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Queens Chronicle

Leviton building site finally leased

LIC watch manufacturer will take property over sometime next year

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:24 am, Thu Dec 19, 2013.

The Queens Chronicle has learned that E. Gluck Corp., now located in Long Island City, has leased the former Leviton site, which was the corporate headquarters for the firm that makes electrical wiring devices and motion sensors. Leviton officials moved its operation to Melville, LI in 2009 and the property at 59-25 Little Neck Parkway has remained vacant since then.

The 6.7-acre site was bought by Steel Equities, a commercial real estate developer, and the only usage at the site had been storage for a car dealer in Great Neck.

Susan Seinfeld, district manager of Community Board 11, said that Gluck officials had met with area elected officials, including Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), to discuss their plans.

Braunstein confirmed the meeting, saying he thinks the move will be “agreeable to the community,” but is not taking a position yet until he is updated on environmental remediation at the site.

Jerry Iannece, CB 11 chairman, said that minor remediation is going on there now. “Everyone I’ve talked to is high on the company,” Iannece said.

Also favoring the move by the watch manufacturer is Bob Nobile, president of the Little Neck Pines Civic Association, who said, “It sounds like a good thing. They won’t knock the building down and residents around there should be happy.”

He noted that area residents were scared a big box store or a drugstore would replace the Leviton building. There was even talk of a new high school going in.

But Braunstein said it will be a 9-to-5 operation, with adequate parking for employees and no noise from the manufacturing.

Directly across the street from the building is the Samuel Field YM & YWHA, and next door is the Deepdale Gardens Community Council pool. Deepdale has around 2,000 members and uses neighborhood residential streets for parking.

“It’s a quiet neighborhood,” Nobile said.

Gluck applied to the city for $12.8 million in tax breaks, which was granted, according to Comptroller John Liu’s office. His office had no issues with the subsidies.

Plans call for Gluck to add 81,000 square feet to the building. The property is zoned for manufacturing so the project is as of right.

The company employs 348 workers and intends to add 45 additional employees within three years, according to the firm’s application under the city’s industrial incentive program.

Gluck is located on two floors of a building operated by LaGuardia Community College and must move out by next May so that the school can take over the space.

The firm, in existence since 1956, makes Armitron watches as well as licensed brands for Anne Klein, Badgley Mischka and Nine West. The business was started by Eugen Gluck, who still runs the operation.

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