TOWN OF WALLKILL – Executives at America's largest privately held medical supply maker want to build Orange County's largest warehouse in the Town of Wallkill.
Medline Industries is proposing a $115 million, 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center on 105 acres of the former Golden Triangle project property, according to the company’s application for tax breaks.
The Orange County Industrial Development Agency’s board, which considers tax benefits to spur development, voted unanimously to consider Medline’s application on Thursday. It calls for a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement and sales-tax exemptions of more than $8 million. A public hearing on the potential tax benefits will likely to be set for July, said IDA chief Laurie Villasuso.
Medline's leaders can’t estimate the proposed PILOT’s worth until an assessor rates the land and their project's value. They hope to construct an $84 million building just south of Bahrenburg Road, west of Route 17, between Silver Lake-Scotchtown Road and Route 211. But they still need to acquire the site's four wooded parcels, which they value at $14 million, and receive various municipal approvals from Wallkill's boards.
In 2005, Orange County developer Michael Jeremias failed to develop the Golden Triangle project into a massive retail and housing complex.
Medline’s management, meanwhile, recently sold their Wawayanda distribution center, which they plan to lease until 2020, when they hope to move to a larger location.
The company and Zvi Segal’s Green Acres Development Group, of Wappingers Falls, had been trying to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center on 90 acres along Route 416 and Eager Road in the Town of Hamptonburgh. But the town's board members chose not to vote on rezoning the property for commercial uses, when locals complained industry was creeping too close to homes.
A move to the Town of Wallkill would be Medline’s second in 10 years and a return to a town where the firm once had a warehouse. In 2009, Medline doubled its space to 500,000 square feet by moving from Wallkill to a location off Route 6 in Wawayanda.
Company leaders, who employ 340 locally, want to add between 150 and 200 new jobs within five years of opening in Wallkill, according to their IDA application. They say they'll move their distribution center to New Jersey or Pennsylvania if the IDA doesn’t approve tax breaks.
Keeping Medline in Orange County would be a win for the Orange County Partnership, a Goshen nonprofit that attracts and retains companies locally. The Partnership originally lured Medline.
"I think they have a real desire to stay here," said Partnership President and CEO Maureen Halahan, who is confident Medline will secure tax benefits and municipal approvals.
Wallkill Supervisor Ed Diana, an IDA board member who abstained from Thursday’s vote, also has been trying to keep Medline in the county. Medline spokeswoman Stacy Rubenstein confirmed the firm is looking elsewhere, while crediting Diana for being "instrumental" and "inspirational" in helping Medline try to stay.
"I’ve been on the phone literally every day with the Medline people doing everything in my power" to retain them, Diana said. "These are the types of jobs we’re trying to attract. They pay a minimum of $15 an hour, with incentives that increase the hourly wage to $2 to $4 and more."