BY JEFF OSTROWSKI
Palm Beach Post
A Deerfield Beach cosmetics company plans to move its plant to Palm Springs and hire up to 800 workers over the next five years.
Palm Beach County commissioners will vote Tuesday on a $24 million bond issue for Oxygen Development LLC. The money would come from the county’s share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a stimulus package approved in February.
Oxygen Development already owns 16.5 acres of vacant land at 1525 S. Congress Ave. in Palm Springs. Now, it wants to build a 300,000-square-foot plant to develop and make its skin care and hair care products.
Oxygen Development head Philippe Cohen couldn’t be reached for comment, but Palm Springs Manager Karl Umberger said the company’s operations are spread over two buildings in Deerfield Beach.
Moving to Palm Springs would let Cohen build a new plant that’s closer to his workers, Umberger said.
“A lot of his employees actually live in this area, and they’re driving all the way to Deerfield,” Umberger said.
Oxygen Development hopes to begin construction by the end of the year, Umberger said. The company would employ 350 to 400 employees when it first moves here and plans to expand to 750 to 800 workers.
The average salary would be $34,500, according to the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. While many of the jobs would be low-paying, Oxygen Development also employs its share of higher-paid scientists and technicians who wear lab coats and work with microscopes and beakers, Umberger said.
Oxygen Development is asking the county to approve a Recovery Zone Facility Bond. The county received $54 million for the bonds but has yet to issue any, said Kevin Johns, the county’s economic development director.