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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jan. 23, 201312:00 PM EST

Body Central incentives approved

by: David Chapman

 City Council unanimously approved an economic incentives proposal Tuesday for Jacksonville-based Body Central Inc. to relocate and expand its headquarters and distribution operations from the Southside to North Jacksonville. It was the first economic development deal to be considered through an expedited approval schedule.

The bill was approved 17-0, with Council members Clay Yarborough and Warren Jones excused.

The fast-track deal did have one delay – the amended resolution was tabled until the meeting's end after Council members had questions about an amendment approved earlier in the day.

The Council Finance Committee held a special meeting Tuesday afternoon and approved an amendment clarifying incentive and capital investment language. It was not readily available for the full Council, which caused the delay.

Finance Chairman John Crescimbeni said he realized the brief time between the amendment being passed and the full Council meeting, but stressed the importance of having proper documents in place.

Council President Bill Bishop also said he wanted to see administrative issues worked out for future deals. Despite the short delay, after the meeting he said he was "happy with the way things turned out."

The Body Central incentives legislation was filed Jan. 11 as a resolution and was introduced and passed by Council on Tuesday. Similar deals in the past would have taken several more weeks, but with the deal below the $300,000 payout limit from the City, it could be processed in less than a week.

Body Central, a Jacksonville-based fashion retailer, requested $1.39 million in City and state incentives to relocate and expand its headquarters from 6225 Powers Ave. to 1 Imeson Park Blvd. and create 52 jobs.

The City's share of a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund will not exceed $119,600, or 20 percent, while the state will pay the remaining $478,400, or 80 percent.

Combined with a $125,000 Recapture Enhanced Value grant, which is paid by the City over a five-year period to refund taxes paid on property and investments paid by the company, the City's combined contribution could be up to $244,600.

Also factored in the $1.39 million and coming from the state are a High Impact Sector Bonus of $2,000 per job, an Enterprise Zone Bonus of $3,000 and a Brownfield Area Bonus of $2,500, all of which were detailed as part of Tuesday's amendment. The company's capital investment also was clarified to $10 million, down from $15 million stated in a project summary.

The remaining incentives come from the state. The Governor's Quick Action Closing Fund will contribute $250,000 and a Quick Response Training Grant will provide $415,800.

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