DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach City Commissioners have approved a development agreement with online retail giant Amazon to build a 2.4 million square-foot distribution facility expected to bring a minimum of 1,000 new jobs to the area.
Due to state privacy laws, the $200 million facility - Dubbed Project Tarpon- was only presumed to be for Amazon before the company behind the proposed agreement was revealed at Wednesday’s City Commission meeting.
The facility will sit on property just south of Daytona Beach International Airport on Bellevue Ave.
Zone 4 Commissioner Stacy Cantu sees it as a launching pad to bring in more companies with higher wages.
“We need the economic growth. We need more jobs,” Cantu said before Wednesday’s meeting. “I think bringing this project in will help bring more industry to our community.”
The agreement also promises $175 million in investment value in exchange for up to $4 million in tax breaks from the city. The deal mirrors one Amazon made with Deltona promising 500 jobs for $2.5 million in incentives.
Stetson University Associate Professor of Finance Matt Hurst says it can take cities decades to see a return on these investments.
“Any time you have a major employer that wants to come to a city, that’s generally a net benefit,” Hurst said. “When you have those above-paying jobs, you’re not only going to be increasing your tax base, you’re also going to be increasing the number of houses you’re going to be building, so generally it’s a net positive from that standpoint.”
Zone 2 Commissioner Ken Strickland was the lone vote against the project, citing a reluctance to give tax incentives to a company as wealthy as Amazon.
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