Scott Nishimura email@example.com
Victory Packaging, the nation’s top U-Haul packaging supplier, plans to move its Dallas operations to Fort Worth near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and is asking the city for $750,000 in incentives over 10 years. Victory plans to put 110 jobs – the number it now employs in Dallas – in a warehouse to be built at 15101 Grand River Road near the CentrePort industrial park, Ben Samuels, CEO of the Houston-based company, said in an interview March 18. Victory is asking for grants of up to $675,000 over 10 years, plus a waiver of $75,000 in permit fees. To get the full incentive, Victory committed to investing $12.5 million and having 60 full-time-equivalent employees by June 2015, city staff members told the City Council in a briefing March 18.
Robert Sturns, of the city’s Economic Development department, told council members that Victory is considering other markets. Mayor Betsy Price acknowledged the sensitivity of offering incentives to a company that was interested in moving business from Dallas. The council will vote March 25 on the agreement. Dallas and Fort Worth “have a no-piracy clause” in econoimic development dealings, Price said during the council briefing. “This is a Dallas company. It’s my understanding Dallas is aware of this and is OK with it.” Victory, based in Houston, has about 75,000 square feet in two buildings in Dallas that it owns, “plus some overflow,” Samuels said. The company has put those two buildings up for sale, and plans to lease the 328,000-square-foot warehouse in Fort Worth in a partnership, “assuming the (incentive) deal goes as we hope it goes,” he said. “We hope to close on the (Fort Worth) building in October,” Samuels said. The company expects to be in the building “within weeks” of closing, “before the end of the year.” Sturns said another entity would build the warehouse, and a Victory entity would lease it back. Samuels said Victory expects some of its Dallas employees will choose to move to Fort Worth,, and some won’t. He said the total employment at the Fort Worth operation should grow to a number larger than the 110 who work in Dallas now.
“We’re buying a building that we plan to grow in,” he said. “We have plans to be a bigger company in the next five years than we are today.” The company’s largest customer is a “U.S. government agency” that Samuels said he couldn’t identify because of confidentiality. The company took that client on in the last year. “That’s spurred the growth that’s caused us to outgrow the (Dallas) buildings,” he said. The company’s second largest customer is U-Haul, Samuels said.
Victory makes 3,500 deliveries to U-Haul outlets in the United States each week, including boxes, tape, and trailer hitches, he said. “If you go into a U-Haul store, if it’s not propane, we sold it to them,” Samuels said. Samuels’ father, Vic Samuels, founded the company in 1976 in Houston, but with its business base in California. “We grew eastward and went national in the 1990s,” said Samuels, whose father is now retired. The company today distributes packaging and provides fulfillment services from 64 locations around the United States and Mexico, he said.
Victory has 1,500 employees, 1,100 in the United States and 400 in Mexico, Samuels said. The company remains privately held. Samuels said it doesn’t disclose information about sales. To get the full incentive, Victory must comply with several terms. Here are the terms of the proposed city incentive deal: The $675,000 would be 50 percent of the projected additional real estate and equipment value Victory would add to the tax rolls. $12.5 million invested in real property and equipment improvements by June 30, 2015, including $12 million in real property. Thirty percent, or at least $3.6 million of construction costs will be done by Fort Worth companies. Twenty five percent, or at least $3 million of construction costs will be done by Fort Worth minority and women-owned businesses. This number can overlap with the overall construction requirement. At least 15 percent of the 60 FTEs will be Fort Worth residents.
At least 5 percent of the FTES will be residents from inside Loop 820. This number can overlap with the total employment requirement. Victory would do at least $500,000 of its annual supply and service spending with Fort Worth companies. Victory would do at least $100,000 of supply and service spending with MWBEs, a number than can overlap with the total requirement. The incentive amounts to an 18.5-1 private/public ratio, Sturns told council members.