178 new jobs paying $83,000 average could be coming our way

Palm Beach Gardens is considering offering $350,000 in economic incentives to retain 473 local jobs and create 178 new ones, according to a city memo.

The company requesting the incentives is identified only as Project Bruin in city documents. The company is considering “consolidating and expanding its combined operations for its business group” into a single national headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, according to the city.

“Project Bruin” is also considering another option that includes moving jobs to California, where the current headquarters is located, according to the city.

“Therefore, the city’s local match grant would help save approximately 473 existing local jobs and would help provide at least 178 new jobs with an average salary of $83,000 in the City of Palm Beach Gardens,” Manager Ron Ferris wrote in the memo to officials.

The company is asking Florida for a $1 million incentive package through the Quick Action Closing Fund. A $600,000 local contribution is required, and the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners might offer $250,000 of that, according to city documents.

If the company chooses Palm Beach Gardens, it will have a capital investment of $1.9 million before Dec. 31, 2016.

If officials approve the incentives, the company will receive an initial $19,000 when:

  • It proves there’s a signed agreement with the state Department of Economic Opportunity.
  • Palm Beach County has approved its economic incentive award.
  • There’s a public anouncement of the project’s national headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens.
  • The city receives evidence 473 local jobs have been retained and 10 new jobs have been created.

The company will receive the second and third payout when it provides evidence that it has created 60 and 108 new jobs, respectively.

The incentives are scheduled for conceptual approval at the 7 p.m. City Council meeting Thursday. Officials will need to approve an economic development agreement brought to them in the future.

Palm Beach Gardens earlier this year awarded grants to TBC Corp. and Chromalloy Gas Turbine, LLC, for meeting investment and job creation goals. The city has also reportedly been trying to lure United Technologies.

United Technologies is referred to only as “Project Diamond” in city documents. Ashley Barrie, external communications manager for UTC Building & Industrial Systems, said the company has been exploring locations for a “first-of-its-kind, world-class” building to demonstrate its technologies.

Those include Otis elevators, Carrier air-conditioning and refrigeration and Kidde fire-safety products. The company has been looking at options in the Southeast, including a preferred site in Palm Beach Gardens that would allow year-round demonstration of energy-efficient air conditioning, she said.

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