Aug 25, 2017

Suffolk IDA Engineers Deal For New National HQ


Hard hats, easy call: A tax-incentives package from the Suffolk IDA will help civil engineers Grace Industries open a new national HQ in Melville.

A corporate consolidation in Melville is in the works, thanks in part to the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

The agency on Thursday issued preliminary approval for a transaction that will help Grace Industries LLC establish a national corporate office – a $17 million company investment that will consolidate several of the civil engineering firm’s existing offices in the new Melville HQ.

Grace Industries, a subsidiary of the Plainview-based civil engineering conglomerate Haugland Group, currently maintains several Long Island offices. The Suffolk IDA’s incentives package – including a combination of mortgage-recording, sales and property tax abatements – will facilitate a “sizeable investment” that brings them all under one roof, according to IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano.

“Aside from the initial investment being made, this preliminary approval paves the way to bringing an influx of high-paying jobs to Suffolk County, which will benefit our local businesses and grow our economy,” Catapano said Thursday.

Along with other affiliates of the Haugland Group, circa-2007 Grace Industries provides a broad scale of infrastructure and civil-construction services, including engineering work for highway, bridge and energy-distribution projects.

The new HQ includes 46,000 square feet of office and warehousing space, enough for the company to consolidate disparate operations, eliminate duplicate expenses and reduce transportation, energy and other costs.

In return for the IDA’s assistance, Grace Industries has promised to add more than 75 jobs to its current Suffolk County payroll within two years of opening the new HQ. Those new jobs, with an average salary of $108,000, will push Grace Industries’ total annual Suffolk payroll past $10.3 million, the company said.

Haugland Group Chairman and CEO William Haugland applauded the Suffolk IDA’s “pro-business attitude” and credited it with enabling the parent company to keep operations on Long Island “and open our national headquarters.”

Kelly Murphy, the IDA’s deputy executive director, said keeping high-paying jobs in Suffolk – and attracting new ones to the county – is the whole ballgame.

“These short-term incentives will pay long-term dividends, as they will increase the overall tax base and bring in more employees with expendable income to spend money at the local businesses where they reside,” Morris said in a statement. “It helps establish a more well-rounded and healthy economy.”