Fort Worth council supportive of tax abatements for Wal-Mart, Carolina Beverage

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 09, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

FORT WORTH -- City Council members were supportive Tuesday of proposed tax abatement agreements for Wal-Mart and Carolina Beverage Group that could bring hundreds of jobs to the Alliance Corridor over several years.

Wal-Mart is considering leasing a 788,000-square-foot building at 5300 Westport Parkway for an online fulfillment center. Under its proposed agreement, it would bring 400 full-time-equivalent jobs to the center by Dec. 31, 2017.

Carolina Beverage, a major beverage maker and packager, proposes leasing a 400,000-square-foot building at 13300 Park Vista Blvd. for a manufacturing and distribution center. It would hire at least 225 full-time-equivalent people by Dec. 31, 2018.

"Both of these projects are still in play," Robert Sturns, a city economic development manager, told the council Tuesday afternoon. "We don't have any signed contracts."

Councilman Dennis Shingleton, whose newly redrawn district will take up much of the Alliance Corridor, said of the Wal-Mart proposal, "I want to pursue this."

He called the Carolina Beverage proposal "good stuff" and a "good deal."

"Our friends at Carolina Beverage, welcome to Fort Worth," Mayor Betsy Price told company representatives in the audience.

Wal-Mart, projected to bring in $469 billion in revenue this year, expects its online sales to surpass $9 billion in 2013 and has said a "next-generation" online fulfillment network is a priority.

At the Fort Worth center, it proposes investing up to $30 million in business personal property. It committed to spending the greater of 55 percent or $210,000 annually on supplies and services with Fort Worth companies, and the greater of 25 percent or $96,000 with Fort Worth businesses owned by women or minorities.

It would hire 250 full-time-equivalent people by the end of 2014, a total of 300 through 2015, 350 through 2016, and 400 through 2017. Forty percent would be Fort Worth residents, and 5 percent would be from the central city.

Up to 75 percent of its city property taxes on the value of the investment would be abated over 10 years, or about $2 million. Wal-Mart would pay $1.5 million.

The city would waive about $15,000 in permit fees. Failure to reach the various benchmarks would result in a proportionate reduction in the abatement, Sturns said. Thirty percentage points of the abatement is based on the capital investment.

Wal-Mart has told the city that it will sign a 15-year lease with a 20-year option. The council is scheduled to vote April 23.

Carolina Beverage proposes investing at least $5 million in capital improvements. The greater of 40 percent or $1.48 million would be with Fort Worth companies, and the greater of 25 percent or $925,000 would be with businesses owned by women or minorities.

The company would also invest at least $36 million in business personal property.

For supplies and services, Carolina Beverage committed to spending the greater of 30 percent or $360,000 with Fort Worth companies, and the greater of 25 percent or $300,000 with businesses owned by women or minorities.

It would hire at least 60 full-time employees by the end of 2014, a total of 120 through 2016, and a total of 225 through 2018.

At least 35 percent would be Fort Worth residents, including at least 5 percent from the central city.

Fort Worth would abate up to 70 percent of city property taxes on the value of the real and business property investment over 10 years, or an estimated $2.4 million.

Carolina Beverage would pay $1.895 million. The city would also waive permit fees valued at about $20,000.

As with the Wal-Mart agreement, failure to meet any benchmarks would result in a proportionate cut to the potential abatement.

Overall employment accounts for 20 percent of the potential abatement.

Carolina Beverage has told the city that it intends to sign a 15-year lease with two 10-year options. It's also considering Oklahoma as a site, the company has told the city.

The council is scheduled to vote May 7 on the tax abatement agreement.

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @JScottNishimura

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?