Luxottica to expand Port Washington office

Luxottica to expand Port Washington office
Luxottica's property tax deal was extended by five years by the Nassau IDA. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Luxottica, the Italian eyewear company that designs well-known eyeglass brands such as Oakley and Rayban, is to expand its office in Port Washington by 9,000 square feet.

The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency has approved the publicly owned corporation’s request to extend its current property tax exemption deal from 15 years to 20 years. The tax rate will increase by 1.26 percent annually instead of 3 percent.

The company was also allowed an exemption on sales taxes of up to $86,250 when buying construction materials.

The expansion of the company’s North American headquarters at 12 Harbor Park Drive in Port Washington is projected to cost $1 million.

In its application, the operator of Sunglass Hut and said that “the project provides a unique opportunity to have a world-renowned company expand within the local community.”

Luxottica previously owned its office building in Port Washington, which was sold in 2011, and then moved to its current location, where the company rents a 30,000-square-foot office space.

This was the result of a local Luxottica warehouse closing in 2010 and a large number of jobs moving to California and Atlanta.

When moving offices, the company expected to  increase its workforce by only 10 employees, but that number grew much quicker than planned, rising from 167 full-time employees in 2011 to 269 today, according to the company’s IDA application.

The company now plans to expand its lease and renovate the additional space.

It is common when leasing commercial space for the renting entity to be responsible for property taxes.

The report said an attorney for the Roslyn school district suggested at a board meeting that Luxottica continue to have its property taxes increase by 3 percent each year and requested the board delay voting for 30 days to provide school officials more time to evaluate the affiliated documents.

While the board Treasurer Amy Flores found the school district’s request to be fair and reasonable, Stringer said that all relevant documents had already been made available and added that Luxottica could not move forward without the decision.

The board went forward with the vote, approving the deal’s extension 4-1, with one board member abstaining and Flores voting no.

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