We found an ideal location in Suffolk County to buy, but a new building would need extensive work and plenty of capital to outfit. The Suffolk IDA stepped in and offered incentives - from real estate tax abatements to mortgage and sales-tax exemptions - that were critical factors in our decision to stay on Long Island.
CEO, Autronic Plastics, Inc.
Autronic Plastics Inc. (API), a custom plant injection molding and LED lighting company, had a big decision to make. The company had facilities in both Nassau County and North Carolina that totaled approximately 60,000 square feet, but consolidation was imperative when its Westbury headquarters and factory couldn't handle increased demand as it expanded its LED lighting product line.
Moving to North Carolina was appealing financially. The cost of utilities and doing business in a facility outside of Asheville, NC did seem to make the most fiscal sense. But Michael Lax, CEO, felt that uprooting the entire operation wasn't ideal. The company had been founded on Long Island in 1953, and it had enjoyed steady growth and expansion for more than half a century.
At the time, API had a local workforce of more than 75, including many employees who had been with the company for decades - some for as many as 40 years. Lax valued the loyalty of those employees, as well as the roots the company had set 50 years earlier when it first set up shop. Another option other than moving to North Carolina had to be developed.
Lax turned his sights east and found a prime location on Motor Pkwy in Central Islip. It was larger than expected - 100,000 square feet - but it was the right facility for the company to buy. With enough space to handle the equipment from the North Carolina plants, along with an increased workload and room to continue expanding and increasing the LED lighting business, it looked like API had found a building that met its needs and would keep the business on Long Island.
Purchasing and outfitting the building would have significant costs, so Lax turned to us for some economic assistance. We agreed to cut $1 million from API's property taxes over the course of 12 years and provided a sales-tax exemption that helped API transform the new building into a cutting-edge, state- of-the-art manufacturing facility. The sales-tax exemption applied to the purchase of new equipment and the entire construction and outfitting of API's new facility.
In return, API has plans to add at least 40 jobs onto its payroll within the next five years. Lax is also closing the remaining facility in North Carolina, consolidating the entire company in Suffolk and bringing nine more jobs to the county payroll, along with more than 75 from Westbury that will stay with the company as it shifts its operations out east to Central Islip.
By partnering with the Suffolk IDA, API was able to purchase a new facility large enough to consolidate all its manufacturing operations and office space into one location, and is now positioned to continue expanding for years to come.