Sep 02, 2016

T-shirt company planning $4.7M expansion in Suffo

Updated August 25, 2016 7:43 PM

A manufacturer and seller of T-shirts, hoodies, tank tops and other casual clothing is planning a $4.7 million expansion that could bring some production work to Suffolk County, officials said yesterday.

Royal Apparel, which has been renting space at 65 Commerce Dr. in Hauppauge for its headquarters and warehouse, wants to purchase nearby 91 Cabot Court, according to company president Morey Mayeri. The two buildings are about 24,000 square feet each.

He said a 12,000-square-foot addition would be constructed at the Cabot Court location, allowing Royal Apparel to manufacture here for the first time in its 24-year history.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to start manufacturing on Long Island . . . This is our home,” Mayeri told a meeting of the county’s Industrial Development Agency. He and his brother Abraham co-own the company.

The IDA’s board of directors yesterday unanimously approved $389,200 in tax breaks for Royal Apparel, including $264,270 off property taxes over 10 years, a 27.5 percent reduction.

In return, 10 people will be added to its payroll of 39 over the next two years. Records show that workers earn, on average, $30,300 per year, excluding medical insurance and retirement benefits.

Mayeri said with sales growth of 30 percent to 40 percent in the past few years from more than 8,000 customers, Royal Apparel can support “a lot of people” to cut and sew fabric in Suffolk.

“Where we are in need of help is with hiring people and training them,” he said.

IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said the agency had contacted Suffolk County Community College and the Workforce Development Institute in Huntington Village about establishing a training program to help Royal Apparel and other local garment makers.

Royal Apparel is best known for clothing made from bamboo, recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. It sells fleece hoodies, long-sleeve thermal shirts, tank tops, jogger pants, sweatshirts, headbands, beanies and infinity scarves for adults and children.

Most of the company’s products are made domestically. It has a small plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and works with suppliers in New Jersey and Tennessee.

Much of the production is for fashion houses and retailers such as Timberland and the Gap, which put on their own labels.

Royal Apparel has sought assistance from New York State as well, and Mayeri said without government help the expansion would not move forward. The company has considered properties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.