A leading Internet and media company is looking at the former Otis Elevator factory complex in downtown Yonkers as a possible relocation site for its most profitable business.
IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC), consistently ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the world’s most admired companies in the Internet services and retailing sector, is in talks . to move IAC Search, the name behind Ask.com, from its iconic digs in Chelsea’s Frank Gehry building to the Yonkers waterfront.
The possible landing site for IAC Search is the 24-acre i.Park Hudson campus, touting modern multi-use floor plans, river views and proximity to public transportation. Owned by National Resources, the redeveloped Yonkers plant at 24 Wells Ave. has lured businesses such as Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. and Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Yonkers Industrial Development Authority President and CEO Melvina Carter hopes to augment the i.Park tenant list with highly profitable tech firms.
“We are looking to attract some high-end business, high-tech businesses with good paying jobs,” she said.
To help encourage IAC’s move, the Yonkers IDA recently gave initial approval to sales tax exemptions for the company’s relocation project that total $402,000. The company in its project application to the IDA said the IAC Search office would bring in 182 full-time jobs with an average salary of $125,000. The applicant said IAC Search “is looking at consolidating its New York office into Yonkers.”
“We believe that IAC would be a great addition to Yonkers,” said Carter. “The chairman of the IDA board, Mayor (Mike) Spano, and the entire board welcomes this move, and our actions thus far just demonstrate that we’re in support of them coming here.”
Officials at IAC – also the parent company for dating sites Match.com and OKCupid – declined to comment on future development plans. IAC spokeswoman Justine Sacco said the company hoped to do so “when the time is appropriate.” She called any public discussion of the move “premature.”
“Our businesses are certainly expanding and growing and we’re always looking at new things, but there’s a lot of speculation here,” Sacco said.
Carter, though, indicated that IAC favors Yonkers due to the influx of investment in the downtown and waterfront areas.
“In my discussion with them, they feel this is a great location,” she said. “They see the investment that’s being made by the city and other developers along our waterfront.”
City officials were cautiously optimistic that IAC will bring i.Park Hudson its tenancy and subsequent jobs.
“We’re hoping that IAC will take the next step and finalize this project so we would have something really great to celebrate in our downtown area,” said Carter. “In our mind we’re done with our actions, but now we have to wait until the company finalizes the deal with the landlord here.”
The IDA’s sales tax exemption would save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars on purchases of materials, furnishings and equipment needed for the $4.8 million project to prepare the 40,000-square-foot office space eyed by IAC. Construction would take an estimated six months once the deal is finalized.
Neither Carter nor IAC offered a timeline or deadline for the deal.
“We’re hoping they’ll finish up their negotiations, they’ll sign a lease and they can get moving, but I don’t have any specific time frame from the company at this point,” said Carter.
Carter said the firm’s relocation would be a “phenomenal” boon for the city.
“I think this is a great story,” she said. “They picked Yonkers, so I think it speaks to all the work this administration is doing to attract businesses.”