Economic Yearbook 2007
Biotech moves forward.
? Of the four California institutions Florida bagged in its great biotech hunt -- Scripps Research, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Torrey Pines and SRI International -- only Torrey's founder Richard Houghten is moving his headquarters to Florida.
? Russell Knowles built his Remetronix, Techmed Solutions and Med-Trans Logistics into a 125-employee concern specializing in transporting and installing medical equipment such as MRI machines.
? Pediatrician Randall Bertolette is the full-time regional dean overseeing the first students arriving in July at the new Fort Pierce campus of the Florida State University College of Medicine.
? Rancher Bud Adams, lawyer Ernie Cox and his Family Lands Remembered partners are facilitating development of St. Lucie's 5,000-acre Cloud Grove new town. Adams' ranch will be paid to put 12,000 of his 16,000 acres into a stewardship easement, keeping it ranch land. A joint venture between Lennar and Centex that acquired Cloud Grove from Family Lands receives the development credits Adams' easement generated. Cox is president of a second company that consults on conservation-minded planning.
Stuart / Martin County
? John Justak, founder and president of 10-employee Advanced Technologies Group in Stuart, works with NASA and the Defense Department on engine turbines, instrumentation and other highly technical work. Justak (pictured here with an L.E.D. array used to transfer power to electronics equipment for future use in the Joint Strike Fighter) wants more commercial work in 2007. Photo: Jeffrey Camp
SLOW GROWTH: Famous for its fear of joining the south Florida metropolis, Martin continues to look askance at major growth. That said, there's no shortage of pioneering ideas from existing businesses, such as Stuart's Advanced Technologies Group, a developer of novel engineering answers for problems defying conventional solutions. Founder and President John Justak's hunt for a place to put a new engine test lab typifies the Martin quandary. "I like living here because of all the restrictions, but trying to do business is different," Justak says. The exception in Martin is the more welcoming community of Indiantown, which will see 6,300 new homes in a few years.
? With a location on the Okeechobee Waterway miles inland, a football field-sized building and clever dock design, Charles Industries head Joe Charles' River Forest Yachting Center solves a need for long-term storage and hurricane protection for ocean-going boats. The Jupiter resident plans a much larger facility on the Caloosahatchee.
? Judy Perkins and Brian Root,
partners in Stuart startup TC Modular Docks, believe their advance in dock construction technology yields price and design advantages. Perkins owns CSM Engineers, a Stuart engineering firm.
? Bob Post Jr., of the privately owned telecom, water utility and waste hauler Postco Inc. for Indiantown in western Martin, installed fiber-optic and other technology years before much larger cities. He plans a new water plant to service growth.
Business To Watch
? Royal Concrete Concepts, a West Palm Beach maker of concrete-steel-polystyrene modular buildings for use as classrooms, homes and government facilities, will finish by July a manufacturing plant that eventually will employ 1,300.