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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Apr. 16, 201905:20 AM EST

Cra-Z-Art manufacturing and distribution center plans parking for hundreds

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Company coming to Imeson Park wants spaces for more than the 21 jobs tied to its incentives package.

The Cra-Z-Art manufacturing and distribution center under development in Imeson Park appears to need up to 319 parking spaces, a lot more than what would be used by the 21 jobs tied to the company’s incentives legislation.

VanTrust Real Estate, the developer of the 300,000-square-foot Cra-Z-Art building, requests an administrative deviation for the property at 10501 Cold Storage Road to allow additional parking.

A parking demand analysis says the maximum number of parking spaces allowed with the manufacturing, assembly, warehousing and office building is 165 spaces. 

VanTrust, through JI Imeson Industrial 300 LLC, requests a deviation from the zoning code to allow up to 319 off-street parking spaces “to accommodate employees.”

The analysis says there will be two to three work shifts and there may be overlap. There also will be seasonal temporary employees.

As Project Buckeye, Cra-Z-Art sought $689,000 in city and state incentives that comprise a $626,000 Recapture Enhanced Value grant from the city for the project development and a $63,000 Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund for job creation, of which the city will pay $12,600.

The QTI, which City Council approved in November, is tied to Cra-Z-Art’s proposal to hire 21 full-time management and administration employees in Jacksonville by year-end 2021 at an average $53,298 annually.

The workforce is described as production supervisors, management staff and warehouse personnel, according to public documents.

The company also says it could annually hire 50 seasonal employees.

The city’s legislative summary for Project Buckeye states that the company would create the 21 full-time jobs at an average annual $53,298, which it says is 115%of the Florida average wage.

The explanation could be that just those 21 jobs fit the QTI requirement. There could be hundreds more that don’t.

It also makes sense that Cra-Z-Art would need more parking spaces because it already employs more than 150 people in the United States and wants to consolidate in Jacksonville, the legislative fact sheet states.

Cra-Z-Art sells activity, art and school supplies, toys and stationery products and intends to relocate manufacturing and distribution functions to the Imeson Park building.

Cra-Z-Art is a division of LaRose Industries LLC, which is based in Randolph, New Jersey.

The jobs are to be created by year-end December 2021.

It may be a coincidence with the Project Buckeye name, but Ohio’s nickname is “The Buckeye State."

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