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Orlando Approves Incentives To Lure Lake Nona Conference, Training Center The Size Of Buckingham Palace

Tax, audit and consulting firm KPMG got tax breaks from Orlando to build an training and conference center in Lake Nona the size of Buckingham Palace.

The City of Orlando approved a tax incentive package Monday for a company to build a huge training and conference center in Lake Nona.

KPMG wants to build an 800,000 square-foot facility to house and train its employees. For a sense of scale, that’s about the size of Buckingham Palace. The building is expected to cost $430 million to build.

KPMG is a tax, audit and consulting firm, considered one of the major players in the industry, alongside Deloitte. KPMG is looking for $3.8 million in tax breaks from Orlando and the state of Florida.

In return, the company would create 88 permanent jobs, and bring an estimated 48,000 visitors annually to the facility each year.

“The jobs they’re talking about that come along with this facility pay 50 percent higher than the average wage in Orlando,” said UCF economist Sean Snaith.

Snaith pointed out the Deloitte, a KPMG competitor, has recently brought more than 1,000 jobs to Lake Mary. That means there may be some critical mass forming in Orlando for that industry.

But KPMG is also heading to Lake Nona – where Florida officials are fighting with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute over more than $300 million in incentives to get Sanford Burnham to Orlando.

“I think we still have a bit of a bruise as far as incentives are concerned with what’s going on with Sanford Burnham, but I would advise that we sort of play through the pain, if you will,” Snaith said. “This is what incentives are about.”

The biggest tax break would be from property taxes, valued at $3.5 million over seven years.

KPMG is considering Orlando, Atlanta and Dallas for the building.


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Abe Aboraya

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