Incentives keep global distributor grounded on LI

Here to stay: Global distributor Sage Parts Plus had options, but will keep its headquarters on Long Island, thanks to an incentives package from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

A leading distributor of aviation-support equipment will fly out of Long Island for another decade at least, with a nod to the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA has announced preliminary approval of an incentives package designed to help Sage Parts Plus renovate its existing 55,000-square-foot Melville headquarters and enter into a new 10-year lease agreement at the site – turning the global headquarters into a state-of-the-art logistics center and keeping Sage centered on Long Island for the foreseeable future.

Sage Parts Plus, and “nearly 100 high-paying jobs,” according to the IDA, which must still review the company’s $1 million renovation plan before issuing final approval of the long-term tax-abatement deal.

Count on it, according to Suffolk IDA Executive Director Tony Catapano, who said keeping the global distributor chugging along in its Hub Drive headquarters is a key goal.

“The company has numerous attractive relocation options available to them,” Catapano noted. “But we are confident this agreement will keep their headquarters in Suffolk County, allowing their jobs and contributions to our local economy to stay put.”

Tony Catapano: Retention intention.

Turning 50 years old this year, Sage Parts Plus ships a wide selection of replacement parts for aviation ground-support teams, with clients ranging from major commercial airlines to well-known international freight haulers to other aviation-related businesses.

In addition to supporting its global-distribution network, the Melville HQ – backbone of the company’s corporate operations and one of 24 Sage Parts Plus locations in 14 countries, including six distribution centers – also serves as a research-and-development hub, complete with product-testing facilities.

Keeping its corporate control center in fighting shape – at the best possible price – was the circa-1969 company’s top priority, according to Sage Parts Plus President and CEO Mark Pollack, who faced a difficult choice.

“To compete in today’s global marketplace, it is imperative that Sage continue to lower its operating cost,” Pollack said in a statement. “Sage started on Long Island and has built a global enterprise using Long Island as its core center of operations, and would like to continue doing so.

“Unfortunately, the costs of doing business here outpaced other locations, both domestically and internationally.”

Enter the IDA, which calculated the company’s 96 full-time positions – with an average salary of $76,111 – to be worth saving, according to Deputy Executive Director Kelly Morris.

“Retaining and increasing jobs within tradeable industry clusters is vital to the growth of the region’s economy,” Morris said. “The Suffolk IDA looks forward to working with a global player that is committed to keeping high-paying jobs right here.”

And Sage Parts Plus looks forward to renovating its Melville HQ – a win for the company, its employees and the region at large, according to Pollack.

“The assistance provided by the Suffolk IDA is essential to ensuring we can improve our distribution center’s capacity, remain competitive in the marketplace and allow us to retain our valued employees,” the CEO added.