Shakopee approves plan to lure Shutterfly, 300+ jobsby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Shakopee officials have approved an incentive package designed to entice California-based Shutterfly Inc. to build a new $60 million facility in the city.
The facility, which would also benefit from state and county incentives, would bring an estimated 329 jobs to the region over the next two to five years, according to city documents.
The city has been in talks with the company since spring, according to Mayor Brad Tabke. But it was only last week that Tabke, Gov. Mark Dayton and other state officials traveled to California to meet with Shutterfly CEO Jeffrey Housenbold about the proposed plans.
"They vetted and looked at locations all over the country and all over the metro and decided that Shakopee was one of the best places for them to go," Tabke said.
Shutterfly is an online company that publishes items like greeting cards and photo books. It's currently headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. The company currently has manufacturing plants in Phoenix, Ariz. and Fort Mill, S.C.
The deal approved by the Shakopee City Council on Wednesday offers Shutterfly a 100 percent tax abatement from the city for nine years, a maximum value to the company of $758,771, according to city estimates. Shutterfly could also receive credit for $174,600 in sewer access charges.
Tabke said the city is looking forward to the benefits it will reap after the abatement period expires.
"We could wait for someone to come in and build on it without incentives," Tabke said, "or we can help partner with companies to get it done now and know that in 10 years we'll have a significant increase in our tax base here in the city."
The company must add a minimum number of jobs, which is yet to be negotiated, in order to receive the abatements.
The state is involved in the effort too. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has given tentative approval to providing Shutterfly with a $1 million forgivable loan, as well as up to $400,000 in matching grant funds for a job training program.
Shutterfly is also requesting a 100 percent nine-year tax abatement from Scott County, a maximum value of $734,878 to the company.
The 217,000 square-foot facility would be located in the Dean Lakes development off Highway 169 and County Road 83 in Shakopee. It would include manufacturing facilities and a call center.
A spokesperson for Shutterfly declined to comment on the project.