BRADENTON -- The Bradenton City Council approved $450,000 in incentives Wednesday to potentially bring 200 new high-paying jobs into downtown Bradenton.
The name of the company will remain confidential until both sides agree to proceed with a development agreement.
Dubbed "Project Able," the city is working the deal under its fledgling Economic Development Department, which qualifies for certain levels of confidentiality.
According to the resolution to approve the incentives, the company would locate its headquarters downtown, create 200 jobs over the next five years and offer an average salary 200 percent higher than the city's median income of $41,000.
The city is offering an economic development incentive grant of $350,000 over five years and would allow the company to keep its tax increment fund revenue for 15 years. The incentives are only activated if the company meets its promise of "200 quality jobs."
The city also is offering up to $100,000 in a public
domain improvement grant. City administrator and acting Economic Development Director Carl Callahan said the public will understand why the city is offering the $100,000 when an announcement is made on which company is considering downtown Bradenton.
Callahan said the incentives have to be approved first in order to put together an acceptable term sheet to both parties. If both sides agree, which Callahan said is likely, an announcement could be made as early as next week.
"They are pretty happy with what we are offering so hopefully they'll sign it soon and we'll make a general announcement at that time," said Callahan.
Mayor Wayne Poston praised staff for moving so quickly as the city still works through the details of organizing its new Economic Development Department.
"This is the first time we've worked on a major incentive in downtown," said Poston. "They are very excited about this and think it's a fair deal. They were surprised we have been able to move forward as quickly as we have considering this is the first time we are working as an economic development department alongside Manatee County's and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Council."
Poston said the city has never had the type of jobs this company would bring to downtown.
Ward 5 Councilman Harold Byrd Jr. said the process worked quickly thanks to last year's efforts by the council to take control of community redevelopment agencies and to form an Economic Development Department.
"If this had happened last year prior to us doing this, this process would have been slowed down dramatically having to go through both the CRA and city council process," said Byrd. "I look at this as a step in the right direction and the goal all along was to work more efficiently to bring jobs into the city. Not just the CRAs, but all of Bradenton. Project Able could be a catalyst. We've never had that many high-paying jobs downtown and this could be something that starts the flow into the urban corridor."
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014.