TAMPA - Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb is coming to Hillsborough County.
Gov. Rick Scott announced the deal at 5 p.m. Thursday, one day after county commissioners approved $2.1 million in tax incentives for a company it had declined to name.
The 70,000 square-foot North American Capability Center will consolidate jobs in information technology, marketing and finance now scattered across Bristol-Myers Squibb's various branches, spokesman Frederick Egenolf said.
The center will open in January with 250 jobs. It will expand to 579 over the next three years. Each year it meets its job-creation goals, the county and state will pay the company a portion of the approved incentives.
"Most of these positions will be filled by people living in the Tampa Bay area," Bristol-Myers Squibb officials said in a written statement.
In the same statement, Bristol-Myers Squibb Senior Vice President Gareth Morgan said his company chose Hillsborough County for its work force, strong university presence and business climate.
Based in New York City, Bristol-Myers Squibb makes a variety of well-known drugs that treat cancer, diabetes and psychiatric disorders, among other things. The company's brands include Plavix and Abilify.
The company reported $17.6 billion in net sales in 2012 and a research-and-development investment of $3.9 billion.
The company told county officials it expects to generate up to $21.2 million in capital investment at its new location. Once the company is fully staffed, it will have a payroll of $37.63 million, according to county documents.
The capability center is the first of its kind in the U.S. for Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Bristol-Myers chose the Tampa area over 50 other locations, said Rick Homans, president of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Council.
"This company choosing Tampa Bay is an affirmation of all of our strengths and most importantly our potential," Homan said. "This moves the needle for both the image and the brand of Tampa Bay"
The location of the new center was not disclosed, but it will be outside Tampa's city limits.
Nevertheless, Mayor Bob Buckhorn said Bristol-Myers' decision will be a boon for the city.
"When Hillsborough County succeeds Tampa wins as well," Buckhorn said in an email. "This announcement is one more step in changing Tampa's economic DNA."
Bristol-Myers Squibb is in final negotiations on the site and will announce the location when they conclude, Homans said.
County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan said Bristol-Myers' decision supports the region's growing reputation in the life science industry.
The county has made a special effort to build up a biotech industrial base around its signature medical and research facilities, such as the University of South Florida medical school and research institutions, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation and the M2GEN biomarker research institute.
"Without a shadow of a doubt, we'll continue to build upon this," Hagan said.