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‘Project Mango’ fulfillment center moving on to Development Review Committee

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 6:28 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - After Wednesday’s Application Review Meeting, the proposed Leon County fulfillment center, also known as “Project Mango,” is set to move on to the Development Review Committee.

The developer is currently confidential, but the proposal shows an enormous development employing more than 1,000 people.

The meeting at the Renaissance Center lasted just under two hours, with County staff instructing the agent on what they’ll need to add to their application for the next step.

The proposed facility includes a 650,000 square foot building, truck parking and loading space and employee parking.

During Wednesday’s meeting, County staff said the applicant had “gone above and beyond.” Staff explained the applicant is not seeking a rezoning, but rather approval of a site plan.

The land is zoned as an “Activity Center” district, which dates back to 2012.

The agent conducted a sound study and told the assembled group that the existing background noise at the site exceeds any noise the proposed facility would make.

In the development, employee traffic will enter and exit from a proposed Vineland Drive extension and Thornton Road; trucks will only use a new road, named Brickwell Boulevard. Sidewalks are also proposed for both sides of Vineland Drive.

Some public speakers had questions about the project.

“I think that the County and City needs to take a real close look at the intersection of Vineland Drive and Mahan,” said one resident from the Lafayette Estates Subdivision. “The good news I found out today is that truck traffic will not be there”

Staff told the resident in response to his questions that while the development will not be a shopping venue that would be open to the public, it also will not function like a traditional warehouse. That’s where the term “fulfillment center” comes in; staff said his description of “packages going in and out” was correct.

If approved, Project Mango would bring more than 1,346 permanent jobs to the community along with 2,256 construction-related jobs.

“We have never seen something like this,” said County Commissioner Kristin Dozier. “This will immediately, if it happens, be one of the largest employers in our community.”

Dozier says she’s ready to hear from the community.

“As a County Commissioner, I have to weigh limiting the impacts to the surrounding neighborhoods and to Mahan and the traffic. That’s where a lot of the conversation focuses, but we’re going to be hearing a wide range of opinions,” she said.

The project is also eligible for a “Competitive Incentive Package” from the Office of Economic Vitality. At Thursday’s meeting, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board will look at using $2,565,299 to support the development.

“We are lucky that our community decided to put some of our sales tax funds into economic development,” said Dozier. “This is the type of project that fund, through OEV, was designed to support.”

The funding could support permit fees and some ad valorm taxes over a period of six years.

Dozier also pointed out that the confidential nature of the project for OEV is not unusual; she says there are twelve other projects in the works.

The next Development Review Committee meeting for the development is June 16th; it could come before the County Commission at their July 13th meeting.

To submit a public comment for the upcoming meeting, follow this link.

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