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YONKERS-A plan offered by Consumers Union to expand its headquarters operations here has received preliminary approval from the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency. The publisher of Consumer Reports, hopes to borrow $10 million for the expansion of its headquarters at 101 Truman Ave. as well as refinance $39 million in debt borrowed through the IDA in 1989.

Agency officials report that Consumers Union plans to make improvements to, as well as equip, approximately 12,500 sf of currently unused space at the 255,000-sf property. If the financing is approved, Consumers Union, which currently employs approximately 400 workers at the site, will add another 40 employees upon completion of the expansion project. Consumers Union relocated its corporate headquarters to Yonkers from Mount Vernon in 1991.

The Yonkers IDA will hold a public hearing on the lending plan, which will consist of bonds issued by the IDA payable by Consumers Union. The plan also gives Consumers Union mortgage recording tax and sales-tax exemptions on construction materials.

The company is projected to save $837,000 via the mortgage tax exemptions. Refinancing the existing loans with the IDA will save the non-profit testing and consumer information organization another $588,000. Financing the new $10-million loan through the agency will save Consumers Union about $200,000, IDA officials say.

In addition to the Consumers Union project, the Yonkers IDA has finalized a financing package totaling $45 million for Main Street Lofts, which is developing a new 10-story, 250,000-sf building. The new mixed-use development will replace two abandoned industrial buildings that were purchased and demolished by the developer. The project, which will feature 170 live-work loft condominiums, 25,000 sf of retail space, a health club and 154 parking spaces, should be completed in 2006.

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