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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 18, 201712:00 PM EST

City is vying for 800-job 'Zeus'

2 Jacksonville sites short-listed for fulfillment center

It’s not Amazon, but it’s at least as big.

Jacksonville is recruiting Project Zeus, an unidentified company that wants to set up a 1.3 million-square-foot, up to 800-job fulfillment distribution center in the Southeast.

It has short-listed its search to four sites, including two in Jacksonville, according to an April 4 email from JAXUSA Partnership Senior Director Michael Breen to Jacksonville Transportation Authority CEO Nathaniel Ford.

Breen, senior director of the JAXUSA international department, invited Ford to a prospect dinner scheduled April 6 at Restaurant Orsay for “key leaders.”

The email was made available through a public records request.

Breen said in the email the prospect was not Amazon, which is setting up two fulfillment centers, a delivery station and what appears to be a sortation center in West, North and Northwest Jacksonville.

In the email, Breen said the prospect’s consultants and site selection team would visit Jacksonville April 6-7.

It appears the site visit was quickly arranged. “In most cases we try to provide an acceptable lead time for such invitations but in some cases we are only informed of the need with very little lead time,” Breen wrote. “The following is just such a case.”

The records request included an agenda for an April 6 working lunch at The River Club.

That 12:30-3:30 p.m. event agenda showed a 1 p.m. presentation by the Project Zeus team, indicating nine members.

That was followed by presentations by the JAXUSA Partnership, which is the economic development division of JAX Chamber, and then reports about labor and workforce, transportation, utilities, the Jacksonville project approval process and state and local incentives.

Listed on the agenda were representatives of JAXUSA Partnership, CareerSource Northeast Florida, Florida State College at Jacksonville, JEA, the city Office of Economic Development, and Building Inspection Division, Enterprise Florida, JTA, the Florida Department of Transportation and England-Thims & Miller.

A “reflection on Jacksonville experience” was scheduled by an ETM executive.

At 3:45 p.m., a group was scheduled to depart for an “Imeson Tour.”

The JAX Chamber said this morning they had no comment.

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