Courtesy of Jacksonville Business Journal
Reporter Derek Gilliam
A Brazilian plastic bottle recycler has signed a lease for 100,000 square feet in Jacksonville to open its first U.S. facility, according to JaxUSA Partnership.
Mike Breen, a senior director with a focus on international projects for JaxUSA Partnership, said Clodam do Brasil signed the 100,000-square-foot lease at a warehouse at 5220 New Kings Road in Northwest Jacksonville.
The company will invest $7 million in the facility and hire 30 people to operate it.
The company will operate under the facility as Florida Plastic Recycling LLC.
“They have brought in two gigantic machines they purchased in Germany,” he said. “Those are the ones that do the cleaning, sorting, chopping up and production of plastic flakes.”
Breen said the company did not seek public incentives and was attracted to Jacksonville because of the transportation infrastructure in place. Specifically, Breen cited access to Jacksonville’s port and the interstate system.
“One of the key factors was the logistical location where they could easily reach their customers,” he said. “It wasn’t just Jacksonville as a region. The port, the interstates and the rail was very important. … They can bring plastic in by rail, road and ship.”
Clodam do Brasil plans to ship in plastic bottles to the Northwest Jacksonville site, where the company will then produce plastic chips to be used by other companies.
JaxUSA Partnership worked with Clodam do Brasil for about a year. He said the company was looking across Northeast Florida and South Georgia for an appropriate facility.
Jacksonville was also picked, he said, because of workforce availability in technology fields. He said the fact that Jacksonville is a city that recycles also helped attract the company.
The main questions that company officials had for JaxUSA Partnership centered around navigating the city’s bureaucracy, Breen said. He said the company officials did not encounter difficulties once they were directed to the right resources.
“They were very pleasantly surprised about how easily it was to work through that process,” he said.