The Development Corp. of Abilene unanimously approved a proposal Tuesday to advance a foreign diet supplement company $2.5 million through an upfront loan that would be forgiven if the company creates 200 jobs in Abilene.
Richard Burdine, chief executive officer for the DCOA, said the money would be used by the unnamed company for startup costs. Company officials were in town last week negotiating the deal and looking at the spec 3 building property owned by DCOA.
The board’s policy is to not name the company it is negotiating with until a deal is signed.
Burdine told the board the company will create 200 jobs that will pay at least $30,000 a year and that 35 of those jobs would be management positions that will pay at least $60,000 a year.
Both Burdine and board president Paul Cannon said the company would bring few employees to Abilene with it but would instead look to hire from the local community.
“They are a good fit for Abilene,” Burdine said.
The president of the company also will relocate to Abilene to oversee the startup process of his company.
The $2.5 million loan comes with a zero percent interest rate for five years. The company must provide a letter of credit for the same amount as the loan as collateral for the loan, Burdine said.
The company has yet to enter the United States market but wants to expand into this country and is in preproduction and testing phases for other health care products that include a “natural anti-viral” remedy and organic skin care line, according to DCOA documents.
If the company completes all three phases of its plan to expand its business in Abilene, the deal will reach up to $6,646,965.
About $3.4 million of the incentives is tied to eventual expansion that could lead to an additional 200 positions.
Other parts of the incentive package include a $250,000 capital investment incentive, $150,000 to cover the company’s letter of credit renewal fees and $346,965 in architecture and engineering fees.
The company would move into a previously built structure in Five Points Business Park, a building whose interior was purposely left unfinished by the DCOA so it could be customized for a future tenant.
If the deal is completed, the DCOA also would spend an estimated $4.2 million on interior construction, a sum not included in the incentive totals.
The company would pay rent as part of a five-year lease at an annual rate equal to 6 percent of the total cost of construction, or roughly $612,720 annually.
The board also approved an agreement with the city to help pay for fire suppression improvements on the east side of Abilene Regional Airport.