October 31, 2014
Cascades Park

Cascades Park will open this year in downtown Tallahassee with a 1,500-seat amphitheater.

BuckyPaper

NanoVision's BuckyPaper could potentially be used in body armor, armored vehicles and next-generation batteries.

Solar Panels

Hamilton Energy Resource Opportunities is proposing a 70-megawatt solar farm on 450 acres.

Camilla Pecan Co.

Camilla Pecan Co. is building a facility in Jefferson County.

Photo: Tom Conley

Woody Larson

High feed costs are squeezing farmers in Lafayette County. 

Ice River Springs

Ice River Springs has opened a water bottling plant in Gilchrist County.

« RETURN TO THE 2013 ECONOMIC YEARBOOK

Florida's Big Bend Region

Charlotte Crane | 4/8/2013
Big Bend

Urban renewal and business relocations

Government sector job cuts & high feed costs for dairy and poultry farmers

Big Bend

» 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:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
16.08% 8.63% 37.01% 27.49% 10.80%
Per Capita Income: $37,970

MSA Dec. 2012 Dec. 2011 % Change Jobless Rate
Tallahassee 177,364 176,651 +0.4% 6.6%
Source: Agency for Workforce Innovation

Homes - Single-family, existing-home sales
MSA 2013 Sales 1-Year Change 2013 Price 1-Year Change
Tallahassee/Leon 2,396 +10% $163,500 +0.3%
Source: Florida Realtors

Tags: Big Bend, Economic Yearbook

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