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Northport brewery seeking tax abatement for location in Lindenhurst

The Babylon Industrial Development Agency preliminarily approved Sand City Brewing Co.'s application Wednesday. The brewery is asking for a 12-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement starting at 60 percent.

Sand City Brewing Co. in Northport wants to

Sand City Brewing Co. in Northport wants to open a second location, in Lindenhurst. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

A popular Northport brewery is seeking a tax abatement for a planned second location, in Lindenhurst.

Sand City Brewing Co. wants to open a craft beer brewery and tasting room at 150 S. Wellwood Ave. The site has been vacant for at least five years, after CVS closed its store there.

The Babylon Industrial Development Agency voted Wednesday to preliminarily approve the brewery’s application, which seeks a 12-year payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, agreement starting at 60 percent. Under the proposal, Sand City would pay $41,831 the first year and by year 12 would pay $117,967. After 12 years, the brewery will have paid $931,989 and will have saved $409,461. Village and town taxes on the property are currently about $97,000, according to the IDA. The IDA must hold a public hearing on the application.

“This a no-brainer. It checks all of our boxes, from economic development, to community development, to downtown revitalization,” Tom Dolan, the IDA’s CEO, said in an email. He said the IDA plans to “work hand-in-hand with village officials to make this project a reality.”

Sand City has not submitted an application to the village and has not completed a lease agreement with property owner Almonte Hurst Realty Llc of Hewlett, Lindenhurst trustee RJ Renna said.

Sand City partner Bill Kiernan declined to comment on the brewery’s plans. In its IDA application, the brewery, listed as Cow Harbor Beer Company Llc, states that its Northport facility, which opened in 2015, has 1,700 square feet for brewing and a 700-square-foot tasting room, with five full-time and 12 part-time employees. The 10,000-square-foot Lindenhurst building will be renovated and use 7,000 square feet for beer production and the remaining 3,000 square feet for storage and a tasting room. Lindenhurst will have nine full-time and 10 part-time employees by the second year of operation, the application states.

The brewery last year faced scrutiny after resident complaints about long lines of patrons and other issues led the Northport Village zoning board to prohibit Sand City from reopening a tasting room after renovations finished. Several months later, after dozens of residents voiced their support for the company at a hearing, the board voted to allow it to reopen.

Renna, a craft beer enthusiast, said he read Newsday stories about the closing and reached out to the Sand City owners.

“The premise of the conversation was pretty much, ‘I’ll give you my first born if you come here’,” he said, laughing.

Renna said he is not concerned about the problems the brewery had in Northport.

“I think it’ll attract good people to our downtown, and these people are going to leave the brewery and go to a restaurant downtown and shop," he said. "I think it’s going to be positive.”

The village has had a dozen new businesses open in the past two years with several more slated to open this year, including another brewery, 27A Brewing Company. Co-owner Melissa Bates said she welcomes Sand City.  

“I think it’s going to be really good," she said, "and make Lindenhurst more of a destination.”

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