The Jacksonville City Council approved a $200,000 grant Feb. 22 for Belgium-based health care products manufacturer Nateen to establish a U.S. headquarters and plant in Northwest Jacksonville.
Council voted 17-0 to award the grant to Nateen subsidiary USA Big Mountain Paper Inc. for an estimated $5.3 million project that would create 50 manufacturing jobs.
Nateen’s products include paper-based adult incontinence products as well as baby sanitary care products, such as diapers. It also supplies scrubs, gowns and personal protective equipment.
Kirk Wendland, executive director of the city Office of Economic Development, told the Council Finance Committee on Feb. 15 that Nateen has shifted its strategy to lease an existing industrial facility instead of buying a site.
According to Wendland, Nateen is considering a building at 5301 W. Fifth St.
A real estate listing on Loopnet.com shows an 81,345-square-foot space available for lease at the site. The building is owned by WPT Hernasco LP of Minneapolis, according to property records.
Wendland previously said Nateen was considering buying a 105,000-square-foot building at 3031 West Side Blvd.
The development agreement between Nateen and the city filed with Resolution 2022-0087 describes the project parcel as a different site, 2160 W. 33rd St.
The agreement requires the 50 jobs to be in place by Dec. 31, 2024.
A project summary filed with the bill says the jobs will pay an average annual wage of $40,000 and the facility will have a $2 million annual payroll, excluding benefits.
The grant will come from the Northwest Jacksonville Economic Development Fund to pay for machinery, equipment and other improvements to the building.
The summary says Nateen sells products in more than 80 countries and the company’s website says its medical products brand is in more than 60 counties.
Nateen promotes itself as eco-friendly, sourcing raw materials from providers certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
The company has to make a minimum $4 million investment to keep the grant award, according to a legislative summary.
City economic development officials estimated the taxpayer investment will have a $2.03 return for every $1 invested in the Nateen facility.