Blackman Plumbing seeking tax break on proposed expansion

Blackman Plumbing on West Main Street is looking to expand. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)
Blackman Plumbing on West Main Street is looking to expand. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

After plans to expand its Riverhead location in 2010 stalled, Blackman Plumbing on West Main Street is once again looking to build a new 40,000-square-foot building.

On Monday, two Blackman representatives appeared before the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency to describe the project and schedule a public hearing sometime in the next two months. 

“We’ve way outgrown the existing building,” said Gary Krupnick of West Rac Contracting Corp., which is working on the project for Blackman.

Plans call for demolishing all but about 8,000 square feet of Blackman’s existing 22,000-square-foot building. The new building would be built immediately east of where the current one stands, according to Mark DiMarsico of Blackman.

The company is seeking IDA incentives such as mortgage tax abatements, sales tax abatements on building materials used in the expansion and partial property tax abatements on the value of the improvements.

“We’re making a longtime commitment to Riverhead,” Mr. Krupnick said, adding that the expansion is expected to cost more than $4 million.

A 10-year abatement that starts at 50 percent in the first year is the IDA standard. The amount of the abatement decreases by 5 percent per year until the 10th year, after which full taxes are paid.

Mr. Krupnick said Blackman would like a property tax abatement that lasts 15 years, but didn’t indicate the percentage level at which it could theoretically begin. He said the town has asked Blackman officials to extend a sewer district main to the property, which could cost about $750,000.

On Monday, IDA member Lou Kalogeras asked what the project would generate in terms of job creation, which is an objective of IDA assistance. Blackman currently employs 383 people across New York State, including about 10 at its Riverhead site, which will double over five years, Mr. Krupnick said.

“Depending on how successful the showroom is, it could go beyond that,” he said.

Blackman also wants to sublet 10,000 square feet of the new building to other tenants until the business grows, Mr. Krupnick said.

The goal is to open the building by the end of the year, he said.

Although Blackman’s earlier expansion plan stalled in 2010, company officials did acquire some adjacent land and demolished some buildings to make room for the project.

“What happened is the economy went in the tank and Blackman backed off,” Mr. Krupnick said.

Now that the economy has improved, he said, they’re ready to expand.

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