Fort Worth’s MillerCoors seeks up to $2.7M in incentives for upgrades

Scott Nishimura

MillerCoors is seeking up to $2.7 million over 10 years in incentives for a potential three-phase upgrade of the company’s South Fort Worth plant, city staff members told a city council committee Tuesday.

The company committed to investing $22.5 million by Dec. 31, mostly on new equipment. It said it could invest another $49 million in two phases through 2015 and 2016.

MillerCoors committed to retaining at least 555 employees, about the number it employs today, said Robert Sturns, of the city’s Housing and Economic Development Department.

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“This is a very competitive time for breweries,” Sturns told the council’s Housing and Economic Development Committee during its monthly meeting. “MillerCoors is making this investment to make sure they remain compettitive.”

The project was one of two that staff members presented to the committee Tuesday. The other one was a proposed incentive for a commercial building on East Lancaster Avenue.

Mayor Betsy Price and other council members responded positively to the proposed incentive agreements.

“It is a great day in District 8,” Council member Kelly Allen Gray, whose district includes East Lancaster and the MillerCoors plant on Interstate 35W. “We have got great things happening.”

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The full council is set to consider the MillerCoors agreement March 25.

The agreement would provide grants of up to 50 percent of the incremental business property taxes that MillerCoors adds with the upgrade.

Sturns estimated the incentive value at $735,000 over 10 years for the first phase, and up to $2.7 million over that period if MillerCoors completes all three phases and meets various targets in the agreement.

For the first phase, MillerCoors said it expected to invest $21.5 million of the $22.5 million in equipment and other business property. The other $1 million would be on real property.

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It committed to retaining an employee base of 30 percent Fort Worth residents and 20 percent central city residents, numbers that can overlap.

It also committed to spend 30 percent or $750,000 of its annual supply and service budget with Fort Worth companies, and 25 percent or $625,000 with Fort Worth minority and women-owned businesses.

To receive the full incentive, MillerCoors committed to investing another $24.5 million by Dec. 31, 2015, and a third $24.5 million piece by Dec. 31, 2016.