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Pasco grants $958,206 in economic incentives to plastics manufacturer

Gary Plastic Packaging would move into new industrial space under construction on Shady Hills Road.
West Pasco Government Center.
West Pasco Government Center. [ Special to the Times ]
Published Dec. 6, 2022|Updated Dec. 8, 2022

NEW PORT RICHEY — With hopes of adding another high-impact, job-producing manufacturer, the Pasco County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved up to $958,206 in economic development incentives for Gary Plastic Packaging Corp. to move part of its operation from Bronx, New York, to Pasco County.

The company hopes to provide 555 new jobs over the next several years. It would move portions of its New York-based operation to 279,000 square feet of a 440,000-square-foot industrial building under construction by Harrod Properties on Shady Hills Road west of the Suncoast Parkway.

Two industrial buildings are planned for the site, with one already committed to other companies, said Pasco County Economic Growth Manager David Engel. Site work is underway and construction should start soon, he said.

The North Pasco Corporate Center is planned for the south side of Shady Hills Road just west of the Suncoast Parkway.
The North Pasco Corporate Center is planned for the south side of Shady Hills Road just west of the Suncoast Parkway. [ Pasco County Economic Development Council ]

Gary Plastic is expected to make $66.4 million in investments to the industrial space over the next three years. Once operating, the new site will generate a payroll of $22 million and contribute an estimated $102 million to the county economy. For every $1 in public money, the new company will generate an impact of $105.55, according to the background material provided to commissioners.

Engel said that the project has been in the works for four years as the company has sought an appropriate location and a building to house its operation.

Two product lines, promotional products and packaging, and the company’s executive offices will move to the new site. The 184 jobs that qualified the company for economic incentives will provide an average salary of $54,326, which is 125 percent of Pasco’s average wage.

The company’s website shows that it manufactures a variety of plastic container products ranging from clear hinged plastic compartment boxes to syringe holders. The site states that the company has been in business since 1963 and has more than 500 workers in over 300,000 square feet of offices, manufacturing and warehouse space.

“The company has been awarded 15 government contracts for producing the containers and parts for U.S. Treasury Liberty Coin and Proof Set Packaging,” the company website states.

“Welcome,” said Pasco County Commission chairperson Jack Mariano, who asked whether the company uses recycled materials. Gary Plastic Packaging Corp. President Richard Hellinger said that it does. Mariano said he hopes that Pasco’s recyling program can work with him.

“We’re super excited to expand our operation into Pasco County from New York,” Hellinger told commissioners.

“We will get you plugged in” with the manufacturing community and training programs, said Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, a strong supporter of AmSkills, a training program that prepares the workforce for local industries.

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The incentive package to Gary Plastic Packaging will include a portion for the jobs it creates, dollars because the number of jobs create a high impact and funds for employee training. All of the incentives are performance-based and would be awarded over time based on performance benchmarks.

In addition to the financial incentives, Pasco officials have also agreed to expedited permitting review for the project.