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FedEx given tax breaks for New Haven center

New Haven City Council members have agreed unanimously to grant two tax breaks for FedEx Ground Package System Inc. at a new $25 million distribution center.

The center will be built in Gateway Park, a site designated as an economic revitalization area at an earlier meeting – a preliminary step for tax abatement.

The vacant 40-acre site is owned by Setzer Properties ZFWY LLC. The landlord has agreed to invest about $12.5 million to construct a 178,000-square-foot warehouse/distribution center.

The council Tuesday granted two five-year tax phase-ins, one on a $14 million investment in the land and building and one on a $13 million investment on new equipment, saving the company more than $1 million over five years.

Mayor Terry McDonald was pleased.

“It’s a $25 million investment in a place that has always been a field since I came here in 1979,” McDonald said.

“It has been an underused area,” he said. “It’s now a catalyst for development.”

The city has hired a developer to lure other businesses to the industrial park, near Minnich Road between U.S. 30 and Lincoln Highway.

The international shipping company’s plans will create 87 part-time jobs at the new distribution center and bring 107 existing jobs from the current center at 2742 Wayne Haven St.

The company’s current payroll of $2.6 million will swell to almost $3.7 million with the new hires, McDonald said.

Construction is expected to begin May 1 with completion in September 2014.