Dallas Approves $1.7 Million in Tax Incentives for Vistaprint in Exchange for New Facility
On June 8, our sister publication, Promo Marketing, reported on an upcoming vote by Dallas City Council on a proposal that would lead to Vistaprint investing $50 million dollars in a Dallas-based manufacturing facility, bringing 625 full-time and 125 seasonal jobs to the 322,000 sq. ft. site near the International Inland Port of Dallas, a warehousing and logistics hub.
Last week, following the vote, Dallas City Council approved $1.7 million in tax incentives to Vistaprint, clearing the way for the commercial printing giant to build its facility and bring hundreds of much-needed jobs to the region.
According to the Dallas News, the financial incentives package was split into three parts, with $1.3 million going toward property tax abatements for Vistaprint and Becknell, a landholder that is slated to purchase the property from a third party to then lease it to Vistaprint over a 10-year period. The remaining amount is to be used for workforce development programs aimed at southern Dallas residents.
"Within three or four years, we will employ about 600 people," Christian Vaillant, North American vice president of manufacturing for Vistaprint, said in the article. "That's significant. Plus it's a value-added type of employment where you can grow into the work by getting trained, because we're not only talking about logistics or distribution, we're talking about manufacturing.
"We will go through a recruitment process—job fairs," he continued. "Obviously we have different positions to fill, from logistics, computers, manufacturing. We will have interviews, connect with the local colleges and municipalities for job fairs and advertisements."
The project, codenamed "Project Apollo," was cause for serious excitement in the region. According to District 8 Councilman Tennell Atkins, whose district contains the site of the future Vistaprint facility, residents of the Inland Port area will be looking forward to the job opportunities the project promises to bring them.
"Vistaprint is the right type of company because it's manufacturing," he said to the Dallas News. "In the Inland Port, we got a whole lot of warehouse, and those jobs, they pay $12, $13 an hour. Vistaprint is manufacturing. They pay a high, living wage—$40,000, $50,000 jobs. Better than that, you get manufacturing. We need more manufacturing to sustain development. It's a job creator."
With production starting at the plant as soon as July 2019, Vistaprint and Dallas residents alike certainly have a lot to be excited about. As for Vistaprint, the plant's location will put the printing behemoth in close proximity to three major highways (I035E, I-20 and I-45), as well as a Union Pacific rail terminal, increasing the company's already sizable foothold in the U.S.
"It's a good day for southern Dallas," Mayor Mike Rawlings said about the project following the result of the June 13 vote.
It's a good day for Vistaprint, too. But what does this mean for the print and promotional industries? Vistaprint has been positioning itself as a competitor for quite some time now, disrupting the supply chain model and the traditional way these industries tend to do business. Despite assurances to the contrary from Mitchell Leiman, vice president of strategy and corporate development for Cimpress, parent company of Vistaprint, the print and promo industries definitely have good reason to be wary of the commercial print company.
Will this latest development in Dallas only further the threat of Vistaprint's disruption of our industries, or will the company make good on its assurances and choose not to compete in any significant way? Time will have to tell, but the print and promotional industries can't just sit around waiting for whatever it has to say. Meaningful steps need to be taken to understand Vistaprint's intentions and head them off, if need be, before their disruption transcends competition and makes its way into more dangerous territory. After all, time is of the essence, and there isn't much of it to go around.