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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jan. 22, 202102:30 PM EST

Bill requesting $260,000 tax refund for Project Robalo filed with City Council 

A description of the unnamed medical device distributor matches the Ohio-based Sarnova’s company profile. 
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

City Council will review a resolution that would authorize a $260,000 city-backed tax incentive for an undisclosed national pharmaceutical and medical device distributor.

City Council President Tommy Hazouri filed the resolution Jan. 20 with Council at the request of Mayor Lenny Curry.  It is scheduled to be introduced for first reading at the Jan. 26 Council meeting. 

Resolution 2021-0063 supports code-named Project Robalo. Documents with the bill say the company is considering leasing 131,000 square feet of a newly developed warehouse in Northwest Jacksonville for its Southeastern U.S. distribution center. It would invest $6.72 million and create 25 full-time jobs by year-end 2023.

Dublin, Ohio-based medical supplies distributor Sarnova matches the description of Robalo. 

Sarnova is shown on a Park 295 Industrial Park brochure as a new tenant in the industrial center at southwest Interstate 295 and Duval Road in Northwest Jacksonville.

Park 295 also houses Ulta Beauty and Quiet 3PF in Building B at 2619 Ignition Drive.

Robalo seeks a 50%, 10-year Recapture Enhanced Value Grant up to $260,000.

According to the city’s economic development agreement with Robalo filed with the bill, the company intends to create 25 jobs that pay an annual average $58,594 plus benefits. 

Documents from the city Office of Economic Development show Robalo’s capital investment will comprise $2.4 million for the leasehold improvements and $4.3 million for equipment, furniture and fixtures.

To receive the REV grant, the city will require Robalo make a minimum $3 million capital investment in the project site by Dec. 31, 2023, and have all jobs in place by the end of 2023.

Robalo must start its leaseholder improvements by Feb.1, according to the city’s economic development agreement filed with the bill.

The grant award will be reduced proportionately if the medical supply company does not meet the job creation timeline. 

The city agreement terminates the tax incentive if Robalo fails to create at least 10 jobs by the end of 2023.

The agreement includes similar protections for private capital investment. 

Robalo is required to complete $2.4 million in leaseholder improvements to the warehouse by Dec. 31, 2022. 

The REV grant will be revoked if the company does not invest at least $3 million by the end of 2023, according to the agreement.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee voted 6-0 Dec. 7 to file the resolution with Council. 

Editor Karen Brune Mathis contributed to this report. 

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