Author: pcrellcwp

Forest Laboratories Selling Commack Building

Drugmaker Forest Laboratories Inc. is selling its cavernous building in Commack, a company official confirmed.

The Manhattan-based manufacturer of branded-prescription medicines used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, depression and other ailments has put 500 Commack Rd. on the market for $45 million, according to a flier advertising the building. The move comes after Forest has spent millions of dollars to convert the building from a packaging plant to offices and laboratories, as part of a plan to consolidate nine properties in Suffolk County. Work on the conversion was recently stopped.

In addition, Forest agreed in February to be purchased by another industry leader, Actavis Plc of Dublin, Ireland for $25 billion.

“Following a full evaluation of our space requirements on Long Island, and taking into consideration recent head count changes and cost reduction objectives, Forest has made the decision to exit our 500 Commack Rd. facility by about spring of 2015,” company spokeswoman Amanda Kaufman said Thursday night.

She also said 100 people work in the building and that its sale “does not have any impact on head count nor is it indicative of any future plans related to employment.”

Forest has more than 600 workers locally out of 5,800 across the globe. In December 2013, the company embarked on a “rejuvenation” plan that officials said would reduce its Suffolk payroll between 10 and 20 percent.

The Commack Road building, which sits right off the Northern State Parkway, has more than 400,000 square feet of office, warehousing, manufacturing and laboratory space and sits on 33.8 acres of land, according to a sale listing.

Besides the Commack Road building, the drugmaker owns two other offices in Commack, totaling 123,000 square feet, and two offices in Hauppauge, totaling 135,000 square feet, according to a securities filing.

The spokeswoman said Friday that Forest sold a another 180,000-square-foot building, also in Commack, in the past year. That space had been rented to other businesses.
Forest, saying it no longer needed 945,000 square feet in Suffolk, sought help from governments in 2010-11 to consolidate and modernize its operation.
The $40-million plan was backed by $3.3 million in state tax credits from Empire State Development, New York’s primary business aid agency, and $2.2 million in tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. In return for the aid, Forest promised to add 10 jobs to its local payroll. The company had threatened to leave for Missouri, New Jersey or Ohio.
Forest is the most high profile of two-dozen or so drugmakers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Founded in 1956, the company spent its early years in Inwood, pioneering the technology that slowly releases a drug into the body, and developed branded prescription drugs. It is known for Bystolic, which treats high blood pressure, and Teflaro, a remedy for skin infections. The business began moving operations from Inwood to Suffolk in the 1990s.

Forest had a profit of $165 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Sales totaled $3.6 billion.

Hain Celestial buys Rudi’s Organic for $61.3 million

The Hain Celestial Group has purchased a manufacturer of organic and gluten-free foods for $61.3 million. The Lake Success-based natural foods company said it had bought Rudi’s Organic Bakery Inc., based in Boulder, Colo., from the investment firm Charterhouse Equity Partners LLC. The acquisition expands Hain’s already substantial presence in the market for organic and gluten-free foodstuffs, company chief executive Irwin D. Simon said earlier this week. Rudi’s “expands our participation into 11 of the top 20 natural categories in the United States,” he said. Simon also said he hopes to add to Rudi’s current product offerings of bread, buns, bagels, tortillas, wraps, pretzels, pizza crust, stuffing and snack bars. Its sales totaled $60 million last year. Hain has had operations in Boulder since the 1960s but last year moved some accounting and research operations from there to its new, $10-million headquarters and product development center in Lake Success. The company’s Celestial Seasonings teas and WestSoy tofu are still made in Boulder.

Rechler Equity breaks ground on Hamptons business park

Plainview-based Rechler Equity Partners breaks ground Tuesday on the Hampton Business District at Gabreski, a new business park within Gabreski Airport on 50 acres owned by Suffolk County in Westhampton Beach.

Work has now begun on 220 Roger’s Way, a 60,000-square-foot industrial building that will be followed by eight more buildings totaling 440,000 square feet, according to a statement. Suffolk selected Rechler Equity Partners as developer for the project in 2009.

The new business park will offer space ranging from 1,333 square feet up to 100,000 square feet. Following the construction of the first building, development will begin on two office and medical buildings totaling 60,000 square feet. The business district will also include a 145-room hotel, a restaurant, a day care center, a health club, and a bank.

Company principal Mitchell Rechler said the new park will have the technology and design to accommodate today’s research and development, light manufacturing and office needs.

