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Nassau OTB offices moving to Mineola

Nassau Off Track Betting will spend nearly $2 million to purchase a building in Mineola to house its administrative headquarters beginning in March 2014, OTB officials said.

The agency had been leasing 20,000-square feet of space in a building on Fulton Avenue in Hempstead since the 1970s.

But Nassau OTB president Joseph Cairo said the building, which was built in the 1940s, was getting old and the space was too large for its needs.

"It's a different age and we just don't need that much space anymore," he said.

Cairo said OTB will spend $1.9 million -- $1.4 million will be financed -- to buy a two-story brick building on Liberty Avenue in Mineola.

The facility will house OTB's 40-person administrative staff, which handles payroll, finance, customer service departments and other duties.

The agency has been spending about $300,000 in rent in Hempstead annually, including taxes, Cairo said.

OTB officials reached an agreement with the property owners, three limited liability companies, to break the lease a year early in exchange for a settlement of roughly $75,000.

Cairo estimates the move will save OTB about $2 million over the next decade.

Moris Bakhash, one of the owners of the Hempstead building, characterized OTB's departure as "amicable," and said he is negotiating with new tenants at a higher rent.

Nassau OTB, like its counterpart in Suffolk, is expecting a major revenue infusion next year with the addition of 1,000 video lottery terminals in each county.

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