The city is considering two tax abatements – one for the new owners of a fruit processing business that closed two years ago, and the second for a sporting goods coop that’s considering moving its headquarters to North Fort Worth from Haltom City.
OBIM, a fruit company sold by its owners to a minority partner who eventually closed the business, is back in its original hands and re-establishing itself. The new owners, the UNPJ Holding Co. limited partnership, plans to expand and modernize its warehouse and manufacturing center at 715 E. 9th St. downtown, the staff and company representatives told City Council members Tuesday.
The company is asking the city for a $25,000 loan that would be forgiven if it meets benchmarks including $250,000 real property improvements and 75 fulltime-equivalent employees by Dec. 31, and mainains the employment target for two years.
“We’re happy to see you back in business,” Councilman Joel Burns, whose district includes downtown, told the company representatives.
Our Nation’s Best Sports, which buys goods for 314 member companies, holds two buying markets annually at the Fort Worth Convention Center, bringing an estimated $9.2 milllion in economic benefit to the city annually. It wants to move to a 60,000-square-foot facility in Fossil Creek Park
and plans to add a winter Fort Worth market if the company moves.
It’s asking Fort Worth for a 10-year abatement of up to 50 percent of its city property taxes. The potential abatement is up to $126,925; the city would receive $254,150.
The company, under its agreement, would invest $3.5 million by December 2014 and have up to 35 fulltime-equivalent employees by Dec. 31, 2015.
The maximum abatement is tied to various benchmarks including spending with Fort Worth and minority and women-owned businesses, but most of the potential abatement is tied to the investment and employment targets.
“This is not only just an economic development deal, but it just puts another business in Fort Worth” and levers the business the company already does in the city, Councilman Danny Scarth, whose district includes the Fort Worth site, said.
The council is scheduled to vote on both agreements May 21.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter