Johnson & Johnson Eyes $300 Million Expansion &100 New Jobs in Florida

Published: May 08, 2015

Johnson & Johnson Eyes $300 Million Expansion & 100 New Jobs in Florida
May 7, 2015
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, formerly called Vistakon, is considering a $300 million expansion in Jacksonville, Fla.

The city of Jacksonville and the state of Florida have come up with a laundry list of tax incentives to encourage the development. The state is offering a $1 million High Impact Performance Incentive contribution. It would also provide $1,000 per employee for Quick Response Training, up to $150,000.

The city gave the City Council with a proposal to provide a $7.1 million Recapture Enhanced Value grant that would be paid out to J&J after the new project is launched and paying taxes.

Also, J&J is asking the city for $7.1 million in property tax relief over seven years. It has also asked the state of Florida for a $90.3 million state tax credit over 20 years.

For the city, that means it would receive only half the taxes it would typically collect over the same period, although the city has indicated that the Duval County schools would get the full amount of expected funding.

In talks with the company, city representatives note they have been in discussion with J&J over this for the last year and the competition for the expansion is international. “In each case, we’ve been having to compete with Ireland,” said Jerry Mallot, president of JAXUSA Partnership in a statement. “And that’s difficult because they have lower costs and higher incentives.”

The existing manufacturing center makes contact lenses. J&J plans to invest $300 million in expanding the center, which will also be Vision Care’s global headquarters. The newly expanded facility would create 100 jobs. The jobs would have an average salary of $60,000 and benefits valued at about $30,000 a year.

This appears to be business as usual for J&J and the state of Florida. On Feb. 28, 2015, BioSpace reported on J&J bringing a shared services headquarters facility to the Tampa, Fla. area. That center would bring in 700 jobs with an average annual pay of $75,000.

As part of that deal, Enterprise Florida business development group was expected to cough up $7 million in incentives, with Hillsborough County offering $2.1 million. J&J would invest $23.5 million in the facility.

In the same area, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company , opened a North American Capability Center in January 2014, which was expected to create 579 jobs. That deal and the J&J deal in Tampa are both made with the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.

J&J’s presence in Florida is large. In the Jacksonville area it occupies more than 836,000 square feet of space, which will jump to 871,000 when and if the expansion goes through. J&J Vision Care has 3,400 employees worldwide, 2,000 of whom are in Jacksonville.

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