DHL Airways gets $60,000 tax incentive to move headquarters to Miami
By Susan Stabley
Freight carrier DHL Airways will relocate its headquarters to Miami with the help of a $60,000 tax incentive brokered by the Beacon Council.
It doesn't hurt that many of the Chicago-based airline's new management team - including CEO John H. Dasburg - already have residences in Miami-Dade County.
DHL announced Tuesday that it will move its corporate headquarters, including 22 top executives, to One Biscayne Tower by May 15. It will occupy 8,850 square feet on the 32nd floor.
Incentives from the state and county will help fund relocation for the air-cargo company, which competes with United Parcel Service and FedEx Corp.
"I don't think at the end of day that it was the only deciding factor," said Beacon Council CEO Frank Nero. But, he said, economic incentives play a significant role in bringing companies to the area.
DHL was given a Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund - a tool that, Mr. Nero said, has been used by the Beacon Council about 30 times in the past six years. The refunds are based on job creation within targeted industries. Companies receiving the benefits in the past include Volkswagen, American Express, Precision Response Corp., Sysco Food Services, World Fuel Services and Oceania Cruises.
The Beacon Council is Miami-Dade's economic development agency.
The state will provide $48,000 and the county will contribute the other $12,000.
In return, DHL is committed to creating 30 full-time jobs within its first three years here at an average salary of $113,333, according to the Beacon Council. Mr. Nero said DHL will not get the incentive until it creates those jobs.
The company projects a payroll of $25.5 million and 53 employees here in a six-year period.
Overall, DHL will bring capital investment of $125,000, Mr. Nero said.
"It's always nice to have a corporate headquarters here no matter what the size," he said. "This is a good name. We're very pleased they selected Miami and Miami-Dade County."
Many DHL executives now live in Florida and commute to Chicago, so Miami will be a more efficient home, said spokesman Ray Lutz, who said he has lived several years in South Florida.
The move will mark the return of Mr. Dasburg, former CEO of Miami-based Burger King, who has reorganized DHL's management since becoming CEO in April. The company considered Northern Kentucky and Illinois as a headquarters.
Mr. Dasburg is a graduate of Miami Senior High School and has a home in Key Biscayne. He was CEO of Burger King from 2001 until being hired by DHL. He also worked for Northwest Airlines.
DHL employs more than 1,000 and operates 40 planes. It flies several worldwide flights daily to Orlando and Jacksonville, as well as Miami. Its flight operations will stay at its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport hub.
The airline is a contractor for DHL Worldwide Express, a unit of German-based Deutsche Post World Net. It also does contract work for the US military and serves many Air Force bases in Florida.