Suffolk IDA likes Royal Apparel’s look

Royal treatment: Did the Suffolk IDA just trigger a new garment-manufacturing era for Long Island?
By GREGORY ZELLER //

When Morey Mayeri told Innovate LI he was “ready to do it immediately,” he wasn’t kidding.

Speaking Aug. 17 about a possible intra-Hauppauge relocation for premium wholesaler Royal Apparel – including the acquisition and potential expansion of a larger warehouse/production facility– the cofounder and CEO said he and his brother, cofounder Abraham Mayeri, were ready to pull the trigger “if the help was there.”

And they were eagerly anticipating this week’s meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency, Mayeri noted, where Royal Apparel’s application was on the agenda.

On Thursday, the IDA announced that Royal Apparel had been approved for a sales and mortgage tax-abatement incentives package – and Royal announced it was moving forward with plans to invest $4.68 million in the purchase and renovation of an existing 24,244-square-foot Hauppauge facility, with a 12,000-square-foot addition to follow.

The company’s investment, which also includes new equipment purchases, will create a 36,244-square-foot hub that houses Royal Apparel’s warehousing, distribution, customer service, sales and accounting operations.

Last week, Morey Mayeri also noted the company’s keen interest in bringing certain production functions – currently scattered in Pennsylvania and points south – to Long Island, and suggested the then-hypothetical expansion could help rekindle Long Island’s stifled garment-manufacturing industry.

All told, Royal Apparel – a 2007 spinoff of circa-1993 wholesaler Summit Apparel Inc. – is expected to create 10 new jobs through the IDA-fueled relocation/expansion, expanding its full-time staff to 44. How many of those positions will involve manufacturing is unclear, but simply moving into the nearly 25,000-square-foot space fulfills “a lifelong dream for Abe and I,” Mayeri said in a statement announcing the incentives deal.

“We grew up in Long Island,” the CEO noted. “It makes us proud to have the opportunity to invest and hire our fellow residents.”

While “providing local businesses with incentive packages that keep operations on Long Island” is the agency’s primary function, Suffolk IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano said niche manufacturers like Royal Apparel can be local-economy cornerstones.

“The skilled-manufacturing sector in particular has a very high multiplier effect, meaning every dollar spent on manufacturing is multiplied many times over within our local economy,” Catapano noted.

Mayeri said his company was particularly excited about riding the wave of increasing “Made in the USA” demand right from Royal Apparel’s proverbial back yard.

“The demand for U.S. manufacturing has been growing, and we’re experiencing it firsthand,” the cofounder said. “We are thrilled at the opportunity of establishing a manufacturing hub in Suffolk County.”