Make us your home page

Bay Buzz

The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillsborough seeking to land 1,000 of those Amazon jobs



Hillsborough County officials are confirming they are in the hunt for a third of those 3,000 jobs Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday, dangling subsidies at the online-shopping giant in hopes of luring a distribution center in the South Shore area.

Commissioners have a pair of agenda items before them for next Wednesday's meeting related to the prospective deal. They note that the company is considering building a $200 million, one-million-square-foot distribution complex, or "fulfillment center," at the South Shore Corporate Park in Ruskin.

The 1,000-acre property near State Road 674 and Interstate 75 was partially developed in 2007, before the collapse of the real estate market, and has sat unoccupied since with a vacant 90,000-square foot warehouse-style building.

Amazon, through an affiliate, would pledge to create 375 "higher-wage" jobs, paying at least 115 percent of the average Florida wage, or about $47,581. Ultimately, it would potentially create 1,000 jobs overall and hire more seasonal employees.

In return for some of the higher-paying jobs and capital investment, the county is offering to waive half of the newly built part of the park's property tax bill for seven years, which would save the company $913,680 annually, starting in fiscal year 2016. Over the seven years, that's about $6.4 million. 

Additionally, the higher-wage jobs would qualify Amazon for other subsidies under the state's Qualified Target Industry program. The county's share of the incentive would be $225,000, spread over at least 4 years, starting in 2016.

"This is a grand slam for South Shore," said Hillsborough County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan.

Added Commissioner Sandra Murman, who represents much of the South Shore area, including Ruskin: "This is the big silver buillet we've needed to kick off our economic development efforts in Hillsborough County."

[Last modified: Thursday, June 13, 2013 8:31pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours