Daytona could land 2nd B.Braun plant

Medical products maker B.Braun will hold a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony 11 a.m. Thursday to celebrate its new Daytona Beach distribution center.

The massive 400,000-square-foot complex at 1341 N. Clyde Morris Blvd., roughly a half-mile south of LPGA Boulevard, was built to accommodate increased production at B.Braun’s recently expanded Daytona Beach manufacturing plant on Mason Avenue.

Those two projects represented a capital investment of more than $140 million.

And B.Braun may not be done with its expansion plans here.

The German company, whose U.S. headquarters are in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday is set to ask the Volusia County Council to approve at 20 percent match of a performance-based economic incentive package for a proposed second manufacturing plant that would be built just east of its existing production facility at 1845 Mason Ave.

The county’s portion of the Florida Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund incentive package would total $100,000.

B.Braun would only receive those incentives if it makes good on a pledge to create 100 new-to-Florida jobs that pay an average annual salary of more than $45,698, according to the agenda for the County Council’s upcoming meeting on Tuesday.

The remaining 80 percent of the incentive package would come from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The expansion project would include additional renovations to B.Braun’s existing plant.

The county staff recommends approval of the incentives.

While approval by the council would greatly improve Volusia County’s chances in landing the additional plant, it still wouldn’t guarantee it, cautioned Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance.

B.Braun is also considering alternative sites in California, Pennsylvania and Canada, Sharples said.

The alliance played an instrumental role on convincing B.Braun to build its distribution center in Daytona Beach.

The group consists of local business leaders including ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy, Brown & Brown Chairman Hyatt Brown and Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. CEO John Albright. Its mission is assisting efforts to recruit employers to Volusia County.

Sharples said B.Braun’s proposal to add a second manufacturing plant here demonstrates the company’s “continued confidence” in the area.

He credits a “team effort” by the alliance, Consolidated-Tomoka, developer VanTrust Real Estate and the county with helping to make the distribution center a reality.

Sharples said he is hopeful that a further show of unity will be enough to persuade B.Braun to build that second plant here as well.

The estimated cost to build the second plant is in the $100 million range, Sharples said.

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