The Smithtown News - December 16, 2021
The Damianos Realty Group of Smithtown announced last week that it has acquired the four-story, 200,000-square-foot office building at 150 Motor Parkway in the John V.N. Klein Hauppauge Industrial Park.
The Building is currently only half full, Damianos Principal X. Cristofer Damianos disclosed during an interview Monday, December 13. He said the building will undergo major capital improvements to attract tenants to the space, a modern glass and stone building with easy access to the Long Island Expressway.
Designed by the innovative architectural firm Mojo Stumer Associates, of Greenvale, 150 Motor Parkway was built in 1987 by Racanelli Construction Company, Inc. of Melville. The building was owned and operated for many years by Rechler Equity Partners, which eventually sold the property. Damianos bought the 11.28-acre site, which has a market value of $26.8 million and property taxes of $721,257, from UA Properties LLC, the principal of which is David Shah.
The acquisition is Damianos’ 10th building in the Town of Smithtown and 28th in total, and brings its total commercial office space in Smithtown to 700,000 square feet, one of the largest owners of office space in town. Three years ago, Damianos bought the six-story building at 100 Motor Parkway, so this is its second building in the Hauppauge Industrial Park.
Tenants in 150 Motor Parkway include the law firm of Ingerman Smith LLP, HQ Global Workplaces, Dale Carnegie, Suffolk County Dental Society, New York State Grievance Committee and Association for a Better Long Island. “The building is about 50 percent vacant and was headed lower” Mr. Damianos said, adding that Ingerman Smith and a number of other tenants were going to move out had Damianos not purchased the building.
Mr. Damianos said his business model is to buy buildings that are not at their full potential, fix them up and attract tenants that they want in the building to increase its value “That’s really what our business is, to create value on the building and at the end of the day we have a building that we all can be proud of, me as owner and the people who live and work in the community. And, we have tenants who want to be in the building,” he said. “We don’t ever want to have a building where people want to move out. We want a building where people want to move in. But to get them to want to move in, you have to do a lot of things and you have to do them right. We’re geared for that.”
Mr. Damianos said 150 Motor Parkway has a full service cafeteria with good food that was recently renovated by the previous owner. He said there is a conference center and a fitness center, which will be modernized to Class A building standards along with all the bathrooms, hallways and lobby areas. In addition, Damianos has plans to improve the parking lot, landscaping, signage, roof and mechanical equipment.
“That’s what we do. When you drive by one of our buildings you know it’s one of our buildings. You see all the flowers, you see all the landscaping, you see all of that stuff.” Mr. Damianos said.
According to Mr. Damianos, basic maintenance work on the building has been neglected. He said the building looks nice from the street, but the glass has not been washed in many years, something his company usually does twice a year. “The windows are dirty, the stone façade on the building needs work. The building is 30 years old. It needs to be cleaned. You get companies to come in and that’s what they specialize in so the building looks like when it was built. So that’s what we do, and that’s what we will do to this building” he said. “We have always found that quality tenants want to be in nice buildings. That’s what they want, that’s what they expect and that’s what we deliver.”
Mr. Damianos said his firm has already begun to show space in the building. He said the renovation work and building improvements and enhancements will be undertaken over the next year to year and a half. He said the interior work will have to be undertaken with some strategic planning so that the existing tenants are disturbed the least amount possible.
“You have to respect that while all of those tenant want the work to be done, I can’t out them out of business while I’m doing it, “he said. “We will keep disruptions to a minimum but ultimately get the job done. Again, this isn’t something that we haven’t done in any of our other buildings. You know our buildings in Smithtown and this is our drill. This is what we do.”
While Damianos Realty Group, LLC owns office space in nearly a dozen Suffolk County locations, Mr. Damianos said Smithtown is a favorite place to do business. “I said it the other day to my staff and they laughed, but we are bullish on the Town of Smithtown,’ he said. “They asked me if it was a pun and it is kind of funny but I didn’t mean it that way. We are bullish on Smithtown. We have faith in our abilities and we like the Town of Smithtown to do it in.”
As a developer, Mr. Damianos said he could do business anywhere in the country, but he prefers to stay here. He said there are also a lot of commercial tenants whom like to do business in Smithtown, so it’s a good match.
Prior to buying 150 Motor Parkway. Damianos representatives met with the town building officials and fire marshals to discuss violations in the building, and now that they own the building those violations are being corrected in cooperation with the town. He said one of the first upgrades being done is the installation of a state-of-the-art fire alarm system.
“Life safety is always top of our critical list,” he said. “If they want us to do something and we’re willing to do it, the town usually worms really closely with us to get it done. That’s what I mean by the Town of Smithtown being a really good town to do business in. You can call for that meeting and they will meet with you and you get on the same page and get it done.”
By David Ambro