“Based on the response we got and our instincts when we were awarded the bid, we knew there was an opportunity to create a market where there would be significant demand,

Rechler Equity breaks ground on Hamptons business park

Plainview-based Rechler Equity Partners breaks ground Tuesday on the Hampton Business District at Gabreski, a new business park within Gabreski Airport on 50 acres owned by Suffolk County in Westhampton Beach.

Work has now begun on 220 Roger’s Way, a 60,000-square-foot industrial building that will be followed by eight more buildings totaling 440,000 square feet, according to a statement. Suffolk selected Rechler Equity Partners as developer for the project in 2009.

The new business park will offer space ranging from 1,333 square feet up to 100,000 square feet. Following the construction of the first building, development will begin on two office and medical buildings totaling 60,000 square feet. The business district will also include a 145-room hotel, a restaurant, a day care center, a health club, and a bank.

Company principal Mitchell Rechler said the new park will have the technology and design to accommodate today’s research and development, light manufacturing and office needs.

“Based on the response we got and our instincts when we were awarded the bid, we knew there was an opportunity to create a market where there would be significant demand.

Islip advances Heartland project

One of Long Island’s largest mega-projects has taken another step closer to becoming a reality after the Islip Town Board voted to accept its environmental impact statement.

On Thursday, the town unanimously accepted the final environmental impact statement for the $4 billion Heartland Town Square development, which proposes to create 9,100 apartments, 1 million square feet of retail space and more than 3 million square feet of offices on 460 acres of former Pilgrim State Hospital land in Brentwood.

The first phase of the project, which still requires a change of zone and site plan approval, would build 3,500 apartments.

According to the project’s developer, the planned mix of rental apartments, shops, restaurants and offices will eventually generate about 23,000 permanent jobs, and at least 1,500 construction jobs annually throughout its build-out, which could easily eclipse 20 years.

As it is with most large development projects on Long Island, it’s been a long slog toward approvals. Developer Gerald Wolkoff purchased the property from the state for $20.1 million in 2001 and first proposed the project in 2002. After an initial public hearing on the plan in 2004, five years of back-and-forth negotiations with the developer passed before the town held the next public hearing in 2009.

There have been many obstacles, not the least of which was concern over traffic from the addition of thousands of residents and dozens of new businesses.
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council put Heartland Town Square on its 2012 list of regionally significant projects and qualified it for $2.5 million in state funding that will go toward infrastructure and sewers.

Islip advances Heartland project

One of Long Island’s largest mega-projects has taken another step closer to becoming a reality after the Islip Town Board voted to accept its environmental impact statement.

On Thursday, the town unanimously accepted the final environmental impact statement for the $4 billion Heartland Town Square development, which proposes to create 9,100 apartments, 1 million square feet of retail space and more than 3 million square feet of offices on 460 acres of former Pilgrim State Hospital land in Brentwood.

The first phase of the project, which still requires a change of zone and site plan approval, would build 3,500 apartments.

According to the project’s developer, the planned mix of rental apartments, shops, restaurants and offices will eventually generate about 23,000 permanent jobs, and at least 1,500 construction jobs annually throughout its build-out, which could easily eclipse 20 years.

As it is with most large development projects on Long Island, it’s been a long slog toward approvals. Developer Gerald Wolkoff purchased the property from the state for $20.1 million in 2001 and first proposed the project in 2002. After an initial public hearing on the plan in 2004, five years of back-and-forth negotiations with the developer passed before the town held the next public hearing in 2009.

There have been many obstacles, not the least of which was concern over traffic from the addition of thousands of residents and dozens of new businesses.
The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council put Heartland Town Square on its 2012 list of regionally significant projects and qualified it for $2.5 million in state funding that will go toward infrastructure and sewers.

Hi-Lume relocating to Hauppauge

Hi-Lume Corp. is in the process of purchasing a 57,500-square-foot facility in Hauppauge to serve as a centralized headquarters.

The Huntington Station-based commercial carpentry company will spend $4.54 million to purchase the facility, located on 5 acres at 175 Kennedy Drive, before spending an additional $3.31 million to construct a 17,500-square-foot addition. Once completed, Hi-Lume will move itself and its affiliates – Metro Interior Distributors, Liberty Doorworks and W.J. Northridge Construction, collectively known as Sutherland Building Group – out of three facilities scattered around Northwest Suffolk County and into the Hauppauge office.

“We’ve completely outgrown our facility,