Month: March 2016

Fougera to invest $89 million, preserve nearly 400 LI jobs

Faugera pic

The entrance to the Fougera Pharmecuticals facility at 60 Baylis Rd. in Melville, A manufacturer of skin creams, ointments and lotions wants to combine two local factories into one large operation in Suffolk County, in a plan that will preserve nearly 400 jobs, officials said Thursday. Fougera Pharmaceuticals Inc. will make $89 million in improvements to its plant at 60 Baylis Rd. in Melville over the next few years so that work now done at 55 Cantiague Rock Rd. in Hicksville can be moved. The company on Thursday secured $3.7 million in tax breaks over 15 years from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency in return for promises to preserve its workforce and invest in the Melville factory. The company also will receive a $2 million grant from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, and intends to seek cheap electricity from the state Power Authority, officials said.

Fougera plans to add 30,000 square feet to the Baylis Road building, which is now 167,000 square feet. The company is owned by Sandoz Inc. of Germany, which specializes in generic skin medicines. Sandoz is a division of the giant Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG.

Fougera’s local plant consolidation comes as Novartis has shut down operations in Germany, India and Brazil to reduce expenses, according to a regulatory filing. In its request for tax breaks, Fougera said it had considered leaving New York State for Colorado, North Carolina or New Jersey.

 “The Melville alternative has to remain profitable while simultaneously proving attractive when compared to the lower cost environment of the out-of-state option,” said Evelyn Marchany Garcia, a top Fougera executive based in Melville. The company’s Hicksville building will be sold and 128 jobs will be transferred to Melville, where 260 people now work, said George Schwab, the executive overseeing the expansion project. Records show that workers earn, on average, $88,000 a year. “We will be moving all of our production east . . . We will elevate our operation to best in class,” he said.

Fougera was purchased by Novartis in 2012 for $1.5 billion. Begun as a retail pharmacy in Brooklyn in 1849, Fougera moved to Long Island in 1963. It makes brand-name and generic medicines used to treat psoriasis, dermatitis, acne, eczema and other skin ailments. The company is part of Long Island’s drug and biotech industry, which is a bright spot in the manufacturing sector. Most of the players are in Suffolk. This is the third time the IDA has awarded tax breaks to Fougera, according to IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano. moving headquarters to Melville

1234, an online distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies, will get nearly $500,000 in tax breaks from Suffolk County to relocate its headquarters from Farmingdale to 130 Spagnoli Rd. in Melville. (Credit: Johnny Milano), an online distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies, has been approved by Suffolk County for nearly $500,000 in tax breaks to relocate its headquarters from Farmingdale to Melville.

The company, founded 13 years ago out of the bedroom of president and CEO Josh Meyerowitz, plans to move 74 of its 107 Long Island employees to a facility at 130 Spagnoli Rd. and spend $820,000 to renovate and equip the property., which currently operates out of a 92,850-square-foot office and warehouse space, plans to relocate its warehousing operation — 33 jobs — to a 150,000-square-foot facility in Cranbury, New Jersey, but keep and expand its corporate offices here.

The company will sign a 7-year lease for the Melville property, and has the option to purchase it for $7.1 million in year two. The company also has a warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. This is the second time in less than a year the county’s Industrial Development Agency has granted benefits for a project at the Spagnoli site. Last July, the IDA granted Hauppauge-based West Rac Contracting Corp., the property’s owner, tax benefits for a planned $2 million renovation and expansion of the 43,560- square-foot distribution facility in hopes of retaining its tenant Carr Business Systems.Carr’s lease with West Rac ends in April

Carr, a Xerox-owned distributor of copy machines, instead plans to move its more than 100- employee operation to a space at 500 Commack Rd. in Commack, the former Forest Labs property now owned by Bethpage developer Steel Equities. In 2014, Steel received IDA benefits to acquire and convert the massive site into multi-tenant office space. has committed to hire 20 employees over the next two years, and estimates that growth will allow it to add 50 over five years.

“We’re growing so fast that we’ve realized over time we need to leave ourselves some room for growth,” Meyerowitz said during a Thursday IDA meeting. His family has been in the plumbing business for roughly 90 years. “We’re moving our warehouse facility to New Jersey, but 80 percent of the payroll is staying in Suffolk County.”

The company plans to renovate the building to house corporate offices and meeting space as well as a training center for new employees. Job functions include accounting, purchasing, customer service, IT and marketing. Records show employees, on average, make $54,298 a year.’s IDA benefits include a $56,494 sales tax exemption on the purchase of furniture, computers, and other office equipment; a $74,970 mortgage recording tax exemption if they opt to purchase the property; and a 10-year property tax abatement on the facility, with a 50 percent reduction on existing taxes for the first year, according to IDA documents.

