Economic Development News
|California boat builder pondering factory in Martin County|
|Published Thursday, April 21, 2011 7:08 pm|
The company plans to spend $1 million for a 20,000-square-foot building in Martin County and another $100,000 on renovations, county records show. The company expects to invest another $710,000 in equipment in the next five years.
As part of the effort to lure the boat builder to Martin County, the County Commission is set to decide Tuesday whether to provide a $24,600 grant to the company, county records show. That would match $123,000 in sales tax refunds offered by Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development agency.
The boat builder's identity is being kept confidential by the state and county governments. The company anticipates using the incentive money to purchase equipment and upgrade the new facility, county records show. The final location decision for "Project Tack" is expected by June 1.
It is the second major employer considering developing new facilities in Martin County as a result of incentives offered by the county and state governments. A large yacht builder is considering establishing a turbine component factor that would employ 600 workers.
Martin County Commission Chairman Ed Ciampi and several business leaders said the two impending deals show the importance of the array of incentives the county created in the past three years to promote economic development, including the ability to provide grants to businesses that create jobs.
"I don't want to jinx any of these things until they're actually signed, sealed and delivered, but I feel very positive about how these projects are starting," Ciampi said. "There are others that are in more initial phases of development and exploration with us. I'm confident this is the beginning of a very positive trend of economic development and putting people back to work."
The California boat builder anticipates creating 41 jobs within three years with an annual average wage of $34,640, county records show. The payroll would amount to $1.4 million per year and the company projects sales of $10.5 million per year.
Joe Catrambone, president of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce, said enticing the two companies to develop new facilities in Martin County and hire workers would provide "a great boost for the economy."
"I think it's great. It fits right into the scheme of things with our targeted industries. It's the marine industries," Catrambone said. "We're just a natural for the marine industry. We're close to the ocean with out inlet. There's a lot of activity. There's a lot of interest in Martin County."
The California boat builder also is considering establishing the factory in South Carolina, which has a skilled labor force and marine supply base, county records show. Other locations in the mix are Mexico, China and Vietnam, which have inexpensive labor forces.
"California has become a very difficult business environment, which discourages composite manufacturing," the company said in a project overview. "The company plans to relocate where the marine supplier base is well-established and where permits are available."
The new building will be equipped with spray booths, air compressors and filtration systems, county records show. The company also will move equipment from California.
The company plans to manufacture 22-foot sailboats and trailers at the new factory. The company has been manufacturing sailboats since the 1980s.
"The company anticipates producing one boat a day, with the ability to expand into the production of larger models in the near future," the boat builder said in a project overview. "The company currently ships 100 boats and trailers internationally each year."
Tammy Simoneau, executive director of the Economic Council of Martin County, said the county's incentives for job creation help the county compete against other states like North Carolina and South Carolina for marine-related businesses and other high-paying employers.
"I think we would be foolish not to try to recruit and incentive businesses to come here," Simoneau said. "This will be ongoing. There are too many people in our county that need higher wage jobs. I am committed that this is going to be ongoing and we're going to join in the governor's pursuit of creating 700,000 jobs in seven years. We're working diligently to prove that Martin County should be at the top of his list. When he recruits businesses to come to Florida, we want them in Martin County."
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