An unidentified “major international retailer” could establish an estimated $61 million distribution facility on Heckscher Drive, according to the city Office of Economic Development.
The address is 1400 Zoo Parkway, also called Heckscher Drive, which is where VanTrust Real Estate is developing the Imeson Park South business park.
The retailer sells household goods, clothing and food items.
The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled to vote May 8 on filing legislation with City Council that would give the code-named Project Crystal a property tax refund capped at $1.5 million.
The committee meeting is set to begin at 2 p.m. at City Hall.
According to a project summary and memo from Office of Economic Development Executive Director Kirk Wendland, the retailer plans a $17 million interior build-out of a distribution facility under construction.
The summary says Crystal will also purchase $44 million in machinery, equipment and other operational needs at the facility, which would employ 100 workers.
Crystal already has a “significant presence” in Florida and the U.S., according to the summary, with similar operations in neighboring states.
A legislative fact sheet in the board’s meeting packet says the company offers household goods, clothing and food items.
The location on Heckscher appears to be tied to its proximity to JaxPort. The summary says the project would provide “significant volume” through the port, and the company would be one of JaxPort’s largest individual container customers if the facility is built.
Crystal’s distribution area from Jacksonville would include south Georgia, south Alabama, Florida and Puerto Rico.
The Recapture Enhanced Value Grant property tax refund would be for five years at 50% of the increase in property value on the site.
Crystal would have one year after completing the project to have the 100 full-time jobs in place, according to the terms of the deal.
City economic development officials expect ancillary truck drivers and support staff will be needed once the facility is operational, the report says.
The city says with an expected increase in the property tax base associated with the project, the $1.5 million tax refund would have a $3.43 return on investment for the city for every $1 invested.
The deal would have to be approved by Council before Crystal will get the award.
Imeson Park South, in North Jacksonville, has several buildings in development.
In fall 2022, VanTrust Real Estate Executive Vice President Marc Munago said VanTrust was working on tenants for several of those buildings.
The speculative 1 million-square-foot Building E is expected to be completed in August 2023. Munago said Sept. 20 that VanTrust is working on a tenant.
The speculative 547,200-square-foot Building C is expected to be completed this spring.
The speculative 235,733-square-foot Building B1 is being developed this year.
The company said the Imeson Park South master plan includes up to six buildings that total more than 2.5 million square feet of space. JLL Executive Managing Director Luke Pope and Senior Vice President Ross Crabtree are the leasing team.
VanTrust purchased the Imeson Park South property in October 2021 for $22.83 million.