SAN ANTONIO – Four hundred jobs are coming to San Antonio, thanks to a deal between the city, Brooks City Base and a company called Nexolon.
Some city council members said Thursday the deal goes beyond the typical incentive packages.
Brooks wants $17 million for the land but Nexolon will pay just $5 million. Taxpayers will foot the bill for the other $12 million.
The deal is part of Mayor Julian Castro’s plan to make San Antonio a solar energy hub.
"Making tremendous strides in becoming a leader of the new energy economy,” Mayor Castro said during Thursday’s council meeting.
CPS Energy contracted with OCI Solar to build one of the largest solar plants in the world and with Nexolon to move to San Antonio and make solar panels.
Nexolon wants to set up shop at Brooks City Base.
"You don't let go of opportunities like that,” District 3 councilwoman Leticia Ozuna said. “You fight for them."
Ozuna and many others on council called it a great deal for the south side: a new manufacturing plant and lots of well-paying jobs.
"Four hundred jobs and potentially 800 jobs because of the additional investment it can make,” District 1 councilman Diego Bernal said. “I don't know what the proper dollar amount is for that."
According to the city, it’s $12 million for infrastructure improvements to seal the deal.
"So for $5 million dollars they're going to be able to control what has been $17 million of property,” District 8 councilman Reed Williams said during the meeting.
Williams explained Nexolon won’t pay taxes for the first ten years – but at any time during that ten years, Nexolon can decide it wants to own the land.
"What do I make of it? Well obviously I voted against it,” Williams said. “I didn't think it was a very good transaction."
It did pass council, though, paving the way for both solar companies to set up shop in San Antonio over the next few years.