Florida's Big Bend Region
» Tallahassee's urban renewal efforts got a boost from Gaines Street development, city capital improvements and new dining and hospitality venues. All the activity helped keep unemployment at a relatively low 6.3%. Cascades Park, a $30-million project on 25 acres downtown, will open in September, featuring a 1,500-seat canopied amphitheater.
» Increases in education and health services jobs helped offset the loss of some 800 government-sector jobs in Tallahassee's four-county metropolitan statistical area. The area's economy is expected to grow less than 1% this year, says Julie Harrington, director of Florida State University's Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis.
» Also helping the region: Robotics, energy and development of new materials, says Barney Bishop, CEO of a consulting firm and former CEO of Associated Industries of Florida. What the region needs now, says Bishop, is manufacturing production. “We have a lot of young entrepreneurs coming out of FSU, FAMU and TCC who can start that manufacturing enterprise. And when you get manufacturing, you get the supply chain.” Among promising research-spawned enterprises, says John Fraser, executive director of FSU's Office of Intellectual Property Development and Commercialization: Bing Energy, Prevacus, BioFront Technologies, BevShots, Sunnyland Solar and General Capacitor. “All are young, based on FSU technology, growing and adding employees.”
Business to Watch
» NanoVision: The company has a deal with FSU to design a machine to scale up the manufacture of BuckyPaper, a lightweight, super-strong material developed through FSU research, to give manufacturers larger pieces of material for commercial applications.
|Leon Population: 285,689|
|Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 1.12%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $37,970|
|MSA||Dec. 2012||Dec. 2011||% Change||Jobless Rate|
|Source: Agency for Workforce Innovation|
|Homes - Single-family, existing-home sales|
|MSA||2013 Sales||1-Year Change||2013 Price||1-Year Change|
|Source: Florida Realtors|