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WEYMOUTH

Weymouth approves 20-year tax break for Dutch company

Prodrive is looking to build at least 300,000 square feet at the former South Weymouth air base.
Prodrive is looking to build at least 300,000 square feet at the former South Weymouth air base.(Illustration provided by LStar)

The Weymouth Town Council has unanimously approved 20 years in tax breaks to a Dutch technology company that plans to open its US headquarters at Union Point, the mixed-use development formerly known as SouthField at the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station.

In exchange, Prodrive Technologies promises to create 330 jobs in the next five years, giving preference to Weymouth residents, to buy from Weymouth businesses, and to support local schools -- starting with sponsorship of the Weymouth High School robotics team.

“This agreement represents a major victory for Weymouth,” Mayor Robert Hedlund said at the Dec. 5 council meeting. “Landing Prodrive has been a very competitive process [and] will be a catalyst for continued economic growth at Union Point, and is vital to significant economic growth in Weymouth.”

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Under what’s known as a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, agreement, the electronics design and manufacturing company will get a tax cut of 95 percent for the first five years it is in Weymouth. That tax relief gradually will diminish, getting down to 10 percent in the final two years of the agreement, and covers about $38 million in new construction, officials said.

Officials said the tax breaks will apply only to the first phase of Prodrive’s four-pronged plan for Union Point, which ultimately calls for a nearly $100 million investment in a highly automated factory and design center, and up to 500 jobs.

“This is awesome, “ said District 2 Councilor Thomas Lacey.

As part of the campaign to get the fast-growing technology company to locate at Union Point, the owner of the entire development gave the first 7.5 acres to Prodrive for free, officials said.

Prodrive also is getting state incentives to locate in Weymouth, according to Richard Dalton of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development. He said the state is giving the company a $250,000 grant for employee training and anticipates giving $4.125 million in state tax credits, based on the creation of 330 jobs.

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“That’s $12,500 per job, which is extremely high,” Dalton said. “It reflects the administration’s emphasis on getting Union Point off to a good start, and getting a prime tenant there.”


Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.