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B.Braun set to further expand Daytona Beach plant: German medical products maker to invest $100 million, create another 100 jobs

B.Braun set to further expand Daytona Beach manufacturing plant: German medical products maker to invest $100 million, create another 100 jobs

DAYTONA BEACH — German medical products maker B.Braun has decided to further expand its manufacturing plant here but is waiting until this fall to formally announce it.

That isn’t stopping the company from making plans to celebrate and inviting the Daytona Beach City Commission to take part.

“If you have your calendars with you and could mark September the 12th, the entire B.Braun board will be here including their newly appointed chair, Anne Maria Braun,” Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance told Daytona Beach commissioners at their meeting Wednesday.

“They’re (coming) because of their appreciative reception from the city and would like to entertain the entire city commission at lunch,” said Sharples, whose group of local private-sector business leaders was involved in recruiting B.Braun to come to Daytona Beach where it took over and is in the process of completing an initial 54,000-square-foot expansion the former Gambro manufacturing plant at 1845 Mason Ave. and last year opened a new 399,000-square-foot distribution center two miles to the north on Clyde Morris Boulevard.

The company’s capital investment in its facilities in Daytona Beach have totaled $250 million so far and was accompanied by a pledge to create at least 175 new jobs at its now-214,000-square-foot plant and 30 new jobs at its distribution center.

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Locals await B.Braun’s decision on 2nd Daytona plant

Having given their best shot, local economic development officials remain hopeful that B.Braun will decide to build a second manufacturing plant in Daytona Beach.

That decision could come as early as this month, said Kent Sharples, president of the CEO Business Alliance.

“When I last spoke with Bruce (Heugel, B.Braun executive vice president), he said he would like to come back in October to make a formal announcement,” said Sharples.

The Volusia County Council on Sept. 18 approved its portion of an economic incentive package to entice the German medical products maker to build a second manufacturing plant here on land it recently acquired immediately east of its existing plant at 1845 Mason Ave.

The rest of the incentives would come from the state, which approved its portion of the deal in early September.

Those incentives would only be received by B.Braun if it builds the second plant and makes good on a pledge to create 100 more jobs that pay well above the current Volusia County average for annual wages.

The second plant would represent an additional $100 million capital investment in the area and the creation of 100 more jobs for B.Braun.

The company recently completed a $100 million expansion of its existing plant as well as the completion earlier this year of a $40 million, 400,000-square-foot distribution center on the east side of Clyde Morris Boulevard, roughly a half-mile south of LPGA Boulevard.

In a phone interview last month, Heugel said “it’s been an incredible journey in Volusia County that started when we acquired the (former) Gambro/Baxter facility (on Mason). I knew there were possibilities here.

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Massive B.Braun distribution center opens in Daytona Beach

DAYTONA BEACH — “What do you think about this 400,000-square foot building?”

Applause from dozens of area business leaders and elected officials echoed in the cavernous B. Braun distribution center on Thursday as Glenn Ritchey, board member of the CEO Business Alliance, gestured at towering shelves behind him on the gleaming warehouse floor.

Ritchey, a former Daytona Beach mayor known for his car dealerships, managed to slip an automotive reference into his own appraisal of the sparkling new center at 1341 N. Clyde Morris Blvd. The new building and its prospect for job growth were being celebrated with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and color-coordinated green-and-white balloon drop.

“It looks like a drag strip,” Ritchey said, gesturing down one of the long, wide aisles. “I know a lot of quarter-mile races that have been run in less space.”

The massive 400,000-square-foot complex, on Clyde Morris roughly a half-mile south of LPGA Boulevard, was built to accommodate increased production at medical products maker B.Braun’s recently expanded Daytona Beach manufacturing plant on Mason Avenue. The company has pledged to create at least 175 new jobs in Daytona Beach by Dec. 31, with those jobs paying an average of at least $41,936 a year.

Those two projects represent a capital investment of more than $140 million, with the potential for more B. Braun expansion in the area.

The German company, whose U.S. headquarters are in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday received approval from the Volusia County Council of a 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 is $100,000.

