For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Dave Fogarty , Economic Development Project Coordinator , (510) 981-7534
WEST BERKELEY NOW PART OF STATE ENTERPRISE ZONE
Berkeley, California (Monday, December 21, 2009) - On December 1, 2009 the State of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) announced that it had approved the expansion of the Oakland Enterprise Zone into West Berkeley. The expansion includes the area from San Pablo Avenue to the I-80 freeway from the Oakland/Emeryville boarder to Albany, including all addresses on both sides of San Pablo Avenue.
Inclusion in the Enterprise Zone means that over 1,100 West Berkeley businesses- from large manufacturing companies to small neighborhood restaurants- will be eligible to claim State tax credits that can reduce their state obligation by thousands of dollars. Businesses located in the Enterprise Zone are automatically eligible for Zone benefits: no certification is required. The two main benefits are:
· A hiring credit of up to $37,440 per eligible employee hired after the area is designated an Enterprise Zone. Eligible persons include the unemployed, disabled, veterans and individuals receiving public assistance.
· State sales tax credits on purchases of $20 million per year of qualified equipment and machinery parts.
Further information about these and other Enterprise Zone benefits may be found on the following website: http://EZoakland.com.
Michael Caplan, Berkeley’s Economic Development Manager, is particularly pleased that equipment used to produce renewable energy resources or control air or water pollution qualifies for Enterprise Zone tax credits. “This will help us attract and retain Green manufacturers in West Berkeley.“
The expansion of the Oakland Enterprise Zone into West Berkeley results from a cooperative effort by Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda County and State officials that began in August. They took action when Bayer, Berkeley’s largest private employer, said that the multi-national was evaluating its Berkeley site and other sites globally to determine where to invest in infrastructure for a new manufacturing process for future versions of Kogenate, the Berkeley Bayer site’s signature health care product. Cost considerations might cause decision-makers to locate the new production process elsewhere. The City of Berkeley suggested the idea of expanding the Oakland Enterprise Zone into West Berkeley, which could win Bayer upwards of $10 million in tax credits if they invested at their West Berkeley site. The Berkeley and Oakland City Councils quickly approved the proposed expansion and now the State of California has confirmed it.
In September, Bayer’s management in Germany confirmed that Berkeley will be the site for new process to manufacture for future versions of Kogenate. “The Enterprise Zone was a vital component of Bayer’s decision to make the $100 million investment in our Berkeley site,” noted Joerg Heidrich, Bayer’s Berkeley Site Head and Senior Vice President and Global Head, Product Supply-Biotech. “In the next two years we are investing in facility upgrades, along with new equipment and state-of-the-art technology to produce future versions of Kogenate, our hemophilia drug. We are also pleased to have brought these new incentives to the East Bay’s Green Corridor and other businesses. We want to thank the Mayor and City Council and City staff, in Berkeley and Oakland, as well as Emeryville, who partnered with one another and the state to make this happen in record time!”
Additional information about Berkeley’s participation in the Enterprise Zone Program is available at http://www.cityofberkeley.info/oed/