St. Johns Commissioners Advance Pavo LLC Incentive

The second time was a charm for Pavo LLC’s economic development incentive request.

The company plans to build 22,680 square feet of speculative industrial/office space near Interstate 95 and International Golf Parkway. Commissioners tabled an incentive request from the company in May to get more information about the project and hear from the owner, John Bogart, who was unable to attend the earlier meeting.

Deputy County Administrator Colin Groff gave a quick overview of the project and explained the nature of county’s scoring system for economic development incentives.

“Speculative space does not get points for employment,” he said. “The idea is to build a space so new companies can come in. We do have a shortage of this kind of space in the county.”

Groff said the incentive package, totaling $107,224 over 20 years, comes out to an 8.3% reimbursement of county ad valorum taxes and assorted fee payments.

“They perform, they pay all their taxes and connection fees and impact fees, and they’re rebated at the end of their performance,” he said. “They also have some expedited permitting we’re doing for them.”

Commissioner Krista Joseph, who had reservations when the incentive proposal first came before the commission, said she feels better about the project after having conversations with Bogart.

“I appreciate you coming in and meeting with me,” she said to Bogart. “I’m much more comfortable with the project.”

Bogart described the facility as an “upscale office” with the ability to add a warehouse space.

“The concept ideally is for someone who wants to open a concept office, maybe a showroom (or) maybe they want to have a meeting place here in St. Johns County,” he said. “I think it’s a good investment for us and I think it’s good for the county.”

In response to questions from the public during the comment portion, including whether foreign entities were involved, Bogart said he is the owner of Pavo LLC.

“There is no foreign money, unless you consider northeast St. Johns County foreign,” Bogart said. He also addressed a comment made at the May meeting and again this month from resident Ed Slavin that the word “pavo” translates to “turkey” in English.

Bogart explained that it is from the word “peacock” in Latin.

“I’m hoping it’s not a turkey; I hope it’s a peacock,” he said.

Commissioner Henry Dean addressed concerns residents might have about the economic development incentive program.

“I have followed our process the last eight years,” Dean said. “This isn’t something we invented last month to come up with an economic incentive program just because we thought it sounded good.”

Commissions unanimously approved the motion to have the county attorney draft an incentive agreement, which will be considered at a future County Commission meeting.