City Council OKs $1.5 million tax incentive for Project Crystal

Posted by Eder Bonilla on

City Council OKs $1.5 million tax incentive for Project Crystal

By: Mike Mendenhall

From: Jaxdailyrecord

City Council signed off on a $1.5 million tax incentive for code-named Project Crystal’s plan to establish an estimated $61 million distribution facility in North Jacksonville.

Council voted  17-0 on June 13 to approve Resolution 2023-0332 and an attached development agreement with what city officials describe as a major international retailer of household goods, clothing and food items.

Council members Rory Diamond and Matt Carlucci were absent for the vote.

A project summary provided to the Council by the city Office of Economic Development says Crystal intends to invest an estimated $17 million to complete an interior build-out of a soon-to-be completed facility at 1400 Zoo Parkway where VanTrust Real Estate is developing the Imeson Park South business park. 

The company would spend an additional $44 million to install machinery and equipment, according to the summary. 

Project Crystal committed to creating 100 full-time jobs at the project site within one year of installing the equipment as part of its agreement with the city,

The location 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.

Project Crystal’s distribution area from Jacksonville would include south Georgia, south Alabama, Florida and Puerto Rico.

The Daily Record has reported that Project Crystal fits the description of Sam’s Club, the wholesale membership club division of global merchandiser Walmart Inc.

The Recapture Enhanced Value Grant property tax refund would be for five years at 50% of the increase in property value on the site.

The Council approved an amendment to the original draft of the agreement to allow the global company’s affiliates and related companies to fulfill portions of the agreement including jobs created. 

The amendment also added language that says the city shall have “a reasonable right of access” to the project parcel and company data when it is monitoring compliance with the deal.

“Such access shall not unreasonably disrupt or interfere with the normal business operations of the Company,” the amended agreement states.

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. 

Imeson Park South 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.

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.