North Florida Corridor

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Prepares for Growth

May. 15, 2018

Source: Karen Brune Mathis, Jax Daily Record
Acuvue Contact Lens Boxes

Shown as the proposed Phase 8 expansion, Johnson & Johnson Vision wants to modify its Planned Unit Development to add space — and by extension, jobs — at its Southside campus.

Johnson & Johnson Vision wants to add 9,600 square feet to its total enclosed area of almost 871,000-square-foot Deerwood Park operations.

On behalf of the maker of disposal contact lenses, engineer England-Thims & Miller seeks the modification to reduce building setbacks at the 7500 Centurion Parkway campus.

Larry McCallum, senior communications manager, said the company requested an easement to plan for an expansion to the production line in its manufacturing facility.

He said the need was in line with demand for its Acuvue brand contact lenses.

He said the expansion will require about 15 manufacturing technicians who work with robotics, lasers and programmable logic controllers and perform complex analysis. 

“Wages for those roles vary depending on skill and experience, but we are highly competitive in the Jacksonville market,” McCallum said.

McCallum said Johnson & Johnson Vision has about 1,800 employees in Jacksonville.

Johnson & Johnson Vision, known well by its former name, Vistakon, developed the manufacturing, distribution and research and development campus on about 69 acres.

The written description states that Flad Architects “will be expanding the existing Johnson & Johnson Vision (Vistakon) building in Jacksonville” at southeast Southside and Deerwood Park boulevards.

“The Vistakon building expansion, in particular, will allow for an increase in square footage and thus an increase in high wage jobs at its location,” says the written description.

The plan shows it as Phase 8 of the approved plan. It states there is no increase in the amount of nonresidential floor area approved in the PUD. 

Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 7 expansion in 2015 was assisted by city and state incentives. A city spokewoman said she had no information about incentives for another expansion.

Johnson & Johnson Vision also operates a plant in Limerick, Ireland.

As reported April 23, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson said the previous week that first-quarter sales at its Jacksonville-based vision care business grew 9 percent, excluding acquisitions, to $1.1 billion.

Johnson & Johnson Vision primarily was a contact lens maker, but expanded last year with acquisitions of several companies that provide other eye-care services.

The medical products company said contact lens sales grew 11 percent worldwide in the first quarter. It said total first-quarter sales, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, rose 4.3 percent to $20 billion.

The business traces its roots to Jacksonville-based Frontier Contact Lens Co., which began in the 1950s and was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 1981.