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NEW YORK CITY-An estimated $69 million in economic impact will be brought into the city as a result of the Virgin-branded low-fare airline being headquartered here for the next 15 years. Cushman & Wakefield is supervising the search process for an appropriate home. The company will create 600 new jobs within the next five years and that number is expected to reach as high 700 jobs within 15 years. No additional detail of its search process were revealed.

The airline’s business functions such as marketing, personnel, human resources and accounting finance responsibilities will be housed here with the company shelling out an initial investment of approximately $7.5 million in renovations, equipment and employee training at the new site. For its part, Virgin will be eligible for economic incentives that will vary depending upon where they choose a location.

If a Lower Manhattan site is chosen, the company will be eligible to apply to the Empire State Development for State assistance of $2.5 million in the Job Creation and Retention Program. The company will also be eligible for $5.1 million for moving to Lower Manhattan from the New York City Economic Development Corp. in sales tax benefits. If the company locates somewhere else in the city, they also will be eligible to apply to Empire State Development for State assistance of $600,000 in Jobs Now grant. The company will also be eligible for $7 million from the New York City Economic Development Corp. in sales tax benefits. Additionally, the company will also be eligible for $1 million in Workforce Development training funds and $445,000 in energy rate incentives.

Fred Reid, chief executive officer of the as-yet-to-be named airline, says the company felt the incentive package among other advantages “would provide the best foundation for a business model that allows us to deliver a better experience and better value for air travelers.” The new airline will also partner on a $500,000 cooperative marketing campaign with “I Love NY.”

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