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City's $100M cash boost spurs new development.

With the city kicking in and estimated $100 million in tax incentives and benefits, several companies may be growing in the Bronx and beyond.

Last week, the New York City Industrial Development Agency announced preliminarily approval for real estate and sales tax benefits for Big Apple Distributors of New York Inc. and Portfab LLC.

Big Apple Distributors of New York Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholesaler of DVDs, CDs, video games and electronics and is seeking IDA assistance to purchase the 10,000-s/f building it leases in the Bronx, as well as an adjacent property that would add 5,000 s/f to its facility. The cost of the project is approximately $1.5 million.

A manufacturer of radiator enclosures, Portfab LLC, founded in 1924, requested IDA assistance to purchase and renovate the facility it leases in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Portfab's lease will expire in 18 months, and the company has explored alternate locations. Acquisition and renovation costs at a possible Long Island site would be considerably less than at the Bronx facility where costs are estimated at $1.4 million

The IDA Board also approved tax incentives for Related Retail Hub LLC, an affiliate of The Related Companies, and financing assistance for three not-for-profit organizations--United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. and Riverdale Country School. These transactions will spur the investment of $175 million in capital projects and retain and create more than 1,100 jobs.

Related Retail Hub LLC was selected in 2001 to develop the site in the Bronx to build an approximately 152,000-s/f retail and office facility and renovate an adjacent 273-space parking garage to revitalize a key property in the commercial district known as the Hub. The City's Department of Finance will establish a payment center in 25,000 s/f of office space. A Staples store is expected to occupy a portion of the 17,000 s/f of retail space, and the developer is in discussions with several other national retailers. The project will also provide 1,500 s/f of office space for the local Community Board. The IDA Board approved $1.8 million in sales and real estate tax benefits for the $43.3 million project.

IDA has also agreed to assist United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies to upgrade its 50-year-old headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. To do this in a cost effective manner, UJA plans to divide the building into three condominiums: one for retail, another for commercial office space and another to house UJA's operations. IDA will also issue $65 million in Civic Facility Bonds to finance the renovation of floors 3 through 10 that are to be occupied by UJA.

The IDA Board approved $32 million in Civic Facility Bonds for the acquisition and renovation of the national administrative headquarters of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. Planned Parenthood will also receive a partial mortgage recording tax waiver of $880,000. The organization currently leases 104,000 s/f of space in a 192,000 s/f building on West 33'd Street. Planned Parenthood's lease will expire in 2022, but the building's owner has offered PPFA the opportunity to purchase the property this year.

Riverdale Country School Inc. requested IDA assistance in connection with the construction, renovation, expansion and equipping of four buildings on its Hill Campus in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The school will also use a portion of the $31 million bond issuance to refinance earlier IDA bond transactions used for prior acquisitions and renovations.
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Title Annotation:Big Apple Distributors of New York Inc. and Portfab LLC
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 28, 2004
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