Santa Rosa County
Plenty of Activity: The Ropella Group, an executive search and corporate consulting firm, moved into its new 15,000-square-foot building at the Santa Rosa Industrial Park in August 2008, investing $2.5 million for the expansion. The existing employee base of 35 workers is expected to increase to 50 by the end of 2008.
Pro-Build Lumber Company also moved into the Santa Rosa Industrial Park in March 2008. The firm made a $1-million capital investment and plans to employ 50 people.
The town of Pace has a new $45-million, 235,000-square-foot commercial complex that is home to the county’s first Target store, as well as a Publix supermarket and PetSmart.
Long known for its sun and sand, northwest Florida region is today seeking a new identity — as a hub for businesses focused on modern technology and state-of-the-art industry.
To that end, a coalition of 29 area businesses, stretching from Fort Walton Beach in Okaloosa County to Pensacola in Escambia County, has formed The Innovation Coast. This partnership organization is aimed at attracting innovative companies to the area by combining and coordinating the region’s educational institutions, research organizations, entrepreneurs and economic developers into an interwoven, high-tech business community.
Enterprises as diverse as the Boeing Aerospace Support Center, Separation Systems Inc., a leader in the field of gas chromatography, and the newly christened Northwest Florida State College, are part of the venture.