February 2012

Hempstead Defies Recession With $400 Million In New Business

Despite the economic recession which gripped the United States in 2011, Town of Hempstead agencies spurred the development of nearly $400,000,000 in new business projects.

Town Supervisor Kate Murray cited the efforts of the town's Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and its Local Development Corporation (LDC) in providing the key incentives that led to the phenomenal business growth. "More than 1,000 jobs were created or retained as a result of 16 building projects assisted by the two state-authorized town agencies," Supervisor Murray said.

Fred Parola, Chief Executive Officer of both the IDA and the LDC, said the two groups, guided by a board of distinguished business officials, provided financial incentives to businesses and non-profit entities which made their projects viable.

The IDA oversaw 12 projects with a combined value of $284,000,000 in 2011.  The largest undertaking was Equity One Northeast which acquired the long vacant former headquarters of the Avis Car Rental Company and has already attracted an array of national retailers to its planned 330.000-square-foot development on Old Country Road in Westbury.  In addition to hundreds of construction jobs involved in the build out of the project, which will feature retail shops, restaurants and a bank, it will provide approximately 575 full and part time jobs upon completion.

Another IDA project, West Hempstead Development, is removing community blight while providing needed market rate housing.   With financial help from the IDA, the company acquired the crime-ridden Courtesy Hotel, demolished it and is building a 150-unit rental housing complex, a win-win for local residents.  The 192,000 square-foot building at 130 Hempstead Avenue, West Hempstead, will provide parking on the first two floors and residential units above.  More than 200 jobs are required during construction and four full time positions will be created when the facility is up and running.

The Local Development Corporation, which deals exclusively with non-profit organizations, sponsored four projects in 2011, including expansion and improvement of facilities at Hofstra University in Hempstead and Adelphi University in Garden City.  Both educational institutions took advantage of tax exempt bond financings which the LDC is empowered to sanction.  

Hofstra's $70,000,000 program will renovate existing facilities, upgrade and add additional equipment and refinance existing debt.  The university expects to create about 40 new jobs as a consequence of the building program.

Adelphi has earmarked more than $24,000,000 to renovate, equip and furnish existing buildings on campus and to build a four-story, 55,000-square-foot dormitory building to house 171 students.  Three full-time and four part-time positions will be created.

"This surging development, in the face of a prolonged down economy, demonstrates, once again, that the Town of Hempstead remains an excellent place to grow a business," Parola said.