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Jax Daily Record Friday, Nov. 29, 201905:20 AM EST

Johnson & Johnson Vision's Jacksonville expansion could top $30 million

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The company makes Acuvue disposable contact lenses at the Deerwood Park facility.

Johnson & Johnson Vision is working toward a minimum $30 million investment to upgrade and expand the central utilities plant at its Jacksonville campus, which makes Acuvue disposable contact lenses.

The investment could top that, pending more permit applications.

What it means is that Johnson & Johnson Vision, part of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson, sees continued output and potential growth at its plant at 7500 Centurion Parkway in Deerwood Park.

“This is related to utilities upgrades needed to maintain current production operations at the site, as well as allows for future utilities expansion should the plant require it,” said Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Jessica Giangaspero.

She said she could not verify the amount proposed for the expansion.

Permit applications made to date indicate Johnson & Johnson Vision anticipates a plant expansion of at least $27.5 million. In addition, the city issued a permit in June to add mechanical equipment to the existing plant at a cost of $2.2 million.

On Nov. 5, the city issued a permit for the demolition of a recreation building on the site at a cost of $100,000 for the utility plant expansion.

Permits under review for the utilities plant show footings and sediment and erosion controls; installation of a pipe bridge to process chilled water and other utilities; building demolition; and a 15,421-square-foot, two-story addition.

As of March, Johnson & Johnson Vision had about 1,800 employees in Jacksonville. JAXUSA Partnership, the economic development division of JAX Chamber, reports Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is one of the city’s largest employers with 2,000 employees. Giangaspero said the workforce fluctuates.

Johnson & Johnson Vision is part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies.

Formerly called Johnson & Johnson Vision Care and Vistakon, it began expanding beyond the contact lens business in 2017 with acquisitions of other eye health businesses.

The company says that its products and technologies address needs including refractive error, cataracts and dry eye. Its website is jjvision.com.

It operates a Jacksonville campus of almost 900,000 square feet of space, records show.

Johnson & Johnson Vision has operated the Jacksonville contact lens unit since 1981 when it bought Frontier Contact Lenses.

Dual-headquartered in Jacksonville and in Santa Ana, California, Johnson & Johnson Vision says it has more than 10,000 employees worldwide and its eye health products are available in 103 countries

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