“All of a sudden, we don’t have a room anymore.” LI couples forced to make wedding changes as Smithtown ends deal with caterer
October 4, 2022
Brunswick City Commissioners approved tax abatements for two new businesses in the city’s downtown area, but at a slightly lower rate than either had requested.
The first venture discussed was Queen & Grant, a new wedding venue at 1315 Grant St. being developed by Port City Partners. The venue is expected to accommodate 500 people, employ five people directly and some indirectly due to catering and maintenance. It is expected to open in late October or early November, said Port City owner Brad Piazza.
“Five cents is a big number,” said Downtown Development Authority executive director Mathew Hill. “We turned away a lot of people because we just can’t accommodate them all here (in the old town hall). It will be a great boon for the city center.
Piazza said he wanted the venue to be the first dedicated downtown event venue.
“With this, we hope to gain traction in this area for the city,” Piazza said. “We hope to work with the city and other businesses to create a thriving industry.”
Port City Lofts, a collection of residential units in a building on the corner of Gloucester and Bay streets, was one of the key factors in the decision to undertake this next project, as well as the tax abatement he requested .
Parking is something that has yet to be resolved, he said. There isn’t enough room around the structure, but Piazza said it has off-site options, including public parking at Mary Ross Waterfront Park and public parking on Monck Street.
Because she wanted to take into account what other companies could come to seek in tax abatement requests and wishing to reinvest more money in the community while offering savings to the promoter, Commissioner Julie Martin proposed another abatement arrangement.
Rather than the 10-year abatement requested – five years without property taxes and gradually decreasing the abatement to 80% for two years and 60%, 40% and 20% over the last three years – she suggested an abatement over eight years , reducing property taxes by 80% for the first three years, 60% for the next three and 40% for the last two.
The savings would be $31,725, about $17,766 less than the approximately $50,000 the initial application would have saved, but it would allow the city to reinvest more money in the downtown commercial district. city, Martin said.
The original request was the maximum reduction the city could approve, but the commission is not obligated to give the maximum reduction. She suggested downgrading because the company will only employ five people.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Martin’s revised reduction schedule. It will come into force in 2023 with an 80% reduction and will end in 2031 with a 40% reduction in property taxes.
Martin also suggested offering the same abatement to the next company, Seed Corn Enterprise, which is building a new location for Original Jay’s Fish and Chicken at the corner of Gloucester and Albany streets, while waiving $3,545 in license fees. build and a general waiver of future city construction charges.
She wanted to offer the same schedule to former State Court Judge Orion Douglass, owner of Seed Corn Enterprises, for the same reason. She felt that the company did not offer enough new jobs to justify the maximum reduction.
His savings would be about $8,593, she said, as opposed to the savings of $13,404 he would get under the original application.
He originally asked for the same schedule as Piazza, a 10-year abatement – five years tax-free, followed by tax cuts of 80% for the next two years and 60%, 40% and 20% for the next three.
Douglass countered that the new venture will actually create eight to ten new jobs, potentially double those employed by Queen & Grant. He added that he has been investing in the city since the 1970s and hopes this project will encourage more investment.
Commissioners voted unanimously to approve his original request, a 10-year reduction saving $13,404.
In other cases, Commissioners:
• Appointed Paige Browning and Devone Williams to the city’s pension committee.
• Secured flood insurance for 10 municipal properties.
• Received June financial reports from the City’s Director of Finance.
At the end of the meeting, the committee went into closed session to discuss legal matters. The Commissioners took no action upon their return to open session other than to adjourn.
The next committee meeting is scheduled for August 17.