Westchester County’s Industrial Development Agency on Friday announced it has granted PepsiCo, which relocated from New York City to Purchase in 1970, an exemption from 7.35 percent sales tax on qualified purchases as it renovates its world headquarters. PepsiCo is preparing to redevelop 420,000 square feet of office space. The work is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2013.
Upgrading the campus will help PepsiCo stay in the county and preserve 1,100 local jobs. The renovations are expected to spur the creation of 1,250 construction jobs. Existing employees will be relocated to temporary space in PepsiCo’s Somers facility and at another location in lower Westchester County.
“As a global company, PepsiCo can locate its headquarters anywhere in the world,” County Executive Robert Astorino said in a statement. “We have worked hard to keep PepsiCo in Westchester by creating a positive business environment. The fact that the company has decided to reinvest in Westchester is a sign of faith in the county’s future, a shot in the arm to the local economy, and the extension of a 50-year relationship that’s been a model of civic-corporate partnerships.
This is the first major renovation since the company relocated in Purchase. The project will increase the capacity of the facility by up to 15 percent; upgrade outdated technology; reduce energy usage by 22 percent, water usage b
The Lower Hudson Valley’s primary economic development engines — industrial development agencies — in 2010 reported the creation of 16,000 jobs, using generous tax incentives to lure companies to the region and help others expand.
But securing those new jobs cost taxpayers an average of $4,100 per position. The increasing use of incentives contributed to rising property taxes for many homeowners, and $16 million in tax incentives were given to underperforming companies and nonprofits that did not create jobs and some that laid off workers, according to a Journal News analysis of state data and reports on IDAs.
“After more than 40 years with minimal renovations, our worldwide headquarters requires updating to meet the future needs of the company,” Rich Delaney, senior vice president, operations, for PepsiCo, said in a statement. “This project will modernize our headquarters in ways that increase operating efficiency, create a more connected and collaborative work environment for employees, and enable PepsiCo to continue to attract great talent to the company.”
IDA Chairman Stephen Hunt said PepsiCo’s reinvestment into the county is significant and “represents the largest capital investment and one of the biggest job producers to come before the board in over a decade.”
A recent Journal News/Lohud.com investigation found that incentives provided by IDAs in the Lower Hudson Valley cost taxpayers an average of $4,100 per position. The average cost per job for the Westchester County IDA was $1,517.