Documents submitted to Pinellas County further solidify rumors the Fortune 500 company wanting to relocate its global headquarters to St. Petersburg is Foot Locker Retail Inc.
The project, which is known as Project Athena within the city of St. Petersburg, was approved for $475,000 worth of financial incentives Thursday night by city council members. County commissioners will decide on Oct. 26 if they wish to support the company, which is being called Project C1071544713 in county documents, as an applicant for an Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption.
Within those documents are further details on the anonymous Fortune 500 company that describe a company similar to Foot Locker. The Tampa Bay Business Journal was the first to report Foot Locker was rumored as the anonymous company.
Foot Locker currently ranks No. 385 on the Fortune 500 and is based out of New York City. It is in 27 countries and has revenue over $7.5 billion, characteristics listed in the documents. County documents confirm the headquarters of the company are in New York City and said that when it relocates it would be the sole occupant of a more than 150,000-square-foot building located within the city limits of St. Petersburg.
Foot Locker also already has a presence in the city and is currently hiring dozens of support and technology positions at 140 Fountain Parkway. For the past several months the company has been rumored to have been looking throughout St. Pete for anywhere between 75,000 and 100,000 square feet of office space.
The documents also showed the company will invest $10 million in real property improvements and $6.5 million in tangible property for the new facility. According to the documents, the company will create at least 350 new jobs in Pinellas County — 50 jobs more than what city documents originally indicated — at an average wage of $120,000 per year. The direct payroll impact of those jobs with an average salary is $42 million per year and $460 million over 10 years.
During Thursday’s city council meeting J.P. DuBuque, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corp., told the council that it was a rarity for a company of this size to move its headquarters. The county documents confirm Pinellas County is competing with New York and Atlanta for the project.
“This is a competitive project, but we believe based upon our conversations with the company that if this incentive package is approved that we will be in a leadership position in winning this project,” DuBuque told the council.
According to county documents, the company plans to invest an “estimated $6.5 million in equipment and $10 million in construction for the relocation of their headquarters operations. The building that the company intends to occupy in Pinellas County currently incurs $146,466 in property tax liability per year.”
Preliminary estimates from the county indicate that the company will receive more than $1.3 million in net benefits over the first 10 years. Documents said that the estimated net benefit to Pinellas County Schools is $1.7 million over the 10-year period.
Documents added that the business activities of the company will generate approximately 1,300 hotel room rentals a year in the county and that the company receives 92% of its revenues from outside of Florida.