(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL-Jabil Circuit Inc., a locally basedelectronics manufacturer, announced over the weekend that it plansto build a $52-million facility on 100 acres along Interstate 275.The news comes as Jabil commits to keeping its headquarters hereafter winning nearly $27 million in state and local economicincentives.

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Additional details about the new building were not immediatelyavailable Monday, pending future city and county governmentapprovals, though the company did release an architect's rendering.Jabil is currently based at a site on Martin Luther King Jr. Streetin St. Petersburg, while its new headquarters will be at thenorthwest corner of I-275 and Gandy Boulevard.

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"We intend to proceed with a plan to build a new manufacturingplant and consolidate corporate functions in a single location,"Timothy L. Main, Jabil president and CEO, stated in a release. Agroundbreaking ceremony is planned later this year, with completionof the new headquarters scheduled by 2012.

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Jabil, which posted revenue of $12.3 billion in fiscal 2007, hadbeen secretly negotiating an incentive package for much of thisyear. The package announced Friday includes $20 million cash fromthe State of Florida, $2.9 million in job creation and traininggrants from Pinellas County and $1.7 million in tax breaks andother incentives from the City of St. Petersburg.

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State government leaders have pledged another $2 million towardimprovements to Gandy Boulevard near the new plant site. This willsupplement $11 million previously committed to Gandy Boulevard bySt. Petersburg from impact fees and federal grant funds.

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"The company's contributions to our business community havetranslated into high-value jobs, innovative solutions and manyother benefits to the state, as well as the Tampa Bay region,"Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is from St. Petersburg, said in aprepared statement. "I welcome the successes that are sure to comefrom Jabil's expansion."

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Jabil, which has operated in St. Petersburg since 1983, says ithas increased its personnel in the county by 28% over the last fiveyears, to 1,880 employees. It intends to add another 850 by thetime its new facilities are completed, even though it announcedpink slips for 120 workers just last week.

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