Palm Beach Gardens officials are poised to make two commitments that, together, will bring hundreds of jobs to the north end of Palm Beach County.
City Council is expected to approve agreements Thursday night to give almost $1 million in economic incentives to two companies — Zimmer Inc. and Carrier Corp. Palm Beach Gardens officials gave conceptual approval to both incentives packages earlier this year. Medical implant firm Zimmer will get $350,000 to stay in the city, keeping 473 jobs and creating 178 new ones. The new jobs will have an average salary of $83,000, according to city documents.
Zimmer Holdings in Carlsbad, Calif., and Biomet in Palm Beach Gardens, merged this year to create Zimmer Biomet Holdings. The company had a choice between consolidating its operations in Carlsbad or Palm Beach Gardens. Zimmer committed to a roughly $1.9 million capital investment by the end of 2016.
Vice Mayor David Levy said the weather, good schools and well-educated, skilled work force make Palm Beach Gardens an attractive place for companies to stay or move.
“We’ve also got a progressive-minded city that’s interested in putting out the welcome mat,” he said.
Zimmer Biomet Vice President of Corporate Communications Monica Kendrick did not immediately return phone messages or an email asking for details about the company’s capital plans in Palm Beach Gardens.
The city’s contribution is in addition to $1 million from the state and $250,000 from the county. The incentive package was known only as Project Bruin until an announcement by Gov. Rick Scott this past week.
In a more widely publicized deal, Carrier Corp. will get $630,000 from the city for keeping 70 local jobs and creating 380 new ones. The company in July committed to build a showcase for its security, air conditioning, elevator and refrigeration systems in the city. Officials approved a site plan for the 241,400-square-foot complex last month. The initial capital investment is $115 million.
Mayor Eric Jablin said the composition of Palm Beach Gardens’ workforce makes it an attractive place for companies to move or stay. Officials have done a lot to attract business in partnership with the Business Development Board, Jablin said.
“We’re very supportive of our business community, and I think that does not go unnoticed in the corporate world,” he said.
The city’s work force includes engineers who stayed after Pratt & Whitney laid off or transferred many of its workers out of Palm Beach County, Jablin said. Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies company, and Carrier Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies’ Building & Industrial Systems.
Carrier Corp. also requested an exemption from city property taxes for five years and a 50 percent break for the five years after that. That’s a separate application that needs to go before City Council, according to Administrative Services Manager for Planning & Zoning Allyson Black.
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