Tax Relief

Increasing life science firm receives metropolis tax break

A North Carolina-based life science company has received new tax breaks from the city of San Antonio after promising to expand its research facility and hire dozens of scientists.

Heat Biologics plans to open the 20,000 square foot facility in the Merchants Ice complex on East Houston Street as part of a new subsidiary called Scorpion Biologics.

About two months after the county approved a similar deal, the deal, which the city council approved Thursday, resulted in a 40% tax cut on improvements made to the property over the next 10 years – the tax breaks city workers appreciate Worth a little over $ 520,000.

Under state law, discounts can only apply to new investments in a property and do not cover its existing value.

Scorpion will invest $ 24 million in the Eastside facility and create at least 44 jobs. Those jobs, as well as the eleven slated to move from another subsidiary of Heat Biologics, pay an average salary of nearly $ 80,000, according to the city’s filing included with the ordinance.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg praised the company for creating these jobs at the council meeting on Thursday and said Heat Biologics’ investment was the “greatest boost” to the city’s life science ecosystem and could help recruit similar companies.

Jeff Wolf, CEO of Heat Biologics, attended the meeting and thanked the Mayor and Council, and the City’s Economic Development Department and the Region’s Economic Development Foundation, recently renamed Greater: SATX Regional Economic Partnership.

“We intend to do great things at this facility,” said Wolf. “We expect that we will conduct cutting-edge research and manufacture drugs that have the potential to save lives in currently untreatable therapeutic areas and improve the quality of life in treatment-resistant diseases.”

Councilor Manny Pelaez (D8) called the company’s investment a “big win” for the city, and especially District 2, which covers much of the city’s East Side.

According to estimates by the city staff, the project is seen as a net profit for the city treasury in the long term. Over the next 16 years, property taxes and sales taxes related to building and renting the facility are expected to raise $ 2.47 million, while related services to the city are expected to cost the city nearly $ 280,000.

The agreement also applies to the Merchants Ice complex, which has been redeveloped in recent years to become a hub for life sciences. The complex is owned by the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, where the foundation houses its startup incubator VelocityTX.

Heat Biologics was founded in 2008 and initially came to San Antonio with another subsidiary called Pelican Therapeutics. This subsidiary was originally based in Austin, but was relocated to San Antonio in 2017 under a tax treaty, where 11 employees are currently working on a therapy for lung cancer tumors.

Pelican’s tax deal ends with the subsidiary’s merger with Scorpion.

Earlier this year, Bexar County Commissioners approved a 75% tax reduction for improvements made to the property over the next 10 years, valued at just over $ 500,000.

The facility is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2022.

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