A brownfield designation clears the way for at least $300,000 in possible tax incentives for the latest Walmart Supercenter to be developed in Largo.
City leaders approved designating the parcel as an abandoned, idle or underused commercial property site 6-1 Tuesday, with commissioner Michael Smith opposing.
Recommending that the retail giant be granted tax incentives for redeveloping the former Crossroads Mall site at 2677 Roosevelt Blvd. passed 5-2, with Smith and Robert Murray in oppostion.
“I think the jobs should be a at a higher value to receive tax credit,” Murray said.
The perception by Walmart is that any environmental contamination may complicate its redevelpoment efforts. There is a car dealership to the south, a former truck stop and Hess gas station near the property, said Justin Hofmeister, an attorney for Walmart.
“That’s why we do our due diligence before we acquire properties,” he said. "If there is a plume there, we are on the hook for cleaning up the entire thing”
The designation allows Walmart to request financial and regulatory incentives provided including site assessment and technical assistance, tax incentives and a $2,500 state tax credit for each job created.
Under Florida law, Largo can recommend Walmart for the incentive without providing the local match of 20 percent. Local government agencies can be exempt from providing the match for projects within a designated brownfield area.
That means the incentive could be worth as much as $2,000 for each job.
The 120,851-square-foot Walmart Supercenter would create about 150 new full-time positions. The average wage would be $20,000 as well as appropriate benefits. That is less than half the average wage of employees in Pinellas County, according to city documents.
Walmart could be eligible for $300,000 from the state, however, it's up to the state to approve the tax incentive.
Walmart has applied and received nearly $18 million in tax incentives from the state since 2000, Smith said.
“This is basically going to be a shoe-in,” Smith said. “I like the idea of it coming here, but I have a big problem with how much they pay these people and applying for the state credit."
The Walmart Supercenter, a 342-unit Gateway North Apartment Complex and a Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Bus Transfer Station are planned for the approximately 38-acre parcel. The property is near the intersection of U.S. 19 and Roosevelt Boulevard.
This is the third store the company is planning for Largo. A neighborhood market is going in at Ulmerton and Starkey roads and the Missouri Avenue store is relocating across the street into a redeveloped site at the former Kmart.
- Brownfields Designation Would Clear Way for Walmart Supercenter at Largo Crossroads Site
- Plans for Walmart at Largo Crossroads Move Forward
- New Bus Transfer Station Planned for Largo Crossroads
- New Walmarts Are Firsts Under Largo's New Big Box Ordinance
- Plans for 342-Unit Apartment Complex at Largo Crossroads Move Forward
- McDonald’s Breaks Ground for Restaurant Near Largo Crossroads
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