JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A company with a base in Jacksonville is leaving for St. Johns County and taking jobs and an opportunity for downtown business growth with it.
Advanced Disposal, a national waste management company with a location off Baymeadows Road, eyed downtown Jacksonville for its new headquarters.
Instead it went to St. Johns County despite Duval offering $700,000 in tax incentives.
"We went through a lot of work to get the incentives out,” said Jacksonville city councilman Stephen Joost. "It just seems like they used our package to go negotiate a better deal with another county directly to our south.”
But Advanced Disposal's CEO says Jacksonville didn't act fast enough. So it’s taking its employees and headquarters to neighboring St. Johns County.
"I don't think traditionally we've gone after their business but if they want to jump in that sandbox, I’ll compete with them any day of the week,” said Joost.
Joost said the city of Jacksonville needs to focus on creating conditions for businesses to flourish.
“We need to keep doing what we’re doing. We're not going to win every deal,” said Joost.
Action News asked the mayor’s office what can be done to prevent more businesses from skipping over Jacksonville.
Approving economic incentive packages for businesses coming to Jacksonville used to take anywhere up to 10 to 12 weeks. Now, most proposals can be approved in half that time.
A spokesperson told Action News, “This kind of situation is exactly why I introduced legislation to streamline and accelerate the city of Jacksonville’s economic development process. With a faster, more nimble approval process, Jacksonville will now be more competitive in the effort to attract businesses and grow jobs.”