Custom boat builder Nor-Tec to expand
Negotiating an incentive agreement between the City of Cape Coral and NT?(Nor-Tech) Manufacturing took more than six months, but the deal provides high-paying job opportunities for city residents and a myriad of tax base increases for the city.
City Economic Development Director Dana Brunett presented the agreement to City Council last Monday for approval, calling the $3 million investment by the high-performance boat manufacturer that was looking to expand its operations in Cape Coral a great deal for the city and its residents.
“It’s a performance-based incentive, as it should be,” said Brunett. “The jobs they create have to be in place for a year in order to receive the incentive payment. They will receive $1,500 per job in the form of a rebate check.”
The city’s incentive will not exceed $120,000 over a three-year period as the boat builder expects to add up to 150 new jobs with about 80 of those qualifying for the incentive by paying an average $45,000 salary for technicians, engineers and production workers.
“The return on the city’s investment will be 165-to-1,” said Brunett. “It will add to our commercial tax base in the form of construction jobs created plus the company’s jobs and with that comes the need for housing and other benefits to the tax base.”
Nor-Tech intends to build a 50,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on land it already owns in the North Cape Industrial Park. Their investment constructing the building is estimated at $1.8 million alone. Machinery and equipment requires another $400,000 investment. The land cost was $500,000.
“We needed more room and the incentive certainly helps our expansion,” said Nor-Tech owner/CEO Trond Schou. “We have about 80,000 square feet of buildings in North Fort Myers and about 15,000 in Cape Coral. After looking around in Fort Myers and places we decided Cape Coral was the right choice. We like being a team player with the city.”
Schou said the expansion will enable the company to increase production from about two boats per week to three or four per week. About one third of the production are customized boats.
“We offer a unique product and appealing design styling,” said Schou. “We’ve been around long time so the orders keep coming. Our boats outperform other brands.”
The new facility also will house the company’s new world headquarters, which will relocate from its current facility located in North Fort Myers where Schou founded the company in 1980. NT currently employs about 135 workers, including those at the secondary facility in Cape Coral.
“It will take about a year to build the new building. We are waiting on the permits to break ground,” said Schou.
According to the company website, Nor-Tech has dealers for its products in Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama and Michigan in addition to international dealers in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Canada, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Puerto Rico. They manufacture catamaran style boats, vee bottoms, center consoles which are the most popular style, and high performance yachts.
“We hope a number of Cape Coral people will be hired,” said Schou. “Skilled workers are hard to find, but that’s why we do a lot of training here. We always have openings and take applications all the time.”
Nor-Tech is a fully in-house manufacturer and operates divisions for upholstery, rigging, engine development, painting, production, and service department.