Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Potential deal to bring company's headquarters to St. Petersburg falls through

ST. PETERSBURG — A potential deal that officials hoped would bring about 80 high-wage jobs to St. Petersburg is dead, at least for now.

A "manufacturing business enterprise company" was considering moving its national headquarters to St. Petersburg, but the relocation depended on that company acquiring another firm, and the merger fell through at the last minute, said county economic development director Mike Meidel, who got word of the development Friday.

"They pulled themselves out based on the fact they didn't have the merger they wanted to make the deal happen," Meidel said. "Of course it's disappointing when you're trying to get additional jobs, but there's a lot of deals in the pipeline, so it's not devastating. We've got plenty to work on."

The city of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County were asked to each give $80,000 as a local match for tax refunds to the company. The state had committed $640,000. The County Commission was set to approve its share Tuesday, but the item was pulled from the agenda.

The company, whose identity will remain confidential for two years, planned a $1.8 million capital investment. Its roughly 80 new employees would have had annual salaries of about $85,000. The tax refunds would have been paid only after the company met performance measures in the agreement.

The company was also considering New York and Texas for its new home but had a keen interest in St. Petersburg, Meidel said. There is some hope that the company will come calling again if it finds another partner, he said.

"This company really wanted to be in St. Petersburg," said Sophia Sorolis, the city's economic development manager.

Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (727) 893-8779. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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