Manufacturing sector added 1,300 jobs

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Long Island’s manufacturing sector is producing something relatively new: jobs. Nassau and Suffolk counties combined added 1,300 manufacturing jobs year over year as of January to reach 71,800, increasing by 1.8 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Durable goods manufacturing added 1,100 jobs or 2.8 percent, while nondurable goods added 200 jobs or 0.7 percent.

Kenneth Pokalsky, vice president of The Business Council of New York State, said the state’s 15,000 manufacturers employ more than 455,000 people and generate nearly $70 billion in economic output.

“Companies are hiring across the board, even in manufacturing,” Shital Patel, labor market analyst for the Long Island region at the New York State Department of Labor in Hicksville, said.

Long Island’s high cost of living doesn’t help. But local companies are finding ways to grow their business even as costs increase.

“That’s part of strategy, expanding capabilities,” Hauppaugebased GSE Dynamics CEO Anne ShybunkoMoore said of launching new products. “I went into composites 10 years ago. That opened the door for more types of work.”

Government is providing tax incentives when firms add jobs and expand. Snake Tray and Gundy Powder are getting $250,000 in property tax savings and $21,000 in mortgage recording tax savings as part of a $2.5 million expansion project.

“These are two companies specializing in technologies that are only going to grow more prevalent as time goes on,”

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a written statement.

Hauppauge based A & Z Pharmaceutical plans to construct a new building and lease additional space in another building in a $3.2 million project.

The firm, which currently employs 99, expects to add 12 jobs the first year after its expansion and another 12 the following year. It will receive $742,478 in tax benefits.

Although Pennsylvania courted the firm, LIF instead will get up to $500,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits as it invests $11 million to acquire and outfit a new facility.

Trane Supply opens store in Ronkonkoma


In order to better supply the eastern Long Island area, manufacturer parts and HVAC supply company Trane Supply recently opened a new store in Ronkonkoma.

“We reached out to large facilities and other people to ask them what would be a good location,” said area manager John Stanchak. “We’re trying to build awareness with the area’s industry, increase customer reach and our market share.”

The store opened in early October 2015, and hosted its grand opening on March 16 in 2016. The new 900 square foot space is focused on supplying manufacturer parts like compressors and motors as well as other heating and cooling supplies.

“We’re happy to be here for Long Island,” said Michael Moore, the manager of the Ronkonkoma store. “We’re excited to grow.”

The store joins one other Long Island Trane store in Plainview and is the 5th store now in the metro New York area.

Push broom maker plans $4.5 million expansion on LI

Push Broom

Super Sweep of Deer Park is moving to 20 Railroad St., a 25,000-square-foot building that abuts Long Island Rail Road tracks in Huntington Station. (Credit: Google Earth)

A small manufacturer of push brooms and brushes hopes to boost its workforce by nearly sixfold to 35 people in a $4.5-million project set for Huntington Station.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected Friday to announce that Super Sweep Inc. will expand on Long Island, where it was founded in 1998, rather than out of state.

The business will receive up to $200,000 in state tax credits over 10 years if it hires 29 people and maintains the jobs of six current employees, according to Howard Zemsky, Cuomo’s economic development czar.

Super Sweep is moving to 20 Railroad St., a 25,000-square-foot building that abuts the Long Island Rail Road tracks west of New York Avenue. CEO Michael Margolin said Thursday he hopes to eventually purchase the building, which is five times larger than the factory and warehouse space he now rents in Deer Park. State officials said backing Super Sweep fits into a larger plan for Huntington Station that would combat blight and boost economic development. Last year, the Cuomo-appointed Long Island Regional Economic Development Council recommended Huntington Station for additional state aid.

Margolin said he had considered moving Super Sweep to a state with lower costs, such as Tennessee, “but we really wanted to stay in New York and just needed a little help.”

He and his wife, stepson, daughter and brother are all involved in Super Sweep and a related roofing business, FMS Industries Inc. Margolin said he invented the sturdy push broom with an aluminum handle in the mid-1990s after a new, wooden-handled broom broke as he was cleaning up after a roofing job.

“I thought, ‘there’s got to be something better,’” he said. “I built a prototype in a couple of days . . . and eventually we patented it.” Margolin said he hopes to have $1 million in sales by the end of next year.

The brooms are sold in more than 1,000 stores nationwide, including Ace Hardware, and on