June 14, 2022

Rockefeller Group Seeks Tax Breaks for News 12 Site Warehouse

The developer of a proposed $55 million warehouse for the current site of News 12 studios in Woodbury has sought 20 years of tax relief from Nassau County, officials said.

Rockefeller Group International Inc. purchased the broadcast center, along with an adjacent parcel, last year. It plans to build a 150,000 square foot warehouse, but demolition will not begin until the cable TV station moves to new studios in Bethpage, executives said.

In addition to property tax savings, the Rockefeller Group petitioned the county’s Industrial Development Agency for a sales tax exemption of up to $1.2 million on the purchase of materials and equipment. of construction.

The IDA board voted unanimously last week to negotiate an incentive package with the developer.

Phillip Golub, project manager for the Manhattan-based Rockefeller Group, said the warehouse would be “modern, state-of-the-art.” … We think it will add something new to the island.

No tenant has yet committed to using the building. He estimated that 68 people would initially work there, earning an average of $45,400 a year.

Peter L. Curry, the developer’s real estate attorney, said he was asking that the IDA tax savings agreement be drafted as if the News 12 building had already been demolished. In doing so, the current property tax bill goes from $601,800 per year to $376,630.

Nassau’s IDA, unlike some in Suffolk County, does not reduce current property taxes; future savings are on higher taxes because property value increases with new development.

IDA board member Reginald A. Spinello said last week he found the Rockefeller Group’s proposal “a little troubling”. [because] we now have a project that can start below existing taxes” as part of a potential incentive program.

Curry responded that if News 12 did not operate from the building, it would have already been demolished and vacant lots result in lower property taxes. But the Rockefeller group “leaves [News 12] stay as long as they need,” he said.

When construction begins in January, the land will be vacant. “We’re asking for something that we don’t normally ask for because you can’t kick News 12 out of its building,” Curry said.

IDA Chairman Richard Kessel agreed, but said: “It is the practice of this IDA not to cut taxes. … We will have to work our way through this problem.

A spokeswoman for News 12 parent Altice USA in Long Island City, Queens, did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Separately, the Rockefeller Group told Oyster Bay Town that the size of the warehouse would be reduced by 25% if a zoning code change were passed by the city council. The change requires additional parking at the city warehouses.

The Woodbury project is the developer’s second on Long Island. It plans to build a 172,000 square foot warehouse in Bay Shore, executives said.

The Rockefeller Group was founded in 1928 by John D. Rockefeller Jr., the only son of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. The company is best known for developing Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.