Bertram Yacht, the iconic American yacht and boat building brand, will relocate its manufacturing facility from Miami 200 miles north to a new facility on Merritt Island, in Brevard County on Florida's Space Coast, creating an estimated 221 jobs.
Bertram's state-of-the-art boat manufacturing facility and marina will be situated on a 37-acre site at 1230 Sea Ray Drive that provides significant room for expansion. A spokesman for the firm said the property is conveniently located 45 miles from the Orlando airport and within minutes of the open ocean, making the location ideal for product testing, distribution and deliveries throughout Florida and the Eastern Seaboard. The new facility will use environmentally sound manufacturing practices including a low emission lamination process that incorporates infusion techniques to manufacture fiberglass parts.
The boat builder plans to keep its main dealership showroom in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Alton Herndon, President for Bertram Yachts said; "We at Bertram Yacht deeply value our 50 years of history and culture in the state of Florida and are enthusiastic to remain in the state. We appreciate the EDC's assistance and look forward to growing in an area with a highly skilled workforce that will help build competitive yachts well suited for hardcore saltwater sportfishing. We also plan to bring many existing Bertram employees to Merritt Island to help establish our roots and keep the Bertram legacy growing."
"Bertram Yacht's relocation will create more awareness of our state's dynamic marine industry and make a very positive impact on the local economy, said Gray Swoope, president and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Florida. "This announcement is the result of solid and effective teamwork among our state and local economic development partners."
As an incentive to relocating within the state, Bertram Yacht was awarded a Florida Qualified Target Industry and Brownfield tax refund to offset the cost of relocation, employee training, and infrastructure improvements. The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners also awarded Bertram an Ad Valorem Tax Abatement.
At full employment, the company projects its total economic impact on the local economy will be more than $26.3 million. Along with relocating key management and some production employees, the company will also draw on the Space Coast's highly skilled labor force, particularly those with experience in the marine and aerospace sectors. The new production operation will also create significant demand for parts and components from local suppliers and vendors.
"Bertram Yacht is a legendary brand and we are pleased to keep this company with a strong Florida history in the state," said Lynda Weatherman, president and Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. "The company recognized the competitive advantages of a Space Coast location, particularly within our high-tech workforce. Bertram Yacht's creation of 221 new jobs is a positive step in mitigating the effects of our post-Shuttle economy. We look forward to the company's continued success and growth on the Space Coast."
"Bertram is one of the best known yacht brands in the world and we are fully committed to support the Bertram management team as we embark on a new era for this iconic American brand" said Norberto Ferretti, Founder and Chairman of the Ferretti Group, parent company of Bertram Yacht.