Photo:DeepFlex lays deepwater flexible pipe off the coast of Africa.
Northwest Florida roundup
Port of Pensacola adds manufacturing facility
Seeking to tap into the emerging ultradeepwater markets in the global oil and gas industry, DeepFlex, in partnership with Offshore Inland Marine & Services, is establishing a new manufacturing facility on 3½ acres at the Port of Pensacola. The project is expected to bring $52 million in capital investment to Pensacola and as many as 200 jobs.
The plant will make and test unbounded flexible piping for use in deep-sea oil and gas production. DeepFlex says its piping is half the weight and four times as durable as any other piping on the market.
The plant’s location enables it to do business with companies working in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, Europe and Asia.
The new plant is one part of a major capital expenditure for Houston-based DeepFlex and is expected to be fully operational by the second half of next year, with the capability for expansion.
According to port Director Amy Miller, the average annual salary at the plant is expected to be about $43,000. “This is a significant project for the Port of Pensacola,” Miller says, “as it further establishes our commitment to growing our presence in the offshore oil and gas services sector as our primary business niche for the future.”
Caitie Mook is the new regional manager for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s subsidiary unit, Regulatory Compliance Services, responsible for leading training efforts for vendors in northwest Florida.
Daniel Lucas is CFO at the University of West Florida Foundation, where he oversees the foundation’s stewardship and private gifts and resources programs.
Pam George is the general manager of Gulf World Marine Park. George was previously marketing director.
Melanie Secret Holmes- Douglas, former manager of animal care, was promoted to zoological director at the park.
CRESTVIEW — Bluewater Bay-based Costa Enterprises purchased three McDonald’s restaurants in Crestview, adding to its 15 locations in Niceville, Navarre, Destin, Blountstown, Panama City and Port St. Joe. Tallahassee-based First Commerce Credit Union plans to purchase First National Bank of Crestview, pending approval by state and federal regulatory agencies, which the two institutions hope will come in late 2014 or early 2015. First National Bank of Crestview has three locations and $85 million in assets. If approved, First Commerce’s member base is expected to grow beyond 50,000 and assets to more than $500 million.
DESTIN —The 2014 Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation raised $2 million, a 57% increase over $1.37 million raised in 2013. Wine Spectator magazine named the 2013 Destin Charity Wine Auction as sixth-largest in the nation. The foundation will provide funding for 12 local children’s charities in northwest Florida.
INLET BEACH — New projects are under way just west of the Bay-Walton County line. 30A Avenue, a 130,000-sq.-ft. shopping center, is slated to open its frst phase this winter. The Crossings at Inlet Beach shopping center expects to open stores by next year.
MARIANNA — The Family Dollar Distribution Center in Marianna, a 907,000-sq.-ft. facility, has been working to add about 75 employees to its 600 work force and does not foresee any changes for employees in the wake of Dollar Tree’s proposed acquisition of Family Dollar.
MIRAMAR BEACH — The Market Shops at Sandestin is undergoing the fi rst renovation in the center’s 29-year history, adding new merchants, including Sirens at the Beach, Favori Gift Boutique and Market Shops Nails & Spa.
PANAMA CITY — Jensen USA, a Panama City-based company that provides heavy-duty laundry and textile services worldwide, received the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award, an honor given to companies for generating jobs. The local offi ce has 165 employees who support the North, Central and South American and Caribbean markets. CareerSource Gulf Coast had the state’s highest percentage of job placements in the 2013-14 fi scal year, beating out 23 other regional workforce organizations in Florida.
PENSACOLA — The University of West Florida was listed as one of the Great Colleges to Work For by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities included UWF among the large universities with 10,000 or more students. > Several new restaurants have opened in Pensacola: Sushi and Asian fusion restaurant Khon’s on Palafox and V. Paul’s Ristorante Italiano opened at Palafox Place. Twin Peaks, a Dallas-based, mountain-lodge themed sports restaurant opened Twin Peaks Pensacola at Cordova Mall. Newk’s Eatery is undergoing construction and will open soon at Cordova Mall. > The Pensacola News Journal, with a staff of about 100 employees, moved to its new location on Palafox Street, a renovated 17,000-sq.-ft. historic 101-year-old building.
SANTA ROSA BEACH — Four new businesses opened in Gulf Place on 30A’s town center, including a children’s boutique, art gallery and a coffee company.
TALLAHASSEE — Blackwater Resources, based in Birmingham, Ala., purchased the Tallahassee Mall from Jim Stiles Blackwater will redevelop the 95.5-acre property, adding retail and restaurant space, residential and parking garage buildings and an amphitheater. > Publix purchased the Forest Village shopping center from Equity One for $7 million. The nearly 72,000-sq.-ft. center, located at the intersection of Crawfordville Road and Capital Circle Southwest, also includes Rent-A-Center, Pizza Hut and UPS Store.