Baby and pet products importer seeks aid to move HQ from Queens to Suffolk

An importer and distributor of baby products wants to move its headquarters from Queens to Long Island in a $20 million project that would bring 28 jobs to Hauppauge, officials said.

Regent Baby Products Corp. hopes to relocate from its Jamaica, Queens, home because the 85,000-square-foot building is being sold, said Roy Pomerantz, who owns and operates the business with his brothers Jay and Steven.

The trio is eyeing a 104,300-square-foot building on Rabro Drive in Hauppauge for a new office, just 12 miles from the company’s Melville warehouse. But Roy Pomerantz said the headquarters and warehouse could also be combined in New Jersey, which is closer to two of the brothers’ Manhattan homes. The company also could rent office space in Queens, he said on Monday.

Regent sells pacifiers, bottles, wipes, clothing, toys, bathing accessories and safety items. They are produced overseas and sold under the Babyking, cribmates, Disney, Paw Patrol, petite l’amour, Playtex Baby and Sesame Street brands.

“While there are tremendous cost savings to moving to New Jersey, our preference is to stay on Long Island,” Pomerantz said last month during a virtual meeting of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. “But we need your help to do so because we’re in the value channel and off-price channel [of retailing], which are very, very competitive [in terms of product pricing].”

Tax breaks get preliminary OK

The IDA board voted unanimously to give preliminary approval to $868,900 in tax breaks, including $800,000 off property taxes on the Hauppauge property, or a 27.5{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} savings over 10 years.

In return, the Pomerantz brothers promised to move 28 jobs. Employees are paid between $37,000 and $174,000 per year, records show.

The brothers also said they would maintain their Melville warehouse, where four people work.

A sister company, Petking Inc., would share the new Hauppauge headquarters and continue to use the Melville warehouse.

Jay Pomerantz said the brothers started Petking in 1994 to serve the needs of dog and cat owners. It imports balls, collars, flying discs, litter box scoops, rope tugs, food bowls and treats. They are sold under the Animal Planet, Humane Society and Petking brands.

Both Petking and Regent products may be found on the shelves of discount retailers, such as Burlington, Dollar Tree, Ross Stores and T.J. Maxx.

Founded in 1946

Regent was founded in 1946 by the brothers’ late father, Emil. The family’s home was in Roslyn but Regent didn’t open its first local facility, the Melville warehouse at 101 Marcus Dr., until 2003. Records show that building was used by another family-owned company, the home improvement retailer Pergament Home Centers, until it was liquidated in 2001.

The owner of the Hauppauge building, Trophy Depot Inc., has been receiving tax breaks from the Suffolk IDA since 2015.

Trophy, an assembler and online retailer of awards, has been forced to downsize because the coronavirus pandemic shut down its primary customers: sports leagues and school athletic competitions, IDA executive director Anthony J. Catapano said last month. He added that Trophy Depot had 76 employees before the pandemic, exceeding its job commitment in return for tax aid — but now has about 20 employees.