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Babylon IDA retained or added 1,800 jobs in 2013

The Babylon Town Industrial Development Agency closed nearly two dozen deals last year, retaining or adding 1,800 jobs to the town.

The IDA, which negotiates tax breaks with firms, signed contracts with 22 companies in 2013, said the agency's CEO, Robert Stricoff, 10 of which involve manufacturers. Those manufacturing tax breaks led to 1,100 retained or new jobs, according to the companies' business plans, Stricoff said.

Of the 22 IDA deals in 2013, nine are in East Farmingdale, six in Deer Park, four in Wyandanch, two in Lindenhurst and one in Amityville.

Keeping commercial buildings occupied is one way to shore up the town's tax base, Stricoff said.

"There are economic development people who talk just about job growth," he said. "But I think job retention, especially for a mature town like Babylon, is just as important if not more important."

Stricoff said the agency does not track companies that left the town, nor job losses. He cited the 2011 exit by Bed, Bath & Beyond from its East Farmingdale office as a loss that motivated a successful rebound by the town.

Two Long Island companies, Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology and Catholic Health Systems of Long Island, signed deals last year to move into the building, now two-thirds occupied, bringing 500 jobs, he said.

For that deal, the IDA partnered with the Plainview-based Rechler Equity Partners, Stricoff said. A Rechler sister company, R Squared Real Estate Partners of Plainview, was given a 10-year tax abatement deal last year in the development of apartment buildings with retail on the site of a mobile home park in North Amityville.

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