Tag Archives: moving

City’s largest window manufacturer is not moving out of Queens: CEO

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The head of the city’s largest window manufacturer is refuting claims the Queens plant will hightail it out of the Big Apple.

Crystal [Window and Door Systems] is not moving,” CEO Steve Chen said. “The company’s headquarters and main production facility in the College Point Corporate Park in Queens will remain where it is for the foreseeable future.”

A news report, in a headline Wednesday, said the glass company was “moving due to city’s high costs.”

To clarify, Crystal officials said the 31-10 Whitestone Expwy. facility would stay the same, but they are considering expanding in Westchester.

“We already have other facilities in Chicago, California and even Missouri. We are just expanding,” said Steven Yu, the company’s marketing manager. “We are looking to add another plant.”

Chen said the company has explored expansion out of state, in the city and in other parts of Queens, but has not yet secured the right industrial site “at a cost effective price.”

“All of these expansion initiatives were intended to increase Crystal’s production capacity and have never been intended to replace the Queens facility,” the Crystal boss said.

The report also tied Chen’s decision not to expand in the city to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to increase minimum wages and mandate paid sick leave benefits.

But Yu said the company’s 380 employees all already earn above the proposed new minimum wage.

“Somehow the story got twisted,” he said.



Nordstrom Rack to open first store in Queens

| mchan@queenscourier.com

File photo

Nordstrom Rack will be moving into the SkyView Center in Flushing, the Seattle-based apparel company announced Tuesday.

Style-savvy shoppers can expect the discounted retail division of Nordstrom, Inc. to open its first Queens location this fall at 40-24 College Point Blvd.

The two-level store will be 39,000 square feet, officials said. Nordstrom Rack is also opening two stores in Brooklyn this year.

“We are excited about the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic retail center within a vibrant neighborhood in the heart of Queens and right off the Long Island Rail Road,” Nordstrom Rack President Geevy Thomas said.

“We look forward to opening next fall and bringing our customers the very best of our brands at great prices,” Thomas said.

The new storefront joins an expanding roster of national tenants, including Target, Old Navy and Bed Bath & Beyond and Best Buy.

SkyView owner Michael Dana said the addition takes Queens one step further to being a major retail destination.

“We are committed to providing shoppers great fashion at affordable price points and Nordstrom Rack is the perfect addition to our growing mix of retailers,” Dana said.



Is Fresh Direct moving from L.I.C.?

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

A Queens produce supplier may be saying goodbye to the Big Apple and starting fresh directly across the Hudson River.  Fresh Direct, the online grocer currently based in Long Island City, is being lured by New Jersey with a reported $100 million package of tax breaks, land and other subsidies if they relocate to Jersey City.

Erin Gold, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, confirmed Fresh Direct has applied for assistance under the Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Program, which encourages private investment in nine designated urban centers in the state, including Jersey City. According to Gold, a minimum investment of $50 million and 250 employees is mandatory to qualify for the program.

Bettina Damiani, project director of Good Jobs New York, a watchdog on the city’s economic development subsidy program, finds Fresh Direct’s potential move discourteous and offensive. “The conversation really needs to be about their subsidies from the city for their L.I.C. facility” said Damiani. “If they move, my question is, don’t they have to pay back some of their subsidies to the city? I think it is insulting that Fresh Direct, which has benefited from tax payer subsidies, is putting their thumbs in our eyes when we helped them reach the point where they want to expand. They are playing unfairly. They are asking for more money, and then they are playing the whole New Jersey border war.”

Damiani says Fresh Direct agreed to a package with New York City from 1999 to 2025 worth $5.3 million, of which they have currently used $2.2 million. A public hearing is currently scheduled for February 9, during which the grocery provider can officially request a subsidies increase.

The decade-old company, which delivers fresh food and grocery items to New York City, Nassau County, Westchester County and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey, declined to comment regarding its potential relocation across state lines. According to a city official, New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are countering the Garden State’s offer with a deal that would move the grocery supplier to a new, 500,000-square-foot facility in the Harlem River Yards of the Bronx.

Repeated attempts to contact the mayor’s office went unreturned.

Negotiations are currently ongoing between the city and Fresh Direct, which the official says has outgrown its current L.I.C. facility and needs more space to expand. The grocer, which currently employes roughly 2,000 people, is aiming to create 500 new jobs within the next three years.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents L.I.C., says the state and city are working on a deal to ensure the produce supplier continues to grow in New York.

According to published reports, Fresh Direct is leaning towards staying in the city with a move to the Bronx.

“Fresh Direct is an important New York City employer,” said Kyle Sklerov, a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “We want to ensure that it continues to create new jobs right here in the five boroughs.”