City officials gathered today for a press conference announcing the retention of offices for Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, Inc. The Fortune 500 company, a biotech firm, houses its clinical technology and services division here, where it employs 1,600 people.

City officials said the firm considered leaving city limits, but the city’s Business Expansion, Attraction and Retention (BEAR) team found the company a plot of land on which to build a manufacturing plant and eased them through the development services process. It also offered the firm what Mayor Jerry Sanders’ spokesman Fred Sainz called “minor” tax incentives totaling tens of thousands of dollars. The incentives include water and sewer capacity reductions, and sales and use tax credits.

Cardinal is scheduled to break ground on its new 318,000 square foot facility – which officials said will be the largest biotech industrial building in the county – on July 19.

The city’s economic development Web site also boasts a number of other business-friendly incentives in San Diego: a competitive sales tax rate, a business tax lower than any of the largest 20 U.S. cities, the lowest hotel-room tax, the lowest real estate transfer tax in California and no utility tax.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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