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FedEx to seek tax break for facility at corporate park

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A commercial real estate developer will seek a 10-year tax abatement granted by state Real Property Law to build a FedEx facility on Lot 12 at the Jefferson County Corporate Park off Coffeen Street, the parcel previously sought by Eagle Beverage Co.

FedEx has outgrown its facility at 22530 Fisher Road, and the 64,000-square-foot facility will offer the space it needs to grow. SunCap Property Group, Charlotte, N.C., had its site plan approved Monday by the town of Watertown Planning Board.

To be considered Friday by the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency’s board of directors, the tax abatement proposal would be approved under section 485-b of Real Property Law. That section provides tax reductions for companies that complete projects on industrial property.

A 50 percent abatement in property taxes over 10 years would be granted to the developer, which is seeking to break ground on the facility in April. Because the town of Watertown and Jefferson County have not opted out of the state tax program, their acceptance is mandatory, JCIDA CEO Donald C. Alexander said. General Brown Central School District, which has opted out of the state tax program, will have the authority to vote against the agreement if it chooses to do so.

“We’ll have to go to the school district to solicit their support but don’t see any problem,” Mr. Alexander said. “We had already approached them when Eagle Beverage was going to put a facility there and wanted (the same tax break), and they agreed. It’s an extremely valuable project. FedEx is shipping parts in and out, and that’s a good barometer that the community is growing.”

The facility is expected to add anywhere from $10 million to $12 million to the tax base. FedEx has reported its center will employ up to 100 part-time and full-time workers during times of peak employment.

Mr. Alexander said FedEx’s lease for its Fisher Road building, owned by Mark S. Purcell, will expire soon. That is why the company is seeking to finish the project quickly.

“They haven’t been able to find any temporary facilities where they can add square footage,” Mr. Alexander said. “They need to move as quickly as possible and would like to break ground in April.”

FedEx previously had sought to build its facility on Lot 11 until Eagle Beverage in December abandoned its plan to move its location in Pamelia to the warehouse planned at the park. Developer Michael E. Lundy, owner of Carthage-based Lunco Corp., said FedEx decided that switching to the former Eagle site would be advantageous because plans were already established. The warehouse designed by Eagle Beverage was slightly downsized by FedEx, from 72,000 to 64,000 square feet.

“The entrance, docking area and building size were very similar with both plans, so it allowed us to change the Eagle Beverage design to reflect FedEx’s requirements. Lot 12 had all of the permits in place” to approve this project faster, Mr. Lundy said.

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