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November 1, 2014

Business Florida 2014 - The Regions

Tampa Bay

Bradenton, Clearwater, Lakeland, North Port, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa

| 9/27/2013

ECONOMIC LIFE

Aviation/Defense
MacDill Air Force Base, home to two of 10 unified U.S. combatant commands — Central Command and Special Operations Command — contributes some $5 billion annually to the Greater Tampa economy; private sector companies add to that wealth:

• Defense intelligence company CLI Solutions is expanding its Tampa operations with 40 new jobs and a new headquarters. CLI had considered three out-of-state sites, but chose Tampa for its proximity to MacDill and access to a highly trained workforce.

Life Sciences/Healthcare
• Moffitt Cancer Center, ranked No. 19 for cancer care on U.S. News & World Report’s list of "America’s Best Hospitals, 2013-14," is constructing an eight-story, $74.2-million outpatient center near its main Tampa campus to open November 2014.

• Humana has added to its staff of 3,000 in Tampa Bay: 100 telephonic nurses and healthcare coaches at its chronic care management division in St. Petersburg, and 170 telesales positions at its East Tampa call center.

• Health Management Associates, which operates 23 hospitals in Florida, has opened a 28,500-sq.-ft. billing and collection center in Sarasota with 150 workers and plans to add 150 more as demand grows.

• Mercedes Medical, an international distributor of laboratory and medical products, is expanding its Bradenton area facility and adding 47 new jobs with the goal of generating $50 million in revenue by the end of 2015.

• A new alliance between the University of South Florida and Lakeland Regional Medical Center could add 200 new medical residencies to an existing 712, making USF’s physician training program the largest in Florida.

Logistics/Distribution
• Tampa Bay will have its first direct airline service to Latin America when Panamanian carrier Copa Airlines begins nonstop service four times weekly between Tampa International Airport and Panama City in December 2013.

• At the Port of Tampa — Florida’s largest by cargo tonnage and acreage — the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) will soon begin global container service, providing access to ports in Asia, Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, Latin America and the Caribbean, and increasing Tampa’s share in the lucrative container market. Swiss-based MSC is the world’s second-largest shipping container line.

• Port Manatee — Florida’s closest port to the Panama Canal — continues its 11-year, $200-million expansion and the addition of a 52-acre container terminal.

Manufacturing
• Radiant Power, designer/producer of power and sensor products for commercial Aviation and marine, will expand its Manatee County operations for the second time in less than a year, adding 16 new jobs and 4,000 square feet in order to integrate an additional product line.

• Brooksville-based Accuform Signs plans to construct a state-of-the-art, 304,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant near its present Hernando County location and hire an additional 271 employees over the next four years.

QUALITY OF LIFE

Changing cityscapes Fueled by an influx of upwardly mobile young professionals, developers are scurrying to provide glitzy high-rise housing options that may well change the face of downtown Tampa. Among the soon-to-be or currently-under-construction offerings: the 23-story SkyHouse Channelside (320 glass-walled apartments) near Tampa’s busy cruise port; the 24-story Martin at Meridian (316 apartments and approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space); and the 36-story Residences at the Riverwalk (380 apartments and a parking garage), towering above Tampa’s up-and-coming arts district with its public library, Tampa Museum of Art and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts.

Urban revival across the bay In downtown St. Petersburg, more than 1,000 apartments are already planned or under construction within a one-mile radius, and businesses are in expansion mode. All Children’s Hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, plans to build a new office tower and add more than 100 jobs at its city-center campus, and Fortune 500 tech distribution firm Jabil Circuit is considering construction of a new worldwide headquarters on a five-block parcel of land near Tropicana Field.

Pick your pastime Tampa Bay is loaded with fun things to see and do. This region is home to four professional sports teams — Buccaneers, Lightning, Rays and Rowdies — plus tons of opportunities to perfect your own golf or tennis scores. This region boasts two theme parks — Busch Gardens in Tampa and the slightly tamer Legoland Florida in Winter Haven; the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale, lives; Lowry Park Zoo, honored as one of the family-friendliest in America; the Dali Museum, housing the surrealist works of Salvador Dali; and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. Don’t forget the award-winning beaches where you can catch the sunset at Pier 60 in Clearwater, take a stroll along the sands of Anna Maria Island or hunt for shark’s teeth in Venice.

Tags: Business Florida

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