IDA approves benefits for downtown office plan

by Micah Danney Jan 8, 2014, 11:30 am

The Riverhead Industrial Development Agency granted several tax benefits Monday for the shared- space office building planned for 30 W. Main Street, which the developers expect to own Malonewithin a month.

“You’re another step in making downtown really nice,” said IDA vice-chairman Lou Kalogeras.

The approvals followed a public hearing on the project presented by partners Amir Korangy and Georgia Malone, of 30 West Main LLC.

The board approved abatements for the mortgage recording tax, sales tax on renovation materials and real property taxes.

Malone and Korangy asked the board to consider the costs of renovating the empty second and third stories of the building, which they described as in a state of disrepair, needing a new roof, brickwork and extensive interior renovations. The offices are to be separated by glass to allow light to penetrate and to foster an environment where tenants feel they are part of a community and not walled off from each other, Malone said. The glass is expected to be one of the major costs of the $1.7 million renovation.

The board approved a 10-year real property tax abatement for two-thirds of the building, as the first floor is already occupied by Ninow’s Music Store. Malone said she asked to pay taxes on only the land because the building needs so much work.

“The building itself is really a great building. It has great bones, but it hasn’t been maintained…the elevator hasn’t been in service probably in years, to the point where I’m so happy there’s an elevator but I’m not getting into that elevator,” Malone said.

Korangy said the building’s facade will be reworked considerably.

“We want to turn the building into – because it’s so visible, because it’s right on the corner and there’s a bunch of traffic that goes in front of it, we want to make it really light up,” he said.

The board requested that the developers submit a list of tenants once it’s been established, asking if there would be a vetting process for businesses seeking to rent space. They were concerned about the prospect of questionable enterprises such as pornography and gambling being interested in occupying a location that makes them appear professional but requires flexible lease commitments – as short-term as monthly.

The developers said there would be a vetting process and agreed to submit their tenant information once a list is available.

To get those tenants, a marketing plan will be devised, Malone said.

“We don’t know yet who we will attract,” she said, though she said the units would be perfect for young people with startups and entrepreneurs working from home who want to move to a professional mailing address.

IDA executive director Tracy Stark-James asked whether Suffolk Community College students or professors might find space there usable for projects or teaching, which Malone said was a good idea.

Reached at her office Tuesday, Malone said she was pleased with the IDA’s decisions. “All in all, they were very good to us.”