Around the State
Escambia County -- Business and community leaders are setting up pre-permitted building sites aimed at attracting a computer-chip manufacturer. The county is working with Enterprise Florida's Silicon Technology Sector Initiative.
Leon County -- A Web site designed by the county to issue building permits to local developers has drawn no takers since it went online in August 1998. The county plans to continue offering the service.
Lynn Haven -- The Trane Corp. and city leaders agreed to an eight-year exemption from ad valorem taxes that will enable the company to undertake a $37 million expansion of its 100,000-sq.-ft. air-handler manufacturing plant. When complete, the company will triple the size of its local workforce from 100 to 300.
Panama City -- BellSouth Corp. will double the number of workers at its National Directory Assistance Center from 100 to 200 by the end of the year. The new jobs pay on average $8 an hour.
Arizona Chemical Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of International Paper Co., is considering relocating its corporate headquarters and 75 jobs to either Jacksonville, Atlanta or Savannah, Ga., unless it can find a new building here. The company has spent four years searching. Local business leaders say they'll build one if necessary.
Panhandle -- Real estate developer Jacksonville-based St. Joe Co. (NYSE-JOE) will auction off 800,000 acres of its north Florida property, almost three-quarters of its land holdings, partly because they aren't considered developable at present. The first 100,000-acre tract cuts through Franklin, Wakulla, Liberty and Jefferson counties. Sale proceeds will be used to buy back outstanding stock and to fuel future land purchases.
Pensacola -- Champion International Corp. seeks a five-year permit from the state to continue discharging 24-million gallons of waste-water a day from its paper mill into Eleven Mile Creek, already ranked one of the state's five most-polluted waterways.
Southport -- Pensacola-based Gulf Power Co. has plans for a new $265 million power generator at its Lansing-Smith plant here in Bay County, but must get approval from the Florida Public Service Commission. Gulf, part of Atlanta-based Southern Co., also is considering three sites outside Florida.
Tallahassee -- Mainline Information Systems will be the first tenant of a new 117-acre high-tech business park near Mahan Drive and Interstate 10. Forty-seven acres have been permitted, with the rest to follow when Mahan is widened. Mainline is constructing a 30,000-sq.-ft. building in the park; five other local technology firms have expressed an interest. The city is building a sewer line to the park at a cost of $2 million.
Walton County -- County commissioners put a moratorium on new condominiums taller than four stories. Some residents say the area is losing its "flavor" because of high-rise developments.