Islip IDA Plants Seeds for Growth with O’Shea Properties

“Economic gardening” isn’t growing money on trees, but for small businesses, it might be the next best thing.

The term actually describes an entrepreneurial “grow your own” approach to developing a local economy from within. And just like in a garden, even the smallest seeds can yield a big harvest. For the Town of Islip IDA, this method is taking root with O’Shea Properties, which recently brought to market an industrial building in Central Islip with 31 units ranging from 1,246 square feet to 1,730 square feet.

Bill Mannix, Executive Director of the IDA, is a big proponent of economic gardening and its effect on businesses that may often be overlooked. “Historically, IDA financial assistance has been out of reach for the very smallest of the small business sector,” he says. “By incentivizing the construction of small industrial spaces for lease, the Islip IDA is helping to nurture the growth of small companies that employ 20 or fewer people.”

Mannix cites research noting growth-oriented companies produce the greatest economic impact on a region, because they bring money into the community from outside markets. Many of these companies are in what’s considered the second stage of entrepreneurship, having passed the startup stage and have between 10 and 99 employees and at least $1 million in revenues.

These “small” companies mean big business, generating 61.8% of net new jobs from the first quarter of 1993 until the third quarter of 2016, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

O’Shea Properties, a developer, owner, and manager of industrial, commercial, and office buildings headquartered in Ronkonkoma, might be considered a small business, but Katie O'Shea Rivas, its director of leasing and development, had high standards for its multi-tenant industrial building—and a site within the Town of Islip fit the bill.

Being part of a small business herself helps Rivas understand the needs of her tenants, small- to medium-sized industrial companies. “We found a central location within the Town of Islip with easy access to Veterans Highway, the Long Island Expressway, and Sunrise Highway, in addition to the Long Island Rail Road,” she says. “This is ideal because of the flexible access to both New York City markets to the west and East End markets to the east.”

“We have all the amenities of a state-of-the-art industrial building, but catered to the smaller user,” Rivas adds. “It’s energy efficient and the layout is well organized and safe, with proper placement of the loading and delivery areas in the center of the site, separated from the office and parking areas on the opposite side of the building.”

An attractive location can overcome many obstacles—even unexpected ones. Despite being brought to market during the pandemic, the building is 70% leased as of the end of June. That level of occupancy means there are many potential benefits to the Town of Islip economy not just from O’Shea Properties, but from its tenants as well.

“That’s keeping with the principles of economic gardening,” Mannix says. And it’s a way for business within the Town to bloom.

Find out more about what it’s like to get down to business. Call 631-224-5512 or email