs Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Economic Development Council, called Schumer a "terrific advocate."

Congetta Chiricello, a Long Island spokeswoman for the postal service, said: "Postal management is reviewing the specifics of the location's status and will follow up with the senator as soon as possible."

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