NEW YORK CITY- The board of the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has given preliminary approval to online floral and gift distributor 1-800-Flowers.com for a package of development incentives to renovate 96,867 square feet of new office space at 2 Jericho Plaza in Long Island.
The IDA Board approved the package at a video conference meeting this month in response to an application from 1-800-Flowers.com indicating a possible move out of New York if it couldn’t secure the tax incentives to renovate and lease the new space at 2 Jericho Plaza. The floral e-commerce retailer is seeking sales-tax exemptions of more than $500,000 and a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes agreement that would keep property taxes at their current level for 10 years followed by five years of 1.81 percent escalations.
Although the board approved the package, it will undergo review by the IDA staff, as well as a public hearing and a final authorizing resolution at a later date.
“This is a globally recognized, blue-chip company with its headquarters in Nassau County and it has been a major economic contributor to the region since its relocation to Long Island in 1990 and its current location since 2005,” said Richard Kessel, chairman of the Nassau IDA, in a prepared statement. “It is important to retain companies such as 1-800-Flowers.com to maintain the economic growth of the county and ensure continued success.”
The company employs 377 full-time employees and 17 part-timers. The estimated $10 million project is expected to create 12 construction industry jobs. Currently, 1-800-Flowers.com leases 80,500 square feet of office space at 1 Old Country Rd. in Carle Place, where its lease is nearing expiration. In its application, the company said ownership changes in the building present significant functional challenges to continuing its operations without a substantial investment.
The property at 2 Jericho Plaza is a three-story, multi-tenant, 353,798-square-foot Class-A office building. The Chasanoff family developed the property on the site of a former sod farm in 1980 and later sold it and neighboring 1 Jericho Plaza to S.L. Green and Onyx Equities in 2007. Taconic Capital and Triangle Capital Group have since joined ownership.
James F. McCann, founder and current executive chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.com, began operations in 1976 when he acquired a single retail florist in New York City, and subsequently expanded to a 14-store chain. Soon after, the company modified its business strategy to take advantage of the emergence of toll-free calling and acquired the right to use the toll-free telephone number 1-800-FLOWERS and utilize it for branding.