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Amazon warehouse planned for former Newsday headquarters in Melville

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Amazon may be moving into Newsday’s former headquarters in Melville.

Amazon signed a 10-year lease for a new 276,500-square-foot warehouse at 90 Ruland Road in Melville (also referred to as 235 Pinelawn Road North), across Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency documents, Long Island Business News reported.

“While this prospective project is still in the early stages, we are excited about the potential to bring new jobs with great pay and benefits to the area and to continue our investment in the state of New York,” an Amazon spokesperson told GreaterHuntington.com.

It remains unclear what purpose the warehouse may serve for the e-commerce giant. Last year, the company purchased two adjacent Melville properties to build a 309,500-square-foot “last mile” delivery center.

The recently-leased warehouse is one of two newly constructed buildings on the 48.5-acre site that Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. purchased from Tribune Media Company for $54.5 million in October 2018. The other is a 669,000-square-foot warehouse at 235 Pinelawn Road, which is referred to as the south warehouse.

Hartz Mountain did not respond to a request for comment.

Tax incentives and job creation

The Suffolk County IDA approved $16.8 million in tax incentives for Hartz Mountain in October 2020. The following year, the developer requested the IDA split the incentive plan between the two buildings on the property.

“Hartz realized they may have some problems as far as financing and securing tenants if the benefits are all tied together for the two buildings” Anthony J. Catapano, the executive director of the IDA, explained of Hartz Mountain’s request.

Calculated based on their respective square footages, the north building received 29.3% of the benefits, while the south building received 70.7%, Catapano said.

The north warehouse will receive a sales tax exemption just north of $1.9 million and a mortgage recording tax capped at approximately $274,100.

The IDA provided Hartz Mountain with a 20-year property tax abatement term, provided the tenants at their two properties generate 600 jobs by the end of 2024. The north lot is responsible for 175 jobs and the south 425.

However, if Amazon, or any tenant at the north property, backs out of the IDA deal, the tenant of the south warehouse must generate 500 jobs.

“We still haven’t got confirmation,” Catapano said of Amazon’s lease of the north warehouse. “[Amazon] even contacted us saying they are looking at the building. They may request Hartz to terminate [the IDA incentive plan] for them because I don’t think that they think they could reach that employment level attributable to that building.”

Top image: Hartz Mountain’s duel warehouses at 235 Pinelawn Road in Melville, captured in October 2021, courtesy of Google Maps.