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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jul. 27, 202105:00 AM EST

Deal for proposed $69.3 million Talleyrand facility headed to City Council

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International manufacturer CertainTeed Corp. requests a $3.4 million REV grant to remediate and build at the EPA Superfund site. 
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

A property tax incentive to help international construction products manufacturer CertainTeed Corp. develop a $69.3 million cross-dock facility at an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site in Talleyrand is headed to City Council. 

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee voted 7-0 on July 26 to file legislation to authorize a 10-year, 50% Recapture Enhanced Value Grant capped at $3.4 million for the project.

Documents filed July 21 with the budget committee show the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based company is considering the vacant 32.46-acre Level 2 Distressed Area at 1611 Talleyrand Ave. for a cross-dock terminal to handle raw material imports.

City Office of Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland told the committee July 26 that the site cleanup, managed by the EPA, is as important as the private development.

“We do recognize there are a lot of associated challenges, and (CertainTeed) came to us to see if there is anything we can do to encourage them to continue the redevelopment of this site,” Wendland said. 

“Many, many millions have already been spent (on the cleanup) and still more to go.”

City Public Works Director John Pappas said the path of Deer Creek through the site makes the cleanup “a very big deal.”

Known as the Kerr McGee Chemical Corp. EPA Superfund Site, Wendland said the property has been vacant since 1978. Interest in the land from other companies over the years has not materialized, he said.

Duval County Clerk of Courts records show Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust LLC purchased the property in February 2011 from Tronox Worldwide LLC for a $10 simple fee. 

Colliers International represents Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust LLC.

Guy Preston, executive director of Colliers International’s Logistics & Transportation Solutions Group, said the property sale to CertainTeed has been under contract for about 2½ years.

The city’s project summary says CertainTeed’s $69.3 million investment includes a cross-dock terminal; bulkhead and marine structure to accommodate Panamax-size vessels; overland conveyors; concrete pads for the temporary storage of bulk materials; a dock office; a scale house/office; and a truck staging area and scale.

Documents state that the company told city officials it expects the facility to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2023 and is considering expanding the site in the future to add a manufacturing facility.

To qualify for the full REV grant, which is a property tax refund, the company will have to invest no less the $55 million and create a minimum of 20 jobs by the end of 2024, the documents state.

The company told city officials it will create 32 jobs in Jacksonville with an average annual wage of $45,000 plus benefits. The full-time positions comprise 12 dockworkers and 20 truck drivers.

According to the project summary, CertainTeed is evaluating other southern U.S. port cities for the project but Jacksonville is the only one in Florida being considered. 

Economic development officials estimate a $2.05 return to the city for every public $1 invested in the project, the summary states. 

Legislation with the proposed economic development agreement could be filed with Council by Aug. 4.

CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Paris-based multinational Saint-Gobain.

CertainTeed says on its website it manufactures exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings.

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