Light the lights: Broadway National eyes new stage

Famous faces: The Radio City Music Hall marquee is just one of the well-known facades in Ronkonkoma-based property manager Broadway National's A-list portfolio.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

Broadway National is changing venues.

The three-decade-old property-management firm with the big-name clientele is taking its big-stage flair from Ronkonkoma to Hauppauge, thanks to a new incentives package preliminarily approved this week by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

Launched in 1989 in the garage of founder William Paparella as sign manufacturer Broadway Neon Corp., Broadway National Group LLC is a bona fide hit. The company now offers a diverse set of brand-image services covering lighting, electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems, not to mention floor care, janitorial work and property management – all for an impressive major-league client list.

Among Broadway National’s star attractions: maintenance contracts with the likes of Jiffy Lube and P.C. Richard & Son; the reconstruction of exterior facades, including the famous marquee, at Radio City Music Hall; and all signage at Citi Field, the Flushing home of the New York Mets.

Clients for other “special projects” include Google, Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy and many others.

One of Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing U.S. companies, Paparella’s successful startup has occupied the same Ronkonkoma space for 20 years, and has long-since run out of elbow room.

Cue the IDA, which has approved a proposed tax-incentives package that would trigger a $10.8 million company investment in a bigger stage. With the county’s help, Broadway National now plans to purchase, renovate and relocate to a 65,000-square-foot Hauppauge headquarters.

Tony Catapano: Honoring a Long Island lifer.

The company will buy the new space for $6.2 million and make more than $4.5 million worth of upgrades and equipment purchases, according to the IDA, which was thrilled to step up for “a business that has called Long Island its home for almost three decades,” noted Executive Director Tony Catapano.

“The preliminary approval of this transaction allows the company to make a sizable investment in our area that will lead to good jobs for our residents and add to Suffolk County’s growing economy,” Catapano said.

The IDA estimates proposed tax abatements and exemptions will average less than $69,000 per year over the course of the 15-year incentive program, with the company still paying roughly $1.9 million in property taxes during that time.

In return for the tax breaks, Broadway National has committed to the purchase/renovation plan and the creation of 50 new jobs, and to increasing its annual payroll by $2.5 million, according to the IDA.

By reducing a “small percentage” of the company’s tax obligation, the IDA is “helping to create good-paying jobs for our residents and meaningfully increasing the tax base in the long term,” Suffolk County IDA Deputy Executive Director Kelly Morris said in a statement.

“Having a plentiful stock of small-to-midsized businesses like Broadway National is essential to having a well-rounded and healthy economy,” Morris added.

The Suffolk IDA has also issued preliminarily approval for a transaction to assist Brentwood-based SPACE/CRAFT Worldwide expand its global headquarters and business operations in Suffolk County.

Similar to the Broadway National deal, the IDA’s incentive package for SPACE/CRAFT – a 2011 startup that manufactures high-end creative displays for luxury brands, ranked among Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing firms – will help the company purchase and renovate a new 100,000-square-foot facility and stock it with essential manufacturing equipment.

The new HQ, not far from Broadway National’s new digs in Hauppauge, will more than double the size of SPACE/CRAFT Worldwide’s current 40,000-square-foot operation.

“SPACE/CRAFT Worldwide provides services across the world and could have landed in any other state in the United States when formulating and executing their expansion plans,” Catapano noted. “Being able to retain this company and its more than 100 jobs, and keep their growth here, is a big win for our county.”