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Oracle And City Make New Deal After First Deal Problems

Google Earth
Oracle's San Antonio office is at 410 and San Pedro

More than two years ago the city inked a deal with Oracle. The software company brings 200 jobs all paying $70,000 or more a year and maintain them for 10 years, the City gives them a million bucks over three years.  

But when Oracle came to the city last December with their paperwork to collect on that money, the City saw a problem.  Instead of 200 people, they had 187 and only about 20 of those people were making the promised $70,000 a year. The city didn't pay out, but did believe it was an honest misunderstanding and started looking for a solution.

Now Oracle has leased another floor of the spectrum building and appears to be expanding, the city expects the company to have north of 400 jobs in coming months, and the city wants to support that says Economic Development Department head Rene Dominguez.

"The grant was rewritten to capture the expansion they are currently going through so that the company could utilize the expansion to access the grant," says Dominguez.

Tomorrow city council votes on an amendment to the deal allowing Oracle to claim one amount of money for employees making $50,000 or above and another for those $70,000 or more.  

The city wants them to now employ a minimum 350 people instead of 200 and retain them for 10 years starting now. Currently several Oracle employees make $43,000. The new deal also provides bonuses to Oracle if it bumps employees up to the two thresholds.

Bexar county ponied up an additional $200,000 for the 2014 deal based solely on job creation, and the county's economic development director David Marquez says the package was important to landing Oracle.

"They're very mobile, you're definitely in competition to bring these jobs to town. Because they don't bring a lot of capital investment. They're not tied to anything that would keep them here or cause them to want to come here and make a big investment and kinda be anchored to that, so you gotta be competitive."

The question it raises - however - is does a company not tied to san antonio stay in the city once the 10 year contract runs out?

Oracle declined to comment on this story.

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org