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Brookhaven IDA grants tax breaks for Blue Point Brewery project in Patchogue

Remembering the old lace mill in Patchogue

The Brookhaven Industrial Development agency on Tuesday approved $4 million in tax breaks for the proposed relocation of the Blue Point Brewery from River Avenue to a 110,000-square-foot building on West Main Street.

Construction of the $35 million project is estimated to start on Dec. 1 and run through Oct. 20, 2017, according to the company’s application with the IDA.

The estimated date of “first use,” as the application describes, would be Sept. 15, 2017.

“This is about a $35 million investment in the community, and one that will increase jobs,” said Lisa Mulligan, the CEO of the Brookhaven IDA. “It’s also part of the redevelopment of Patchogue Village and it helps to encourage growth westward for the village.”

“And with Briarcliffe leaving, we wanted to help keep the vitality in that building.”

As previously reported, however, a lease has not yet been signed between Blue Point Brewing Co. — owned by Anheuser-Busch inBev — and of 225 West Main Street, which is the current home of Briarcliffe College, Flo’s Luncheonette and Mr. D’s Ultimate Fitness. The other businesses would have to move out under the plan.

The property tax abatements would run for 10 years, with Blue Point having to pay half of the currently assessed property taxes in the form of payments in lieu of taxes, or PILOTs.

After the first two years, the amount of PILOTs being paid would increase from 50 percent by 2 percent each year, until after the 10-year mark, after which Blue Point Brewing Company would be paying the full assessed value, Mulligan explained.

The current taxes on the property are roughly $540,000 annually.

So those PILOT payments would start at $270,747 annually and top out at $317,223 in the tenth year, according to the application, which the IDA board approved Tuesday afternoon in Brookhaven Town Hall in Farmingville. Click here for the full PILOT schedule.

The project is also receiving a state and county sales tax exemption on equipment and construction materials, not to exceed $2 million.

Anheuser Busch inBev, the brewers of Budweiser and Bud Lite, purchased Blue Point Brewing Company in 2014 and first proposed an expansion at its River Avenue location.

Then Briarcliffe announced it would be shutting down earlier this year, and Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri urged Blue Point representatives to consider a move to Briarcliffe instead, as previously reported.

“Blue Point Brewing Company desires to be a focal point of the Town of Brookhaven and Patchogue Village revitalizations, contributing to the enhancement of the existing retail business community, and creating an exciting tourist destination,” according to the applicant.

In a cost-benefit analysis, the Brookhaven IDA estimated the nearly $4 million in tax incentives would result in nearly $8 million in benefits during the 10 years.

Those benefits would come from income and sales tax revenues in various forms.

Here are additional details of the proposed project, as found in the application for tax breaks:

• The brewery will employ 67 people, with 30 jobs being created and 37 jobs retained.

• The move will allow Blue Point to increase its capacity from 10,000 barrels to 60,000 annually.

• An estimated 1,200 square foot addition would be built on the west side of the building to accommodate four new loading dock doors.

• About 7,100 square feet will be used for office space.

• About 61,800 square feet will be used for production, packaging, warehousing space and a tasting room, restaurant and retail space.

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com