The toy, art and school supply company will hire 21 full-time employees for its manufacturing and distribution center.
Cra-Z-Art is closer to opening a Jacksonville manufacturing and distribution center in North Jacksonville. The city issued a permit Thursday for Evans General Contractors, of Alpharetta, Georgia, to build the structure at 10501 Cold Storage Road in Imeson Park at a cost of $11.74 million.
The permit allows construction of the 300,000-square-foot shell Imeson 300 building, meaning that interior work will be permitted separately. The permit approved Thursday also allows construction of parking, utilities, roads and landscaping. Clearing and grading was approved in October. VanTrust Real Estate LLC is developing Imeson Park. VanTrust agreed to sell the completed Imeson 300 building to The Silverman Group of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, which is leasing it to Cra-Z-Art.
Cra-Z-Art sells activity, art and school supplies, toys and stationery products. It will relocate and consolidate manufacturing and distribution from the Midwest and New Jersey. It is a division of Randolph, New Jersey-based LaRose Industries LLC.
City Council approved incentives in November for the project, known then as Project Buckeye. Cra-Z-Art proposes to hire 21 full-time production supervisors, management staff and warehouse personnel in Jacksonville by year-end 2021 at an average $53,298 annually. It could hire 50 seasonal employees annually. It sought $689,000 in city and state incentives that comprise a $626,000 Recapture Enhanced Value grant from the city and a $63,000 Qualified Target Industry Tax refund of which the city will pay $12,600.
The city’s project summary and legislative fact sheet says Project Buckeye represents a capital investment of at least $12.6 million. The project summary says that investment comprises construction of a $12 million building and $560,000 in equipment, furniture and fixtures. A separate legislative fact sheet says Buckeye will invest at least $965,000 in building renovations and the purchase of manufacturing equipment in addition to leasing the $12 million building.