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Project Mango’s fast-track process illustrates just how eager officials are to secure the deal with a company pledging to create up to 1,000 full-time jobs in the capital.

Three months ago, the first conversations started when the mystery company contacted Leon County. Initial permit applications for the construction of a giant distribution center in the emerging Mahan Drive corridor were received last month.

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This week, Leon County commissioners unanimously approved a conditional site plan, with the exception of Commissioner Bill Proctor, who was absent from the vote. But the plan is the last hurdle that now gives the limited company the opportunity to resume construction.

The confidential $ 200 million project is expected to reveal its identity next month and begin in September on 170 acres at 6720 Mahan Drive, on the north side between Interstate 10 and Thornton Road.

As rumors continue about Project Mango’s identity, the company is asking for confidentiality during the negotiation period, as permitted by state law.

Commission Chairman Rick Minor said there have been many conversations with residents and community leaders about sustainability practices, such as the use of solar panels and green vehicles.

County Commissioner Rick Minor

“If Project Mango is Amazon, we already have the publicly announced goals and vision for the leading fulfillment center company engaging in sustainability practices,” Minor said. “If this company is not Amazon, it is under tremendous pressure to follow in the footsteps of the leader in the fulfillment center.”

Commissioner Kristin Dozier, who voiced the greatest concerns at Tuesday’s meeting, ultimately backed the project and asked county staff to monitor the project and provide a report six months after it went live.

She noted new housing and single-family apartments, including a proposed 190-unit complex across from Vineland and Mahan Parkways, under construction or permit review along Mahan Parkway.

“I think there is a need to look at this in a more holistic way,” Dozier said. “We’re doing these traffic counts in a very stereotypical way, but there’s a bigger regional impact. Frankly, I’m not sure if we fully understand what it’s going to look like down the line.”

An overview of the average annual number of daily trips for the roads expected to be used by Project Mango.

A traffic analysis predicts that 600 to 650 trucks enter and exit the facility per day through designated on-site entrances on Mahan Drive.

Between 800 and 1,000 employees are expected to work at the site and will primarily access the grounds via Vineland Drive.

As residents voice concerns about the potential noise from the huge facility, county staff said the applicant hired a consultant to run a noise study using SoundPLAN software and determined the results were “Acceptable” and “logical”.

“One of the unique things about this site is that almost everything that happens on the site (will be) inside the walls of the building,” said Barry Wilcox, director of development support and environmental management for the county. by Leon.

Wilcox said an exception would be noise associated with traffic entering and exiting the property.

Commissioners Carolyn Cummings and Nick Maddox shared Dozier’s concern about potential impacts.

“I think we have an ongoing obligation and concern to monitor various aspects of this project,” Cummings said. “Beyond living there and having a stake, I am concerned about the project as a whole, its impact and its benefits for the county.”

County Commissioner Carolyn Cummings at the Leon County Courthouse on Tuesday, December 3, 2020.

Maddox, however, said the economic impact of the Mango Project was substantial and hoped the company would consider its impact on the future workforce and residents directly affected by the operations.

“Fifteen dollars an hour minimum for 1,000 jobs in this community? This is an absolute win for us,” Maddox said.

“But, again, no victory comes without challenges. We just have to work our way through them in the best possible way, considering all of the people who are going to be affected by this.”

Contact TaMaryn Waters at [email protected] or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter.

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