UTCFS to build multi-million dollar test center in Fla.

Business unit relocations expand company presence
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Saying the move will bring jobs, increased tax base and general economic growth, Florida government officials announced July 30 that UTC Fire & Security would build a multi-million Fire Innovations and Test Center in West Palm Beach and relocate certain business units to Florida as well.

UTCFS corporate headquarters will continue to be in Farmington, Conn.

While Sunshine state politicians were understandably eager to spread this good economic news, UTCFS officials want to finalize some details before making further announcements.

"We plan to have more information on the test center in the near future. We're still in the planning stages,' John Moran UTCFS spokesman told Security Systems News.

The location for the test facility has not been determined, but a press release from Palm Beach County's Business Development Board identified UTC's Pratt & Whitney campus as one location under consideration.

When UTCFS acquired GE Security earlier this year, it acquired a facility in Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County and one in Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. The company plans to move three existing UTCFS business units to these facilities: Global Security Products, Global Fire Products, and, Fire & Security Services.

"The location of UTC Fire & Security's Global Fire Products and global Security Products world headquarters in Manatee County will retain 227 well-paying jobs and add 23 new jobs,' Manatee County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said in a statement.

A series of incentives were provided to UTCFS from state and country entities. Among others, it qualified for the state's Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Program (QTI), which may amount to $110,000 in state tax refunds (with a required local match of 20 percent). The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County says the ROI from construction of the new testing facility alone would generate $65,000 in annual property taxes for the county.

William Brown, UTCFS president said in a statement: "The incentives from the state of Florida has allowed us to maximize our state-of-the-art training facilities, product research laboratories, customer demonstration areas and available office space.'