SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — Shutterfly broke ground Tuesday on a $60 million Shakopee facility. The online photo-sharing site will employ up to 1,000 full and part time employees.

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The site is right off 169 in what is now just an open field.

State and local officials had pursued the company for months and had offered Shutterfly $3 million in incentives and tax breaks by next summer.

Shutterfly is perhaps best known as an online photo-sharing and storage site, but it does a growing business in photo products like cards, calendars and mugs.

Orders for those products from around the Upper Midwest will be produced at the site and then shipped to customers.

Shutterfly says the Shakopee location will allow the company to reduce shipping costs and get products to upper Midwest customers more quickly.

For the community it means hundreds of jobs paying an average of $19 an hour.

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The company expects to eventually have about 400 full-time workers and up to 600 part-time workers.

Most part timers will be hired during the busy holiday season when the company does 50 percent of its annual business.

“So instead of bringing in full-time people and then laying them off when we don’t have a lot of work, we bring in a lot of seasonal people and actually, for our full-time people we are hiring for the following year, that is where we pick them from that seasonal work force,” Dwayne Black, senior Vice President for Shutterfly said.

Shutterfly was lured in part by a $1 million grant from the state and tax breaks from the city and Scott County of about $1.5 million. The incentive package was big part of Shutterfly’s decision, according to Black.

“A lot of people were looking for us to come to their cities, the state of Minnesota and the city of Shakopee really stepped up on the incentive package,” Black said.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who in July flew to Shutterfly’s corporate headquarters to personally make the pitch for the company to build here, said the tax dollars involved are worth it.

“The plant would be developing in Wisconsin rather than Minnesota if it were not for incentive financing,” Dayton said. “I am assuming there were other considerations but that is the nature of economic development competition.”

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While this was the official groundbreaking, the construction has already begun. The building is scheduled to be up and running by next summer, which means it would be ready for the busy 2014 holiday season and ready to hire all those additional part time workers.

Esme Murphy