A smart new building in Palm Beach Gardens is drawing visitors and jobs.
United Technologies Corp. cut the ribbon on its Center for Intelligent Buildings in a ceremony Tuesday.
The building is part headquarters, part product showcase, according to UTC Climate, Controls & Security President Bob McDonough.
“We’re a company that does many different things. HVAC, elevators, escalators, fire and security, building automation,” said McDonough. “This is the first place where I can bring people to show them all of that technology under one roof.”
The $115 million, 224,000-square-foot facility displays features of buildings normally hidden, like air conditioner chillers and the gears and belts of escalators. UTC is seeking LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for efficient and environmentally responsible design and operation of the building.
In negotiations for the new headquarters, UTC pledged to create 380 jobs with average wages of $85,000. The company employs about 350 people in the building now. It expects to create 130 new jobs by 2021.
UTC qualified for more than $10.5 million in local and state incentives for the building project, working closely with the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County and Enterprise Florida.
In the first year, McDonnough expects more than 6,000 business customers to visit the state-of-the-art facility near I-95 and Donald Ross Road.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says those visitors will be an economic boost to the area.
“They come here, they spend their money,” said Scott. “They pay 25 percent of our sales taxes. They buy homes and pay property taxes. Then they decide to move down here because our weather is so great.”
At Tuesday’s ceremony, UTC also announced a $500,000 donation to build a new Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County Teen Center in Belle Glade.