Commission Approves More Than $10M In Incentives To Draw Businesses To North Brevard
By Kathy Reakes // September 1, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY COMMISSION COVERAGE
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Commission voted 4 to 1 to approve two economic incentive proposals on Tuesday morning in excess of $10 million for space exploration company Blue Origin and aviation company Embraer to open space-related businesses in the North Brevard Economic Development Zone.
Blue Origin, referred to as “Project Panther” in county documents, was founded by Jeff Bezos, the billionaire CEO and owner of Amazon.com, with the intent to build rockets and launch them from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Under the proposal the company will receive $8 million for infrastructure costs for their project at Exploration Park, located in the economic development zone.
Embraer will receive $2.5 million for a project known as “Project Eagle” in county documents.
The Embraer project will be located at Spaceport Commerce Park in Titusville, also located in the “zone.”
The money will come from new commercial and industrial construction property tax revenues in the “Development Zone,” which the commission created in 2011 to help draw business to the blighted area following the shutdown of the Shuttle program.
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle as it makes its first developmental test flight last April. (Blue Origin video)
Bezos is supposed to visit Cape Canaveral September 15 to announced his company’s effort to build rockets in Northern Brevard and launch them from Canaveral Air Force Station at Launch Complex 36.
The company would make a capital investment of $200 to $220 million.
Both companies have been negotiating the incentives deals with Space Florida, the Economic Development Council and other agencies for several months. Once completed, they are expected to bring more than 300 jobs to the area with an average salary of $89,000.
The deals received support from numerous local space industry companies including Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral and the United Space Alliance.
Commission Trudie Infantini was the only commissioner to vote no on the proposal, stating she was concerned about the secrecy of the deals and that both were funded with cash rather than property tax incentives.