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Will door close on Maspeth company?


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Karp Associates

After 50 years in the community, a Maspeth manufacturer may be headed for “greener” pastures out of state that provide more financial incentives.

Karp Associates, a third-generation manufacturing company, is leaving its current Maspeth location after losing their property to Eminent Domain.

Though Karp, which manufactures and distributes access doors, has received offers to relocate from about a dozen states, the company favors staying within the city.

“Our first preference was always to stay here,” said George Kosser, vice president of operations at Karp. He said that while Karp has received better offers from other locales, the company is merely looking for the same offer a new business coming into the city would receive.

“We weren’t going anywhere,” said Kosser. “For the fact that we’re being kicked out, treat us just like we were coming for the first time.”

Their location on 43rd Street between 55th Avenue and 54th Road, in the shadow of the Kosciusko Bridge, was seized by the state Department of Transportation to make way for a new bridge.

The city has worked with Karp since the company discovered their property was being seized to keep them in the five boroughs. But they are not eligible for certain assistance that companies relocating to the city are.

The company was offered tax breaks and incentive packages by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to stay in the city.

Karp was founded in 1957 by current owner Adam Gold’s grandfather and great uncle. Over its 50-plus years in Maspeth, the company has grown from an operation of 10 workers in a 5,000-square-foot space to about 120 workers in 120,000-square-feet in three locations.

“The feeling I get is that the city doesn’t care if we stay or go,” Kosser said.

The EDC said they are very committed to job retention.

“We take the needs of companies across the five boroughs very seriously, and are committed to providing certain types of assistance when necessary to keep good jobs here in New York City,” said EDC spokesperson Patrick Muncie.

Karp is resigned to the fact that it will most likely have to leave the city, but the company hopes to be able to remain in New York, specifically Long Island, and is continuing to work with the state. Most of the workers live near the company’s current location.

In June, Karp declined an offer from the Empire State Development (ESD) of a package that included $445,000 from the EDC along with $7 million from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

“ESD will continue to work hard to keep jobs in New York and talks are ongoing, but there cannot be an open faucet of taxpayer money,” said Austin Shafran, vice president of public affairs for Empire State Development.

Karp was offered the maximum amount of money allowable under state law, he said.

The company hopes to make a decision by the end of the year, with relocating to New Jersey being an option if a move to Long Island cannot be negotiated.

Karp, whose customers are mostly construction distributors, recently landed the contract for the World Trade Center.

“We’re the company that everyone wants,” Kosser said. “Except for the city.”