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Jax Daily Record Monday, Nov. 9, 202005:10 AM EST

Malnove requests a city grant to expand in North Jacksonville

The manufacturer plans to invest $7.4 million and create 10 full-time jobs.
by: Mike Mendenhall Associate Editor

Packing materials manufacturer Malnove Holding Co. Inc. is asking the city for a $160,000 property tax incentive for a possible expansion in Jacksonville. 

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled to vote Nov. 9 on the city Office of Economic Development’s request to file legislation with City Council for a five-year, 50% Recapture Enhanced Value Grant for Malnove. 

A memo from Kirk Wendland, city economic development director, shows the manufacturer is considering a $7.4 million investment in machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures and plans to create 10 full-time jobs. 

Omaha, Nebraska-based Malnove expanded to the city in 1981 and has 182 employees in Jacksonville.

The company bought a site in 1998 at Imeson International Industrial Park in North Jacksonville and built a 235,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, according to the memo to city Chief Administrative Office Brian Hughes. 

Malnove also leases 100,500 square feet of additional warehouse space.

Wendland said the proposed incentive is a material factor in Malnove’s decision to expand in Jacksonville rather than at its manufacturing sites in Omaha or Clearfield, Utah. 

Malnove proposes to pay the new employees $36,500 per year plus benefits, but that level does not meet wage requirements for REV Grants in the city’s public investment policy. The Office of Economic Development will ask Council for a waiver.

Businesses requesting REV grants are required to offer wages equal to Florida’s average annual wage of about $49,000, according to Wendland.

This is the second time since October city economic development officials have asked the MBRC and Council to waive the policy rule.

Council also is reviewing a request for a five-year, up to $200,000 REV Grant for The Hillman Group, a  hardware products manufacturer, which wants to double in size and create 50 full-time jobs at $30,000 per year plus benefits in North Jacksonville.

Wendland told Council on Nov. 3  that creating more jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and lowering the local unemployment rate is worth waiving the wage criteria.

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