Board Committee Offers Tax Breaks for Two North Jacksonville Cold Storage Warehouses | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record
The Jacksonville City Council will consider property tax incentives on August 23 for two companies investing a total of $202.5 million in segregated cold storage facilities in North Jacksonville.
Third-party logistics company Arcadia Cold Jacksonville LLC plans to lease and invest $86.5 million in a refrigerated distribution facility to be built at the Imeson International Industrial Park, according to a draft redevelopment agreement and a City Economic Development Office July 6 draft summary.
The office’s executive director, Kirk Wendland, told the council’s finance committee Aug. 16 that the company would lease the cold storage space from the building’s owner and Arcadia subsidiary, Saxum Real Estate.
The second project was detailed in a July 20 city summary. FreezPak Logistics, a New Jersey-based cold storage and transportation services company, will lease a $116 million warehouse at 8730 Somers Road.
The council’s finance committee voted 7-0 on every bill to advance property tax rebate packages:
• Resolution 2022-0617 would offer Arcadia a 50% property tax refund over five years, or an enhanced value recovery grant, capped at $2 million. In exchange, the company says the facility would create 60 jobs at an average annual salary of $50,500 plus benefits by December 31, 2027.
• Resolution 2022-0618 would authorize a REV grant capped at $3 million to parent company FreezPak BGFP Jacksonville LLC. The company told city officials that its cold storage and distribution facility will have at least 80 employees by the end of 2026.
FreezPak would pay an average annual salary of $56,000 plus benefits, the city summary says.
Wendland said the projects are the latest cold storage distribution warehouses to come to Jacksonville in recent years.
“Post-pandemic refrigerated foods seem to be really picking up in a lot of areas,” Wendland told the finance committee.
“Fortunately, we’ve always said that Jacksonville is one of the best places for logistics and distribution, and I think the world believes that and agrees with us.”
The full Council will likely take final votes on the legislation on August 23.
Saxum Real Estate applied for planning permission on August 5 to construct a 334,022 square foot food storage/distribution freezer on 32.37 acres at 250 Busch Drive E., No. 1, at a cost of $60, $77 million. Primus Builders Inc. of Woodstock, Georgia is the contractor.
The permit application indicates that approximately one-third of the facility will be shell space for a future tenant, meaning that two-thirds, or approximately 222,459 square feet, would be for an initial user.
An application and plans filed July 5 with the St. Johns River Water Management District show Saxum Real Estate plans to develop the project on North Main Street and Van Dyck Road inside the International Industrial Park Imeson.
Arcadia’s draft redevelopment agreement with the city says it will lease approximately 216,963 square feet of space.
The building will have 32 loading docks, 62 trailer storage spaces and 109 parking spaces.
To qualify for the incentives, Arcadia promised the city a capital investment of $86.5 million.
The city’s summary says the company will spend $84 million on building improvements and $2.5 million on machinery/equipment, furniture and fixtures over the next two years.
Arcadia will receive nothing from the city if the capital investment falls below $65 million.
The city expects a return of $4.41 on every dollar of public investment in the project, though Wendland’s office is asking Council to waive a provision of the city’s public investment policy to grant the incentives.
The average salary of $50,500 does not meet the city’s public investment policy requirement that property tax incentive salaries meet or exceed the state’s average salary of $55,422.
“Due to the desire to reduce the current level of unemployment in North Jacksonville, and the fact that these are full-time jobs with benefits and the significant level of capital investment, we are requesting a waiver of salary level requirement,” the summary reads.
Saxum is a vertically integrated investment and development company with a portfolio of over 2.6 million square feet of cold storage development. It has offices in Austin, Texas and Summit, New Jersey.
Its development pipeline totals over $700 million in project capitalization across multi-family, student housing, cold storage and industrial asset classes.
She formed Jacksonville Imeson PropCo LLC in November 2021 for the North Jacksonville Project.
FreezPak envisions an investment of $83 million in real estate and $33 million in machinery and equipment for the proposed facility over the next two years, the city summary states.
Economic development officials expect the town to receive $3.70 for every dollar invested in the project.
Private capital investment is expected to be at least $100 million and FreezPak would create at least 80 jobs by the end of 2026.
FreezPak reportedly pays an average annual salary of $56,000 plus benefits.
The resolution will not require a waiver of the public investment policy.
According to Wendland, the FreezPak site is where Philadelphia-based BG Capital is offering a $101.2 million development on Somers Road.
BG Capital paid $11.175 million on July 15 for 20.5 acres to develop the 272,400 square foot Jacksonville Cold Storage at 8730 Somers Road near the JaxPort Talleyrand and Dames Point marine terminals.
BGFP Jacksonville LLC has purchased the property from Somers Road Jacksonville Propco LLC, which is InLight Real Estate Partners of Ponte Vedra Beach. BGFP could refer to BG Capital and FreezPak.
“The site is now in the planning phase of a Build-to-Suit redevelopment to convert the site into a 272,400 square foot state-of-the-art industrial cold storage facility,” says BGCAP.com. Build-to-suit means the project is built to a tenant’s specifications.
Prosser Inc. is the civil engineer.
BG Capital claims to have over 18 completed projects and over $300 million in projects under development.
The company has developed an industrial project for FreezPak in Philadelphia.
FreezPak has five other locations including four in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia. The company has 18 million cubic feet of storage space in its portfolio, according to its website.
Writer Karen Brune Mathis contributed to this report.
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