Council considers tax abatements

The  Fort Worth City Council considered two tax abatements at its May 14 meeting.

A fruit-processing firm and sporting goods company would secure tax breaks under the latest tax abatement proposals awaiting council consideration. Before the council considers the proposals at its May 21 meeting, it learned details of deals that would benefit OBIM Fresh-Cut Fruit Co. LLC and Nation’s Best Sports. OBIM, purchased by Ready Pac Foods Inc. before going out of business in early 2011, was later bought back by UNPJ Holding Co. limited partnership, its current owner. It competes against Dole, Chiquita and Del Monte and supplies fresh fruit for Albertson’s, Costco and United Supermarket locations. The company plans to expand the modernize its 180,000-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing center just east of the Fort Worth Convention Center at 715 E. Ninth St. The company has asked the city for a $25,000 loan that would be forgiven if it invests $250,000 in improving the property, with the greater of 50 percent, or $125,000, to be completed using Fort Worth companies and the greater of 25 percent, or $62,500, with Fort Worth minority- and women-owned businesses. It would be required to create 75 full-time equivalent jobs by Dec. 31, 2013, with at least 90 percent filled by Fort Worth residents and at least 30 percent filled by central city residents. Meanwhile, Nation’s Best Sports would save up to 50 percent of its city property taxes over 10 years under its proposed agreement as it considers moving its Haltom City headquarters into a 60,000-square-foot facility in Fossil Creek Business Park in Northeast Fort Worth. The company is considering other locations, as well, according to Ana Alvarado, the city’s business development coordinator. The company would save up to $126,925 during the abatement term, with the city receiving $254,150. To secure those savings, the company would be required to invest at least $3.5 million in property improvements by December 2014 and have up to 35 full-time equivalent employees by Dec. 31, 2015.