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FM council Oks tax abatement to lure new employer

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Flower Mound Town officials approved a tax abatement amendment between the town, Lakeside Parkway Distribution Center LLC and MI Windows and Doors Inc. – one of the nation’s largest suppliers of vinyl and aluminum windows and doors, which is considering relocation to Flower Mound to become one of the town’s top private employers.

An initial tax abatement was approved with Huntington Industrial Partners on Oct. 21, 2013, to encourage development of a 401,600-square-foot industrial building. The agreement provided a 5-year, 50 percent tax abatement on real and business personal property; assessed impact fees at 25 percent; and waived building permit fees.

The amendment approved Monday extends the tax abatement period to 10 years and increases the abatement percentage to 75 percent. It also provides for a $50,000 relocation reimbursement. The company would be required to employ no fewer than 300 full-time employees within one year from the issuance of a certificate of occupancy and no fewer than 500 full-time employees within five years.

“The company plans to hire more than that, possibly up to 600,” said Mark Wood, economic development director for the Town of Flower Mound.

The agreement also allows for partial compliance based on the seasonal nature of the industry, Wood said. In the event of a compliance shortfall of up to 20 percent or no less than 400 full-time employees during years six through 10, the company shall receive a reduced abatement of 50 percent for real and business personal property for that respective year. If the shortfall exceeds 20 percent, the company will not receive a tax abatement for that respective year. Failure to comply for more than two years would terminate the agreement. In the event of a default, the company would be required to repay the town for the abated tax benefit or other abated amounts received during the period of time when in compliance.

Net benefit to the town during the 10-year period could be $541,824.

The building, with an assessed value of $12 million, is slated to be finished by Dec. 31, 2015. Officials with Huntington and the Town of Flower Mound have worked to attract MI Windoors and Doors to potentially lease the entire 401,600-square-foot building.

“If approved, MI Windows and Doors could be one of Flower Mound’s top employers,” said Mark Wood, economic development director with the town.

The company, which has not signed a lease or contract, could be among the top two private employers if it moved to the town, falling just under the two largest employers – the Town of Flower Mound and the Lewisville Independent School District.

“MI Windows and Doors is in discussions to locate a new manufacturing facility in Flower Mound,” according to a news release. “The incentive plan introduced tonight (Monday) is the first step in locating this new manufacturing facility in Flower Mound; however, additional matters must be addressed before any deal can be finalized.”

MI Windows and Doors was founded in 1947 and has plants in Pennsylvania, Texas and Arizona, according to J.R. Minnich, general manager. The idea, he said, would be to streamline the manufacturing process.

With roots in a Florida airplane hanger, the company now manufacturers on a national level, according to the company website at www.miwd.com.

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