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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Nov. 25, 202011:22 AM EST

City Council approves $200,000 incentive for Hillman Group expansion

The Cincinnati-based hardware products supplier plans to add 50 jobs and double the size of its Jacksonville warehouse.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Jacksonville City Council signed off Nov. 24 on a $200,000 property tax incentive for Hillman Group Inc.’s planned North Jacksonville distribution center expansion.  

The council voted 17-0 to offer Hillman a five-year Recapture Enhanced Value Grant at 50% in return for creating 50 jobs.

Resolution 2020-0667 also waives the city’s public investment policy provision requiring that the jobs offer annual wages equal to or greater than the state average of $49,472.

Council members Al Ferraro and Garrett Dennis were absent for the vote.

The Cincinnati-based hardware products supplier intends to hire logisticians, warehouse receiving and shipping personnel, truck drivers and support staff. It will pay an average annual salary of $30,000 plus benefits, according to documents filed with the bill. 

Kirk Wendland, city economic development director, said at the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee meeting Oct. 12 that Duval County’s unemployment rate, still rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, is the rationale for the waiver.

The deal requires the jobs to be in place by Dec. 31, 2023.

The proposed expansion would add 95,523 square feet to the Hillman distribution center at 3650 Port Jacksonville Parkway, doubling the square footage to 190,000 with a total investment of $8.45 million.

The company provides hardware products to more than 25,000 customers, including Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware and Walmart.

The Hillman Group is considering several states for the expansion and noted that financial incentives are a material factor in its decision, according to a legislative fact sheet attached to the bill.

City documents state Hillman is seeking to increase its southeastern U.S. distribution capabilities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. 

The city is reviewing a permit application from Dana B. Kenyon Co. to expand the Hillman warehouse in NorthPoint Industrial Park. 

Permit documents show a $710,375 foundation and a renovation and expansion of almost $3.3 million.

Pattillo Industrial Real Estate is the property owner and developer. RS&H is the architect.

Editor Karen Brune Mathis contributed to this report. 

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