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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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