North Central: Timing is Key
Growing companies see new opportunities in just right North Central locations.
Demographics for the North Central Region can be found at Business Florida's interactive map of Florida.
|North Central Resources:
• Central Florida Community College
• Lake City Community College
• North Florida Community College
• Santa Fe College
• University of Florida
In Ocala — The Pensacola-based Institute for Human and Machine Cognition has finalized an agreement on its “ideal site” for a branch research lab. And
Duratek Precast Technologies is relocating its corporate headquarters and building a new production facility.
In Gainesville — Ignition Entertainment Ltd., a company on the cutting edge of computer gaming, is locating its new studio and software production facility in the city’s energetic downtown area.
In Columbia County — United States Cold Storage (USCS) and Target are managing their shipping costs by locating new distribution facilities just minutes away from the intersection of I-10 and I-75.
In Madison County — Fast Track and Love’s are opening new fueling/food stations in key locations, taking advantage of the recent completion of a county infrastructure project.
University of Florida — the nation’s 4th largest university — is a key player in this region’s economic prosperity. Enrolling 50,000 students annually, UF is home to 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutions, including the Center of Excellence in Regenerative Health Biotechnology, the Center of Excellence for Nano-Bio Sensors and the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy Technology Incubator.
In 2008, U.S. News & World Report ranked Shands at UF among America’s top 50 hospitals in 11 specialties — the most of any hospital in Florida and the highest ranking of Florida hospitals for endocrinology, geriatrics, heart and heart surgery, respiratory care and urology.
High-Tech Development: Gainesville/Alachua County is enthusiastically inviting high technology companies to locate here, in close proximity to the University of Florida’s world-renowned engineering and intellectual resources.
A new Innovation Zone in downtown Gainesville is described by the city and the Center for Economic Outreach (CEO) as “conducive to high-tech development.” Ignition Entertainment Ltd., a UTV Software Communications Ltd. Enterprise, which develops innovative computer games, has located in the zone, setting the stage for this district’s further development. Ignition is in a stage of rapid growth, preparing for multiple next-generation platforms. Its new studio/game development facility has open positions across the spectrum of game production and is expected to attract high-tech talent to the local workforce. Ignition has partnered with FloridaWorks, the local regional workforce board serving Alachua and Bradford counties, for the initial hiring and later expansion stages of workforce development.
“When we started talking about locating Ignition’s new game development studio in Gainesville, first on our minds were the city’s cultural energy, skilled workforce and effective cost of operation,” says Studio Director Jeremy Stieglitz, a University of Florida graduate. “Everyone is looking forward to creating fantastic games here as we grow to incorporate more world-class talent. It’s a dream come true to do this work from an area we know and love.”