Economic Development

Coalition seeks to get LIRR project back on track

By GREGORY ZELLER // A broad-based coalition supporting the Long Island Rail Road third track proposal hit the rails Tuesday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo personally pushed the throttle on Right Track For Long Island, a coalition of over 100 businesses, environmental groups and other organizations and individuals backing the governor’s ambitious support of the long-debated third-track plan. Plans to improve train traffic through a bottlenecked 9.8-mile stretch in Nassau County have been kicked around for decades,…


Benefits help swing door firm’s decision to stay

Instead of relocating to Pennsylvania, a manufacturer with deep Long Island roots and a 110-strong payroll is staying put – and will even add 21 new jobs at its Port Washington operation. Hollow-metal door manufacturer LIF Industries had considered leaving its current 163,000-square-fooot facility for new digs in the Keystone State, according to Empire State Development. LIF, dba Long Island Fireproof Door, traces its history to the Long Island Kalamein Door Co., a circa-1930s startup….


LI Index maps where the apartments are … and not

The Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index project has released an interactive map detailing the state of the region’s multifamily housing sector, a key factor in the continuing loss of young Long Islanders and a major hurdle to attracting future young workers. The map covers almost 1,500 rental buildings and nearly 900 coops and condos across Nassau and Suffolk counties and identifies 113 projects in the development pipeline, from those that have been proposed to projects…


The Debrief: Dan Polner, go-to incubator guy

As incubator advocate – yes, that’s the actual title – in Stony Brook University’s vast business-development ecosystem, Dan Polner is a busy man. A 20-year finance professional (Berenson & Co. director, Equitable Capital Management veep, among other positions) with an MBA from the University of Chicago, he reports directly to Jeffrey Saelens, SBU’s new interim director of incubators, and keeps in frequent contact with startups in (excessive acronym alert) CEWIT, CEBIP, LIHTI and AERTC, as…


State seeks development plans for Republic

Empire State Development is seeking proposals to develop more than 40 acres of land at East Farmingdale’s Republic Airport. Albany’s main economic-development engine has issued an RFP to revitalize 41.5 acres at the New York Department of Transportation-airport, spread across five parcels. Respondents to the request may submit proposals for all five parcels, which range in size from 5 to 18 acres, or for any combination of individual parcels, including single-parcel plans, according to ESD….


LI facing housing, workforce, brain drain crisis

By GREGORY ZELLER // Even under the “most optimistic scenario,” Long Island will remain woefully short of rental housing over the next two decades, fueling a mounting loss of young people, a just-released study concludes. The Long Island Multifamily Housing Study, conducted by NYC-based HR&A Advisors, and the nonprofit Regional Plan Association for the Rauch Foundation’s Long Island Index, concludes that existing plans for 26,000 multifamily units across the Island will still leave the region…


Ecoclean boosts Copiague expansion

Doubling down on a green cleaning-products manufacturer planning a Copiague expansion was an easy call for the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA, which in December approved a 10-year, $160,600 aid package that would help Farmingdale-based Ecoclean Solutions Inc. relocate to a new Copiague complex, last week voted to tweak that package, sweetening the pot to $258,700 in tax breaks over 12 years. Ecoclean Solutions, which produces environmentally friendly cleaning products under the Green…


Battle lines drawn, once more, over IDA powers

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s that time of the year again: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is gunning for centralized control of local economic development, and Brian McMahon is firing back. McMahon, executive director of the New York State Economic Development Council, is actually a fan of many of the governor’s economic-development efforts. He’s been involved with economic development for 30 years, McMahon noted, “and I’ve never seen more momentum and positive activity on economic-development issues.” But…


Chinese glass maker eyeing Shirley for plant

The Brookhaven IDA is considering support for an $18.9 million architectural glass plant in Shirley. China’s Beijing Wuhua Tianbao Glass Co., better known as WTHB Glass, has proposed building the facility on 4.23 acres of vacant land near the Long Island Expressway. Privately held WTHB claims to be China’s largest producer of the solar reflective, laminated, curved and fire-resistant glass used in the construction of office towers and large apartment structures. The plant would total about 45,000 square feet and…


Cliffs Notes for the State of the State

By JOHN L. KOMINICKI // Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday, the bones of which had been drip-marketed via 14 “signature proposals” trotted out over the past eight days. Here’s some catch-me-up notes in case you missed the speech: Prop 1: A $15 minimum wage for all, beginning with 28,000 workers in the state university system. Point to know: Yes, there actually are state workers earning less than $15 an…


And how about some faster broadband?

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget 2016 agenda swelled by another $500 million on Friday, as the governor announced a proposal to improve high-speed Internet access across New York. The 10th initiative unveiled in Cuomo’s weeklong spending spree would “dramatically improve broadband availability for millions of New Yorkers and lead to more than $1 billion in direct investments and consumer benefits,” the governor said in a statement. Actually, the $1 billion in direct investments is already in…


Mobile ticketing, nicer stations, connectivity

Mobile ticketing may soon make travel on the Long Island Rail Road a little easier. Included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $8 billion MTA makeover – the eighth proposal in his statewide, $50 billion-plus Christmas in January tour – is quicker incorporation of mobile ticketing payment methods across the MTA system, including the LIRR. Cuomo’s plan: Introduce mobile ticketing to LIRR passengers within six months, with the railroad fully mobilized by the end of 2016….


Cuomo unveils giant LI infrastructure package

Long Island builders and planners are understandably thrilled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ambitious plan to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Long Island’s infrastructure – though local leaders acknowledge there are many political dogfights waiting between here and fruition. Cuomo’s proposals, unveiled Tuesday before an appreciative audience of MTA officials and regional rainmakers at the Long Island Association’s January meeting, covers everything from sewers to airports, a controversial third track for the LIRR and…


Stony Brook-LIFT bid wins $5M state contract

By GREGORY ZELLER Stony Brook University and the Long Island Forum for Technology have been awarded a five-year funding deal to foster manufacturing in the region, with a focus on next-gen technologies and the life sciences. Called the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the program combines federal and state dollars to offer each of the state’s 10 economic development zones about $1 million a year. Hofstra University and ADDAPT had also submitted bids. LIFT has held the…


For SCCC startups, space is the final hurdle

By GREGORY ZELLER // Suffolk County Community College was approved for the Start-Up NY program this week, but it could be some time before there’s space for the state-run economic-development effort at any of SCCC’s three campuses. Managed by Empire State Development, Start-Up NY offers tax breaks and other support to high-tech companies that launch or relocate around New York colleges and universities. SCCC’s approval followed a lengthy debate between the college, Suffolk County and…