The owner of 30 West Main, pictured on the left, is hoping to bring in tenants next door where Allied Optical Plan currently does business. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
Two business owners that have received Industrial Development Agency tax breaks in the past were back for more — but on different projects — at a recent IDA meeting.
• 20 West Main
Georgia Malone, who bought and renovated the 30 West Main Street building in downtown Riverhead last year and received IDA tax incentives on that project, is now looking to buy and renovate the adjacent 20 West Main Street building, which is where Allied Optical is located.
Ms. Malone said she’s seeking a 100 percent tax abatement for 10 years on 20 West Main. The abatement applies only to the value of the improvements, and only applies to town, county, school and fire district taxes.
This is the same abatement that 30 West Main Street received last year. The IDA’s standard property tax exemption starts at 50 percent and decreases by five percent per year for 10 years, at which point the property owner pays the full tax. The IDA has the discretion to grant more or less of an exemption on real property taxes, and has done so in several cases downtown, including the Long Island Aquarium and Hyatt hotel and the Summerwind apartments, both of which received the 100 percent abatement for 10 years.
The IDA incentives also call for exemptions from county mortgage recording taxes and sales tax exemptions on building materials used in the job.
• SPECIAL REPORT FROM 2013: WHAT’S THE COST OF IDA TAX BREAKS?
Ms. Malone says she is renting second and third floor office units to new tenants at 30 West Main, including the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce.
The ground floor retail space at 30 West Main, which was occupied by Ninow’s Music until that company went out of business, could soon be occupied by another music store, as Ms. Malone said she’s negotiating with a national music store chain, which she declined to identify, but said a deal could be closed soon.
She said the 30 West Main renovation would not be possible without the IDA benefits, and estimated that the sales tax exemption alone amounted to about $55,000.
The 20 West Main Street building needs a lot of renovation, Ms. Malone said. While Allied Optical has operated in the ground floor space for several decades, the second and third floors have been vacant in recent years.
While she said she has about $1.2 million available for the 20 West Main Street project, Ms. Malone told the IDA, “I don’t think anything is going to happen without your help. I really do need the benefits this time.”
She then quickly added that she needed them last time, too.
Ms. Malone said she hopes to bring a doctor’s office to the ground floor at 20 West Main and is considering apartments for the upper floors.
• Roanoke medical center expanding
Dr. Paayal Mehta of Peconic Management Group LLC is looking to build a medical center on Roanoke Avenue, just north of the intersection with Pulaski Street, and is seeking IDA help to do so.
Dr. Mehta, a bariatric surgeon who built Long Island Bariatric on Roanoke Avenue in 2012 with IDA assistance, has since bought the property next to it and is planning two more medical offices.
Building B, as she called it, was built without IDA assistance and will house a woman’s health center.
Building C, which is still in the planning stages and is eyed for a sleep disorder center and a physical therapy unit, is where she’s seeking help.
“We tried to go ahead and do it ourselves,” she said Monday. “We did building B ourselves. Now we are at a point that if we don’t get financial assistance, we might not go ahead with building C.”
She says her goal to be able to provide all of the services patients need at one location, rather than have them going to various different offices.
For example, she said 95 percent of her bariatric patients have sleep apnea.
The amount of the property tax exemption being sought by Peconic Management Group had not yet been determined, according to IDA director Tracy Stark-James.