Palm Coast Data Eyes Consolidation
Reports: Kable's fulfillment operations could move to new Florida location.
Local reports in Palm Coast, Florida are indicating that Palm Coast Data is in the process of negotiating with the city on a location to consolidate its operations, namely merging Kable fulfillment operations into the new offices.
Under cover of a mysterious “phantom company” called Project Continental, a site selection consultant approached the city in mid-September requesting to look at sites to consolidate its multi-state operation, reports Don Tobin on the real estate news site GoToby.com.
According to reports, Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon told the press that the consultant represented a local firm with 1,000 employees that needed to consolidate “either in Palm Coast or in another state where they already had operations employing about 700 employees,” reported Tobin. Landon would not reveal the real name of the company citing a non-disclosure agreement.
“I have heard through second and third parties that it’s Palm Coast Data,” Tobin tells the Circulator. “And by the numbers there’s no other employer in Flagler County that employs that number of people.”
A September 20 editorial in the Daytona Beach News Journal discusses at length the Palm Coast Data/Kable connection, adding “Kable’s largest operation is already here. A large office building is immediately available. So is nearby land should expansion be feasible.”
Kable Media Services, which is also owned by Palm Coast parent AMREP Corporation, has offices around the country, and according to AMREP’s 2008 annual report, a key objective is “to integrate the company’s two fulfillment businesses and thereby reduce costly duplications.”
Indeed, the annual report goes on to note that AMREP has a plan underway to “integrate certain other aspects of the Kable and Palm Coast fulfillment operations in order to improve operating efficiencies.”
This has already resulted in a first-quarter 2008 workforce reduction. There was also a plan for the second quarter to “redistribute” the fulfillment services at the Marion, Ohio facility and close it down, according to the report. The Marion facility shut-down is expected to result in a $650,000 severance hit.
Palm Coast Data declined to comment for this report.
So far, says Tobin, the city council has approved its incentive package and the state-level incentives have been approved as well. AMREP has yet to give a thumbs-up or down on selecting the city of Palm Coast as the location for their consolidation.
Tobin also says that it’s unlikely many positions will relocate along with the consolidation should it go through. He says Palm Coast was selected due to its high unemployment rate and good labor pool. Most telling, however, was the salary levels revealed in the city council discussions of the incentive packages. “The salary levels of the jobs were indicated to be in the $30,000 range plus benefits,” says Tobin. “That’s not typically the level of job being relocated across the country.”
An announcement on the relocation deal is expected imminently.