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Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 30, 201905:20 AM EST

Collins Aerospace is making moves in North Jacksonville

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The company is working to open a marine composites manufacturing plant in Imeson International Industrial Park.

Collins Aerospace Corp. continues to hire and build-out space for its Engineered Polymer Products plant in North Jacksonville that could employ more than 100 people by the end of 2020.

The plant has been almost a year in the making.

Collins Aerospace is the combined United Technologies Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins.

It will open the marine composites manufacturing plant in a 140,400-square-foot building it will lease at 10531 Busch Drive N. in Imeson International Industrial Park.

Developer Imeson International Industrial Park Inc. of Orlando filed site plans with the city for a 182,910-square-foot expansion to the building, creating a distribution center of 323,310 square feet. EnVision Design + Engineering is the civil engineer.

The Imeson developer said there were no plans to start construction on that phase.

Collins Aerospace representatives have not commented on the Collins plant.

Job postings for the Collins facility include production supervisor, production planner, production worker, materials handler and CNC (computer numerical control) machinist to work with computer-operated equipment to create machine parts, tools and other mass-produced items. 

Building plans approved in January showed tenant improvements for offices and manufacturing space to make polyurethane parts for clients that include the U.S. Department of Defense.

The 140,400-square-foot building Collins Aerospace will lease at 10531 Busch Drive N. in Imeson International Industrial Park.

The city continues to review plans, including a recent permit application to prepare for crane equipment.

Collins Aerospace previously applied to the city for a certificate of use to operate the center.

Collins Aerospace appears to be Project Turtle, a code-named advanced-manufacturing project. City Council adopted a resolution in January for $1.64 million in city and state taxpayer-backed financial incentives to expand the unidentified manufacturer’s Jacksonville operation and hire 108 employees.

A development agreement contract has not been executed.

The city approved the shell structure construction in May 2018 for a 140,790-square-foot building at a cost of $4.4 million for Webb Southeast Corp., associated with Imeson International Industrial Park Inc.

Webb Southeast obtained a permit in January to build-out the 14,463-square-foot office space portion at a cost of $982,000, identifying Collins Aerospace as the tenant.

Since January, the city approved more than $3 million of tenant improvements for the structure, most recently a $68,023 foundation for eight concrete footings into an existing crane slab for an overhead rail crane to be installed.

Turtle proposes to invest almost $22 million into a new 140,000-square-foot building in North Jacksonville and buy equipment.

The capital investment for the expansion would include $19.2 million for a new industrial building, and $2.6 million in new equipment. 

Collins Aerospace already leases space at 6061 BF Goodrich Blvd. in North Jacksonville at the Blount Island Marine Terminal. The certificate of use application for the Imeson project lists that address as the company’s main Jacksonville location. 

The incentives legislation said Turtle would retain the 111 jobs it already has in Jacksonville.

Turtle said the new jobs would pay an average annual wage of $53,298 plus benefits. It sought a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund from the city and state and a Recapture Enhanced Value grant from the city.

Construction would be completed by year-end 2020.  The agreement states that 30 jobs would be created this year and 78 next year.

Posted job openings call Collins Aerospace in Jacksonville “home to our Engineered Polymer Products division,” which “is a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced, high-performance composite and elastomeric structures and products for marine applications. Whether in the air or underwater, we’re pushing the limits of innovation.”

“While the rest of Collins Aerospace soars into the sky, Engineered Polymer Products dives into the sea,” says a job posting Oct. 25.

“EPP specializes in marine applications for surface ships and submarines. Our dedicated teams create specialty naval parts that aid the U.S. Navy in executing their mission,” it says.

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