Apr 28, 2017

Preliminary Approval For High-Tech, Housing Tax Deals

Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency


Neu digs: A tax-incentives package that will help Melville digital-content producer NeuLion double the size of its high-tech HQ has received preliminary approval from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

Dozens of high-paying tech jobs and affordable rental housing for those who aren’t paid quite that much are in the mix with two transactions preliminarily approved Thursday by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA took a step toward green-lighting an incentives package for Melville-based technology products and services provider NeuLion Inc., which specializes in the broadcasting, distribution and monetization of live and on-demand digital video content. With the agency’s help, NeuLion plans to more than double the size of its 50,000-square-foot headquarters and add some 40 new jobs with an average annual salary of $76,000, according to the IDA.

Also approved Thursday was an incentives package for Westfield Green Residential Development at Selden, which will put its tax breaks toward the creation of 126 rental units – more than 30 of which would be designated affordable “workforce housing,” the IDA said.

Suffolk IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano said Thursday that both companies’ applications were in the agency’s sweet spot, which is “addressing the needs of our growing economy.”

“The transactions approved today help fulfill our mission by addressing two of Suffolk County’s most urgent needs: the creation of quality, high-paying jobs and rental housing options that the average employee can afford,” Catapano added.

NeuLion President and CEO Roy Reichbach said sales and mortgage-tax abatement package is essential to an estimated $14.8 million effort to expand his company’s Long Island footprint.

“NeuLion is continuing to grow, and our new worldwide headquarters here on Long Island will … include an all-new technical operations center, fitness center, cafeteria, and state-of-the-art employee working environment,” Reichbach said in a statement. “Our employees are very excited about our new space in Melville.”

Westfield Green Selden’s tax-abatement deal strengthens a 14.25-acre, $31 million redevelopment project by subsidiary 495 Middle Country Road LLC. Ultimately, the project will create roughly 190,000 square feet of new residential space – with about a quarter of that space reserved for residents earning below 120 percent of the Area Median Income.

The Long Island Housing Partnership will work with the developer to administer the qualification process for the workforce housing units and ensure the units remain in compliance with local regulations, according to the IDA.

The revitalization project includes various community benefits, including a portion of the land being dedicated to the Middle Country Library and the dedication of a public area in recognition of a local Revolutionary War hero. That public area is slated to include a clubhouse and “various monuments in honor of the U.S. armed services,” the IDA said.

“With the help and leadership of the Suffolk County IDA, Town of Brookhaven and Long Island Housing Partnership, we look forward to cleaning up a blighted property and creating a vibrant residential community that will help drive economic development in Selden and throughout the Town of Brookhaven and Suffolk County by providing much needed housing options,” Mike Kelly, managing partner of 495 Middle Country Road LLC, said in a statement.

Suffolk IDA Deputy Executive Director Kelly Murphy said the projects were granted preliminary incentives-package approval because they “provide a real impact and real opportunities for Long Island residents.

“When approving transactions, we want to make sure the businesses receiving them are poised for success,” Morris said Thursday. “But more importantly, we want to ensure their success has a direct, positive effect on Suffolk residents and communities.”