Economic yearbook 2011
Ocala / Marion County
|Marion Population: 342,825|
|Population Growth Rate (2007-11): 1.50%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $31,130|
MARION COUNTY GOALS
Complete the community's first business incubator.
Work to develop more than 1,200 acres for industrial development, including the Ocala Business Park at Ocala International Airport and the Ocala-Marion County Commerce Center.
Redevelop two key downtown Ocala sites into mixed-use centers.
Stepping up to the Plate
ROOKIE PLAYER: Medtino — Medtino, relocating from south Florida to Ocala, assembles self-testing kits for diabetes and markets them to Hispanics. The company hopes to create 180 jobs over the next three years.
EMERGING STAR: Pro Poly of America — Pro Poly engineers, manufactures, markets and sells custom thermoplastic products for the fire service and trucking industries. The company's products are seeing increasing international demand; Pro Poly attributes about a quarter of sales to export markets.
HEAVY HITTER: Cone Distributing — The beer distributor is building a $16-million distribution center that will allow it to expand operations and create nearly 50 jobs.
Stan McClain, chairman, Marion County Commission — Stan McClain has proposed that the county take over management of Silver Springs, which is owned by the state and leased to a private operator. McClain calls the theme park's business model "antiquated" and says it "must be refocused. Marion County's business community stands ready to create jobs and reap the resulting economic benefits for our residents."
Frank Hennessey, Horse breeder — The retired executive moved to Ocala/Marion County to breed Arabians. He is helping lead the business incubator initiative and is also launching a community foundation.
Andrew Copeland, architect — Andrew Copeland is part of the team leading an ongoing architectural renaissance downtown, including development of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, a historic re-creation of a firehouse that will someday become a mix of lofts and commercial spaces.
Accelerate Ocala/Marion County, the community's first incubator, will be housed in the city's 1926 electric plant. The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce is leading the public-private partnership. "Instead of generating electricity, we're generating ideas — and jobs," says Jaye Baillie, president and CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce. [Rendering: Ocala/Marion County]