The Pasco County Commission has approved another economic incentive deal — this one expected to yield 2,400 jobs when completed.
The county board approved a $6.3 million incentive package for the project, to be funded through property tax rebates.
In a separate action, the board approved a substantial modification to a previously approved master-planned unit development for the site, increasing its size as well as its permitted industrial development.
The approximately 225-acre site is near the northeast corner of Interstate 75 and State Road 52.
The planned industrial project is a 1.4 million-square-foot build-to-suit distribution center, according to David Engel, director of the county’s office on economic growth.
Northpoint Development LLC, which will build the project, is the “largest privately held industrial developer in North America,” according to attorney Clarke Hobby, who represents Northpoint.
In briefing the county board on the economic development incentive, Engel said: “Originally, it (the site) was smaller, but the developer has acquired an additional 56 acres to the north to accommodate a larger building footprint.
“The developer estimates the building and land development improvements will total $205 million and the equipment in the building will be approximately $100 million,” Engel said.
“There is discussion of putting in a 500,000-square-foot mezzanine, bringing the build-to-suit building up to approximately 1.9 million square feet in floor area,” he added.
The project will necessitate $9.9 million in road improvements, Engel said. The developer has requested $6.3 million in assistance.
“We’re proposing to pay the developer back in ad valorem taxes over 20 years, which will amount to 33% of the tax flow that goes into the general fund.
“In the event that the project with the build-to-suit does not come to fruition, the developer will default back to the original entitlement of 1,150,000 square feet,” Engel added.
“It’s still a very cost-effective proposition for the county because the incentive comes at a minimum of $5.50 a square foot versus the other spec buildings that we’ve done in the past, which range from $9.60 a square foot to $10.”
“The general fund projected revenue over the 10-year period will be $19.1 million, so when you net out the $6.3 million ad valorem assistance, the general fund will capture at least $12.8 million in revenue,” Engel said. “The annual gross county product contribution is $282 million.
“The current return on investment is $1 gives us $195,” Engel said. “This is a completely performance-based deal,” he added.
Hobby told the board: “This is an exciting project. I can’t talk about the end-user here, but the project is being designed and will be constructed for a major regional distribution center that will include a significant number of jobs.
“If for some reason the end-user went away on this project, no money will be advanced, unless my client goes out and builds this enormous building anyway.
“It’s a huge net benefit to the county even if the end-user didn’t come.
“I’m happy to say that my client is so confident in the deal happening that we’re planning on starting construction in late August, to early September,” Hobby said.
Commissioner Ron Oakley expressed enthusiasm for the project.
“District 1 in East Pasco is starting to grow more and more, with Pasco Town Center (a recently approved economic incentive deal nearby) and then this project, too. A lot of great things happening, a lot of jobs being created for our citizens, in East Pasco,” Oakley said.
Hobby added: “This is a big deal. This building is almost a half-mile wide.”
Engel said the floor area size is comparable to two football fields.
Hobby told the board: “Coming from Dade City, it had such a huge employment base, it really made a wonderful town, a lot of middle-income earning opportunities. So, for me, the jobs are really key to creating a community. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.”
Published June 29, 2022
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