NEW YORK CITY-Just months after announcing that the city was the chosen spot for a new airline, Virgin America received approval for a number of financial incentives. The New York City Industrial Development Agency also gave the thumbs up to five other projects within its borders that are expected to create and/or retain more than 1,400 jobs and over $109 million in investments.

In early June, Virgin America chose Manhattan over Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Los Angeles to be the home base for its new domestic, low-cost airline. The IDA Board approved $4.9 million in sales tax benefits for equipping and renovating the airline’s headquarters location and ongoing capital expenditures. The company also may qualify for discounted energy benefits under the Business Incentive Rate program worth approximately $348,000. Virgin will be eligible for other economic incentives that will vary depending upon where they choose a location for the headquarters.

The company’s capital investment in initial facility improvement and equipment expenditures will be $6.5 million with projected capital investment to total over $50 million in 15 years. The company expects to create 400 jobs in five years and 700 jobs over 15 years with an estimated city tax revenue of nearly $60 million.

In addition to Virgin America, IDA greenlighted funds of varying amounts for New York Container Terminal, Orion Mechanical Systems, A to Z Bohemian Glass, S. DiFazio and Sons Construction and Faztec Industries. The NYCT will receive benefits part of the overall modernization program for the marine terminal in Staten Island. That expansion aims to add 500 feet of berth, an on-dock rail facility, a 212,000-sf warehouse as well as four new post-panamax cranes. The IDA Board approved sales tax benefits of $3.5 million for the purchase of the additional equipment, while the company will invest $49 million to acquire other cargo handling equipment. Approximately 430 people are employed at the terminal and NYCT expects to add 50 or so more over the next few years.

The city’s Economic Development Corp. issued a Request for Proposals for the sale and development of an approximately 74,500-sf site in the Kingsbridge-Riverdale section of the Bronx. “This RFP presents a unique opportunity for development of one of the last significantly-sized vacant sites in this area of the city,” says EDC president Andrew M. Alper. “The successful development proposal will capitalize on the strength of consumer demand and activity, and enhance local neighborhood businesses, as well as connect retail and office uses on the 230th Street and Broadway corridors.” Proposals are due no later than 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 20, 2004.

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