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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dunedin approves $127,000 in incentives for Achieva Credit Union



DUNEDIN -- The city extended an early Christmas gift to Achieva Credit Union in the form of $127,000 in financial incentives.

The City Commission on Thursday unanimously approved the matching grants and waived fees, which were proposed as part of efforts to persuade Achieva to choose Dunedin early this year when relocating its corporate headquarters away from Clearwater.

Achieva started remodeling a former Nielsen Media Research call center at 1659 Virginia St. in late September and expects to complete the first of three phases in late spring.

Under the development agreement, Dunedin will:

- Waive $21,200 in building reviews, inspections and five years worth of business tax and licensing costs.

- Award Achieva matching grants of$5,000 for design assistance, $10,000 for demolition and $42,500 each in fiscal years 2013 and 2014 for facade improvements.

- Foot the $5,835 legal bill for drawing up the contract.

Funding for the incentives will come from the economic and housing development department's budget and reserves.

"Having Achieva call Dunedin home is a very powerful economic driver to the Dunedin community," said department director Bob Ironsmith. "Achieva will produce tangible income to the city, and also promote Dunedin to other companies and businesses that may be looking for a future home."

The agreement requires Achieva to stay at least five years and to provide receipts to collect its funds through reimbursement. A city-ordered economic analysis by WTL+a consultants estimates that Dunedin will recoup its contribution in four years through property taxes, employee spending and increased exposure.

Commissioners and City Manager Rob DiSpirito stressed that the package does not lower taxes for Achieva but rather mirrors the discounts the city has given other companies, except on a larger scale.

In addition to the incentives, officials said they also might consider Achieva's request to rename Virginia Street between State Road 580 and Keene Road to Achieva Way. The city would require support from all businesses and homeowners along the 0.8-mile stretch.

--Keyonna Summers, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Sunday, December 23, 2012 2:44pm]


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