Jacksonville on track to gain 138 new jobs

City Council approves incentives for Projects Flamingo and Turtle.

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  • | 5:42 p.m. January 8, 2019
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Jacksonville City Council approved two economic development agreements that could result in 138 full-time jobs in North and Northwest Jacksonville.

Council members approved Projects Flamingo and Turtle in a 19-0 vote Tuesday night. Companies can use code names during negotiations with the city and state.

Project Flamingo

According to city documents, Project Flamingo proposes to hire 30 full-time employees at a new manufacturing facility in Northwest Jacksonville. The company seeks $1.425 million in city-backed financial incentives.

Flamingo is described as a national distributor of private-label skin and hair care products. It plans to lease about 200,000 square feet of space to service customers in the Southeast.

The company plans to invest $37.5 million, comprising $24 million in machinery, equipment, furniture and fixtures, and to lease space in a Northwest Jacksonville building to be constructed for $13.5 million.

Council members approved a Recaptured Enhanced Value grant worth up to 50 percent of the net increase in real and tangible property taxes over 10 years.

The estimated value of the REV grant is $1.425 million. The project summary shows the estimated return on investment for the city is 2.02.

Flamingo will need to hire its full-time employees by the end of 2021. The positions will average $46,346 annually. The company also could hire 400 seasonal workers, although those jobs are not tied to the incentives.

The company states in a legislative fact sheet that city-backed financial incentives are a material factor in its decision to consider Jacksonville over locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Project Turtle

With council approval, Project Turtle plans to add 108 employees to its existing Jacksonville footprint in exchange for $1.64 million in financial incentives.

According to a project summary, Turtle has 100 employees at an existing manufacturing facility in Jacksonville.

The company proposes to invest $21.8 million into a new industrial building and to purchase equipment for a facility it is considering in North Jacksonville.

The new jobs would pay an average annual wage of $53,298 plus benefits.

The incentives package comprises a Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund of up to $5,000 for each new employee, worth $540,000. The city would be responsible for 20 percent of the QTI refund, or $108,000. The state funds the balance.

In return, the company must hire 108 new employees by year-end 2020. The refund would be paid out over five years beginning in 2020 after the jobs and wages are verified by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Through a Recapture Enhanced Value grant, the company also seeks a refund equal to 50 percent of the increase in ad valorem taxes paid over the next 10 years for building and furnishing a facility. That grant is paid by the city and is capped at $1.1 million.

Details of the Project Turtle agreement match Collins Aerospace.

That company plans to lease a new building in North Jacksonville to make parts for clients that include the U.S. Department of Defense.

It already leases space at 6061 Goodrich Blvd at the Blount Island Marine Terminal.

Collins Aerospace plans to rent a 140,833-square-foot warehouse at 10531 Busch Drive N. in Imeson International Industrial Park, according to building plans.

The city is reviewing a permit application for Webb Southeast Construction Corp. to renovate 14,463 square of office space at the Busch Drive building at a cost of $982,000.