By GREGORY ZELLER //
We may be entering the dog days of summer, but the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency is hardly lying down on the job.
The local IDA recently greenlighted two incentives deals designed to spur economic development, one in the Village of Valley Stream and one in the Village of Hempstead, both of which are part of Hempstead Town.
The deals involve a residential complex and a retail site – less-common targets for IDA benefits packages, though not unheard of. And while both were approved at the Hempstead agency’s July 26 meeting, each may sound somewhat familiar to eagle-eared observers.
In the first deal, the IDA approved the transfer of a previously approved economic-development package attached to Valley Stream’s Hawthorne Court apartment complex – an incomplete, 90-unit Cottage Street condominium development – to the complex’s new owners.
Construction began on the former headquarters of airplane-periodical publisher Inflight Newspapers in 2007, but the redevelopment effort at 125 Cottage Street was still unfinished in 2012, when Zeus Cottage LLC purchased the property.
Zeus Cottage was able to partially finish the condo property with the help of the Hempstead IDA incentives package, according to the agency, and is currently selling the “failed, non-performing and deteriorated condominium development” to Texas-based “institutional owner” Hawthorne Owner LLC for $39.8 million.
The tax-incentives package, which won’t expire until 2031, is now part of that deal, thanks to the IDA’s July 26 decision.
On that same day, the IDA re-approved an economic-benefits deal that will help a Garden City-based auto dealer build a new sales showroom in Hempstead Village.
Garden City Auto Holdings LLC – dba Garden City Mazda – is building a 35,000-square-foot facility on Franklin Street, including a show floor, a car wash, repair bays, office space and an underground garage.
Although the project involves a retail facility – not usually the purview of IDA incentives – the tax breaks were permitted under state law in this case “because the dealership is contiguous to a distressed census tract,” according to the IDA.
The construction project, which has been supported by Hempstead Village officials, also offers an attractive community component: The new facility will offer five auto technician apprenticeship slots to area high school students.
The tax incentives greasing the construction plan’s pistons were originally approved in February. The re-approval was required because of a “technical issue” related to Hempstead Village’s representation on the IDA board, the agency added.
To date, Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency incentives have generated more than $2 billion in private project financing, according to the IDA, and helped create or retain 11,000 permanent jobs.