B.Braun would receive those incentives only 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 package approved by the County Council. The remaining 80 percent of the incentive package would come from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, Volusia County Council member Deb Denys framed the distribution center’s opening as an important step toward moving from potential to reality.

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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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B.Braun living up to hiring pledge

So far so good.

When B.Braun in 2016 announced its plans to take over the former Gambro manufacturing plant in Daytona Beach, it pledged to create over the next few years at least 175 new jobs that would pay an average of at least $41,936 a year, well above the current countywide average pay for workers in Volusia County.

The company also pledged to invest $100.5 million in capital improvements, including expanding the plant at 1845 Mason Ave.

Those pledges were prodded, at least in part, by the offer of a performance-based economic incentive package from the state, county and city worth up to $8.2 million, provided the German medical products manufacturer lives up to its end of the deal.

B.Braun officials have not responded to requests for comment, however, a copy of a letter from the company to the city obtained by The News-Journal sheds light on its progress to date on meeting its hiring/investment goals.

“We are excited to share that we have successfully achieved and surpassed our first round of commitments as described,” wrote Bruce Heugel, an executive vice president for B.Braun Medical Inc., in a Dec. 11 letter to the city.

“Per our application, we committed to hiring 25 new, full-time equivalent jobs by the end of year 2 at an average annual wage of $41.963,” he wrote. “As of October 31, 2017, we have exceeded that commitment by hiring 38 new, full-time equivalent jobs at an average annual wage (of) $68,171, plus approximately 30 percent of benefits …”

Heugel added that his company “committed to spending $63,555,000 on capital investments by the end of year 2. As of October 31, 2017, we have exceeded that commitment by spending $83,549,000, which represents 83 percent of our total project commitment. B.Braun Medical Inc. is on target to exceed the remaining job and capital commitments as well. We graciously await next steps to formerly begin the seven-year property tax abatement in the current year.”

Products made at the Daytona Beach plant include IV bags.

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B.Braun distribution center nears completion

DAYTONA BEACH — B.Braun, the German medical products maker that recently took over and is expanding the former Gambro manufacturing plant on Mason Avenue, will soon add a new distribution center to support it.

VanTrust Real Estate, a Kansas City, Missouri-based developer, is set to complete a 399,000-square-foot distribution center on Clyde Morris Boulevard, by the end of this month, which will then be turned over to B.Braun, which has agreed to lease it on a long-term basis.

“They will be moving in at the end of this month,” confirmed John Carey, executive vice president of VanTrust’s Florida operations. He guessed it could take another 30 to 60 days after that for B.Braun to complete interior improvements for the building, which will include more than 10,000 square feet of office space, but added that he had no knowledge of the manufacturer’s timeline for opening the distribution center.

Located at 1341 N. Clyde Morris Blvd., roughly a half mile south of LPGA Boulevard, the distribution center is just over a mile north of the B.Braun manufacturing plant at 1845 Mason Ave.

Carey said the site of the distribution center is ideal for B.Braun, both thanks to its close proximity to its manufacturing plant, as well as its easy access to Interstate 95.

The distribution center sits on a 27.5-acre property that VanTrust paid $3.2 million to acquire from Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. in April 2017. It’s at the south end of a 101-acre industrial district that Consolidated-Tomoka is looking to develop that will stretch north to LPGA Boulevard, behind the existing, separately owned CVS pharmacy on the corner of Clyde Morris and LPGA boulevards, as well as a planned Superwash Express car wash next to CVS and the newly built East Coast Surgery Center.

To date, the industrial district’s only building is the soon-to-be-completed B.Braun distribution center, but Carey said his company has agreed to purchase additional land to develop another building that could offer a combination of warehouse and light manufacturing space, but said “We’re early in the design stage” for the project.

B.Braun’s website already lists several available positions it is seeking to fill in Daytona Beach, including distribution manager, laboratory technicians, manufacturing maintenance “craftspersons,” reliability engineers, spare parts technicians and EHS (environmental health and safety)/security specialists.

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