Suffolk IDA signs off on Spectronics Corp. move

Sign on the ultraviolet line: Spectronics Corp. will buy one Melville building and lease another, with the Suffolk IDA's help.

One of President Trump’s most vocal corporate-sector critics will keep his international manufacturing business on Long Island, with help from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

The IDA has issued preliminary approval of an economic-incentives package that will help Spectronics Corp. relocate to Melville from Westbury, where the manufacturer of ultraviolent and fluorescent-lighting equipment no longer fits comfortably on Brush Hollow Road.

Spectronics’ longtime 94,745-square-foot Westbury home is actually too big, now that the company has sold its NDT, Specialty and UV Sanitizing divisions to Ten Oaks Group. The North Carolina-based investment group is reshaping those assets – including employees – into Farmingdale-based Spectro-UV, self-billed as “the world’s leading manufacturer of ultraviolet equipment.”

The sale, announced earlier this month (terms undisclosed), involves Spectronics’ “non-destructive testing product” portfolio and branded UV-based sanitizers, including CellBlaster (for cellphones) and the DeGERM-inator (a portable sanitizer). Spectro-UV plans to continue selling the products under the “Spectroline” brands.

Down, and out: With entire divisions off the books, Spectronics Corp. is seeking cozier digs.

Spectronics, meanwhile, still has plenty to do. In Melville, the company plans to split up its administrative and manufacturing functions, purchasing and renovating a 24,444-square-foot building on Maxess Road and leasing another 42,000 square feet on Spagnoli Road.

On Maxess Road, future home of Spectronics’ corporate functions, renovations of the roof and outdated plumbing, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, electric and mechanical systems are in order, running the tab – including the purchase price – past $6.6 million.

Enter the IDA, which convinced Spectronics Corp. President Jon Cooper to keep the company – and its current employee base of 95, with 11 more full-timers promised after the move – on Long Island.

Among the incentives: property tax exemptions (standard PILOT provisions apply) and sales tax exemptions on eligible construction materials.

The sales tax breaks and 15-year PILOT deal are estimated to generate about $950,000 in total tax savings, and still require a full IDA review and final agency approvals. But the agency is already thrilled to welcome the longtime Nassau County-based innovator, according to Suffolk Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Tony Catapano – especially at a time when Long Island is fighting to hold onto every last job.

Jon Cooper: Staying home.

“It is no secret that our region has been hit hard by the pandemic, both in terms of the impact on public health and job loss,” the executive director said Monday. “We are committed to assisting this family-run company remain on Long Island and create new jobs for our residents.”

Both Spectronics, which boasts a fairly impressive Hollywood résumé, and its president are known beyond ultraviolet circles. Cooper, a one-time Suffolk County legislator, chairs the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, a circa-2016 national grassroots “resistance movement,” and has appeared on CNN and MSNBC many times.

In 2013, he engaged in a classic Fox Business News debate over national minimum-wage laws. And Cooper, an avid social media aficionado himself, has emerged as a regular tormenter of the U.S. Tweeter in Chief.

As a businessman, the son of cofounder Bill Cooper agreed with Catapano that Long Island was the best place for the circa-1955 family business to continue servicing its vendors and contractors, including many based on the Island.

“Long Island is our home,” Cooper said in a statement. “We are grateful we can continue to say that thanks to [Suffolk IDA] assistance.

“Our partnership with the IDA truly represents planning ahead and the next big step for Spectronics.”