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Months of secrecy and speculation, along with years of planning and behind-the-scenes dealing, have climaxed in confirmation of Deltona as the location of a major warehouse for one of the world’s biggest online retailers.

Team Volusia President Keith Norden confirmed the rumors Dec. 26 at Deltona City Hall.

“The end user is Amazon,” he told the Deltona City Commission and others on hand for the announcement.

As the clearing and preparation of the 85-acre building site along North Normandy Boulevard continue, the City Commission unanimously ratified a package of incentives for Amazon. The company plans to develop a 1.4 million-square-foot warehouse and trucking complex on the property, which also gives it prime frontage along Interstate 4.

Construction of the massive center is supposed to be completed in November 2020, Norden noted.

The commission voted 6-0 in favor of giving Amazon almost $2.5 million in rebates of city-imposed property taxes for five years, in exchange for Amazon’s promise to create at least 500 jobs at the new Deltona facility.

The average annual wages of the employees will be approximately $32,000, according to city officials.

Commissioner Loren King was absent from the meeting, but Mayor Heidi Herzberg said he had communicated his support for the city’s incentives package.

“It’s been a long time in coming. For the city of Deltona, this is an amazing asset,” City Commissioner Chris Nabicht said.

How long has it been in the works?

The endeavor to coax Amazon to put one of its distribution centers in Volusia County began in March 2013, Norden said.

“It’s been a long process,” he later added.

The company was rumored to be searching for a site along Interstate 4 within the county in 2014, but the buzz subsided after Amazon announced it would build a distribution center, or fulfillment center, in Tampa. Nevertheless, the conversation between Team Volusia and Amazon continued, Norden added.

“All of these projects — they don’t happen overnight,” he said.

Amazon, a well-known internet retailer, ranks fifth on Fortune 500’s 2019 list of companies. Its 2018 revenues amounted to almost $233 billion, and the company has some 647,500 employees.

— Al Everson

{{tncms-inline content=”&lt;p&gt;Here is the deal:&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;— Project Normandy involves a plant investment of approximately $100 million in construction and capital equipment. The company’s Deltona facility promises to bring at least 500 new full-time jobs, whose average annual wages will be about $32,000, plus fringe benefits such as medical and dental insurance, employee discounts and educational assistance.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;The Deltona payroll will be about $16 million annually — new dollars coming into Deltona and changing hands multiple times.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;— The company promises to hire in increments, starting with 150 employees in 2020 and adding another 150 jobs in 2021. During 2022, the company must add 300 more employees. As of 2023, the company will be required to employ at least 500 people.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;— Deltona will give tax rebates amounting to almost $2.5 million to the company for the first five years of the facility’s operation, beginning in 2021. For the first three years, Deltona will return the full amount, 100 percent of the property taxes levied by the city. The estimated amounts during those first three years range between $450,000 and about $500,000.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;In the fourth and fifth years of the incentives arrangement, the city will refund 50 percent of the &lt;em&gt;ad valorem&lt;/em&gt; property taxes, an amount currently projected at about $264,000. As of 2025, the 50-percent rebate is estimated at about $275,000.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;— If the company fails to meet at least 80 percent of its employment-creation goal during any of the first five years of the incentives program, the city will not grant the tax incentive.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;Beginning in the sixth year, the city will tax the Deltona complex at its full value.&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;“In the year 2026, the City can expect the ad valorem revenue from the facility at the present mileage rate of 7.85 to generate almost $700,000 in revenue,” a city memorandum reads. “Currently as a raw, unimproved property, the City receives about $20,000 a year in tax revenue.”&lt;/p&gt; &lt;p&gt;— Al Everson&lt;/p&gt;” id=”ebd64f7c-5332-4bca-b108-afaa64ba8b54″ style-type=”info” title=”” type=”relcontent”}}

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