Economic Yearbook 2006 - Space Coast
A Surge in Interest
Floida's Space Coast increasingly draws new residents from within the state.
Downtown developments are on the upswing in Melbourne, says Cindy Dittmer, planning and economic development director. "That's been a big change."
Downtown is seeing a surge of residents moving into new townhomes and condominiums, and more high-density housing projects are under proposal. "That's been a big change," says Cindy Dittmer, Melbourne's planning and economic development director. "The downtown's pretty vibrant most times of the day. We're a fairly urban area of the county, so that's why we're seeing the trend for higher-density housing." ... One of the biggest concerns right now is easing traffic on crowded roadways such as Wickham Road, Babcock Street and the beach causeways. Moving people into the downtown closer to where they work will help, Dittmer says. Planners are looking at other measures, including new turn lanes, alternative routes and intelligent traffic light systems that work on timing and movement. ... Melbourne-Palm Bay continues to attract new and expanding businesses in manufacturing, particularly in aerospace, aviation, defense, homeland security, electronics, software development, optics, customer service and healthcare. The manufacturing share of Brevard's total non-agricultural employment is 11.9%, more than double that of the statewide average. Officials are expecting a steady in-migration of high-wage employees and a consistently low unemployment rate.
? Shannon Meyer, a Wisconsin native who's the new president of the Melbourne-Palm Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, moved to Brevard last year from Minneapolis and is getting kudos from the community for her efforts to add more activities and nightspots for young professionals.
? Although he lives in Tampa, Paul Paluzzi of Zons Development has spent a lot of time lately in South Brevard, where his company is building condominiums along U.S. Highway 1 in Palm Bay and has other projects in the works.
Titusville is seeing a migration of residents from inland counties, especially around the Orlando area. "We have convenient access to Orlando, with the luxury of a smaller-town, waterfront atmosphere," says Marcia Gaedcke, president of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce. ... Several projects are looking at ways to deal with the city's growth. Those include a downtown master planning project, a study of the U.S. Highway 1 corridor and a commerce park master planning process. ... Three of the five City Council positions are on the ballot this year, and growth and related issues are expected to be hot topics for the incumbents and new candidates. ... The Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast is working to bring six businesses to the Titusville area, all small manufacturing companies or high-tech firms, in the near future.