United Technologies has committed to Palm Beach Gardens, despite a back-and-forth for approvals.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that United Technologies will develop in the city a customer showcase for its brands. The center will bring 380 jobs and a capital investment of $115 million to the area, according to the governor.
United Technologies had been considering other locations in the southeast for the center, but the preferred spot was in Palm Beach Gardens.
Geraud Darnis, President and CEO of UTC Building & Industrial Systems said the “living showplace” will serve as a destination for the global building community.
“We chose Florida among other potential locations in the Southeast for its ideal climate for year-round demonstration of advanced, energy-efficient cooling technologies, as well as its proximity to existing UTC facilities and neighboring international airports,” Darnis said in a news release.
Palm Beach Gardens Council approved in March paying $630,000 for existing UTC jobs and the jobs the company would create, and Palm Beach County Commissioners in March approved an ad valorem tax exemption over the course of 10 years not to exceed $3 million.
The state was expected to provide $2.66 Million in the form of a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund with High-Impact Sector Bonus and $4.9 Million from the Quick Action Closing Fund, which includes the local financial support, according to the county.
City officials last week expressed frustration about resistance to United Technologies’ plans to build the showcase on the former Briger tract, near Interstate 95 and Donald Ross Road. Portions of the 681-acre tract must be used for bioscience and biotechnology, a point the nearby Scripps Research Institute raised earlier this year.
Palm Beach County Commissioners considering UTC’s potential economic impact — 450 jobs and a five-year impact of $662 million — were agreeable to lifting the bioscience restriction. County Administrator Bob Weisman previously said staff wants assurances UTC doesn’t change its plans and build something less if the waiver is granted before the building is constructed.
Mayor Eric Jablin welcomed United Technologies as “the newest partner in the Palm Beach Gardens business community” and said the addition serves as an example of the city’s intelligent growth.
“We are grateful to United Technologies for placing its confidence in the solid business climate we have worked to establish and for the many job opportunities they will be creating,” Jablin said in the news release. “This will be to the benefit of our local economy for many years to come.”
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