Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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$2.5 million discount dangled to lure California company

Hoping to lure a California company to Henderson, the City Council will consider cutting more than $2.5 million off the price of 28 acres city officials hope will become the new home for the company's headquarters.

City leaders said the deal would be a boon for the city because it would come with hundreds of new and high-paying jobs, help diversify the types of businesses in the city, and generate enough tax revenue to cover the discount within its first year open. But a company official said they still have not decided where or if the company will move its corporate headquarters.

The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing 7 p.m. today at the Henderson Convention Center to discuss the offer to Concord, Calif.-based Pacer Stacktrain, which specializes in arranging transportation for freight shipments.

The proposed site is east of Valle Verde Drive in the Whitney Ranch area, and was once seen as a possible site for a new city golf course. A city-commissioned appraisal of the land set its value at about $359,000 per acre, or about $10 million for 28 acres.

Development plans show the company would spend $50 million to build two four-story office buildings, two two-story parking garages and two four-story buildings with 60 condominiums in each, on the property, city Economic Development Manager Bob Cooper said.

Mayor Jim Gibson said the project will be well worth the cost of the incentives.

"This is a strong success for us," Gibson said. "They will bring really good jobs and solve the housing problem for those people as part of the development."

Gibson added that the project will also bring a clean and high-tech industry to the city, which is what city leaders are looking for. "To me it's a no-brainer," he said.

City Manager Philip Speight said the potential deal is especially good for the city because Pacer would have 350 workers here and many of the jobs would be high paying.

Cooper called the possible deal a "home run."

To offer the company a discount on the land, the city may use for the first time a provision in the City Charter that allows the city to sell land for less than its appraised value if there is an economic development benefit to the deal.

The project would bring in $4 million in local taxes and $1.3 million in state taxes in the first year, according to city estimates.

The amount of the discount is based on a formula that takes into account some of the tax revenue the company will generate, plus $5,500 for each job the company promises to bring.

Cooper said the discount could change as Pacer changes its staffing projections.

Cooper said that in a best-case scenario, the council will give the go-ahead to the proposed incentives tonight, and vote on Sept. 7 on a proposal to sell the land. A final vote on the matter could come Oct. 19. he said.

But Pacer Chief Financial Officer Larry Yarberry said company officials have not finalized plans to move anywhere.

"We are looking at several possibilities and no decisions have been made here," Yarberry said.

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