FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Affordable and Appealing

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay’s cost of living in 2016 was the lowest among major metro areas in Florida for the 3rd consecutive year and more than 8% below the national average.

With 114 U.S. utility patents in 2016, University of South Florida ranks 1st among Florida’s public universities and 11th worldwide.

  • Population / 4,630,398
  • Labor Force / 2,159,464
  • Households / 1,973,782
  • Total Earnings / $109.93 bil.
  • Median Per Capita Income / $40,639
  • Total Retail Sales / $68.34 bil.
  • Universities/Colleges / 20
  • Commercial Airports / 3
  • Seaports / 3

For its economy, education, quality of life and more, Tampa earns a spot on WalletHub’s list of “Top 15 Best U.S. Cities to Live In.”

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Life Sciences / Health Care

TAMPA In September 2016, Moffitt Cancer Center received the National Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Cancer Center designation. One of only 48 such institutions in the U.S. and the only facility in Florida to be so designated, Moffitt has launched an $800-million, 10-year expansion program. Construction of a clinical support building is underway with completion slated for mid-2018. Also planned: a new hospital wing, two research buildings and additional outpatient facilities.

TAMPA Global biotechnology company Amgen has opened a 136,000-sq.ft. “capability center” near Tampa International Airport; 450 employees are anticipated by 2019. Amgen develops medicines at facilities in 100 countries to address health conditions for which treatment options are limited.

TAMPA Medical tech firm CareSync brought 150 jobs to its new 51,000-sq.ft. headquarters, opened in December 2016; 350 more jobs are expected by the end of 2017.

ST. PETERSBURG Intellitech relocated its headquarters from Maryland in September 2016. The manufacturer of machinery used in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries expects to create 15 jobs.

TAMPA Orthopedic device manufacturer Corin Group will expand its U.S. headquarters in Tampa with 100 administrative jobs and a capital investment of $500,000 by 2022.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg earned three top rankings on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals 2017-18” list: cardiology and heart surgery (No. 30); orthopedics (No. 40); and neurology and neurosurgery (No. 43).

TAMPA For the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2017-18” has ranked Tampa General Hospital among the nation’s top 50 for cardiology and heart surgery. Five other TGH specialties cited include diabetes and endocrinology, nephrology and pulmonology.

CLEARWATER Aimmune Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on treatments for life-threatening food allergies, moved into its newly completed manufacturing facility in June 2017. Aimmune produces an investigational biologic oral immunotherapy for desensitization of patients with peanut allergy, which is currently in phase 3 clinical trials.

TAMPA DAS Health will add up to 30 positions in 2018 at its Tampa headquarters. The health IT and management firm, serving more than 1,500 clinicians and 5,000 users, doubled its size in 2016 with the acquisition of ConXit Technology Group and three other companies.

Key Players

BayCare Health System | Clearwater
Bristol-Myers Squibb | Tampa
Johnson & Johnson | Tampa
Moffitt Cancer Center | Tampa
Wellcare Health Plans | Tampa

With an eye toward moving its medical school from north Tampa to a new building downtown, University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation is shifting focus to better accommodate students and provide more opportunities for hands-on experience using patient simulators and high-tech medical devices.

Tampa Bay

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (continued)

Manufacturing

RIVERVIEW Metrohm USA, a subsidiary of a Swiss precision instruments manufacturer, broke ground in early 2017 on a 90,000-sq.-ft. North American headquarters in south Hillsborough County. Anticipated completion: early 2018.

LUTZ Mettler Toledo, an international supplier of precision scales and instruments for laboratory, food retailing and other industrial uses, has relocated its Safeline product inspection division and 320 employees to a new $30-million, 250,000-sq.ft. manufacturing plant in Pasco County; 185 additional jobs are anticipated.

TAMPA Aero Simulation, a manufacturer of flight simulators for military and commercial aircraft, has relocated within Hillsborough County to a 60,000-sq.-ft. facility north of the Florida State Fairgrounds; 40 jobs are expected.

TAMPA Locally based NewSouth Window Solutions broke ground in April 2017 on a 234,500-sq.-ft. structure to accommodate its corporate offices, three manufacturing facilities and a retail factory showroom. Anticipated opening date: January 2018.

PASCO COUNTY Superior Precast, a manufacturer of precast concrete products for road construction and a supplier to the Florida Department of Transportation, is opening a manufacturing facility in 62,777 square feet of industrial space at the Dade City Business Center; 100 administrative and manufacturing jobs are expected.

Key Players

Jabil | St. Petersburg
PGT Industries | Venice
Sun Hydraulics | Sarasota
Tropicana Products | Bradenton

 

Logistics/Transportation

TAMPA Quality Distribution Inc. (QDI) has relocated its headquarters and 250 employees to a 45,000-sq.-ft. space in Tampa’s Channel district. A global supplier of liquid bulk transportation, logistics and depot services, QDI works with many Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical and PPG Industries.

DAVENPORT A 2.2-million-sq.-ft. Walmart distribution center built to support the retailer’s e-commerce operations in eastern Polk County is fully operational and continuing to generate jobs. The facility currently employs close to 600,
and Walmart plans to hire up to 1,000 more over the next year.

RIVERVIEW BlueGrace Logistics, which has created nearly 300 jobs at its south Hillsborough County headquarters since 2015, plans to create another 300 jobs over the next few years. BlueGrace is a provider of customized transportation management solutions with more than 60 U.S. locations.

ST. PETERSBURG Hashtag Fulfillment has leased an 80,000-sq.-ft. fulfillment center and plans to add 50 employees in 2017 to its current staff of 100. Launched in 2014, Hashtag offers direct-to-consumer third party logistics and reverse logistics services for e-commerce businesses.

TAMPA Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is building a distribution center and thrift store on a 22-acre parcel of land near the intersection of U.S. 301 and the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway. The facility is expected to open in November 2017 and create up to 70 jobs.

Key Players

Amazon | Ruskin, Lakeland
Blue Grace Logistics | Riverview
O’Reilly Auto Parts | Lakeland
PLS Logistics Services | Tampa

At 5,000 acres, Port Tampa Bay has the largest footprint of Florida’s 14 ports. In 2016, it handled 37.5 million tons of cargo — one-third of all cargo moving in and out of Florida — and 813,800 cruise ship passengers. New developments include: a 134,000-sq.-ft. cold storage warehouse; the first cruises from Tampa to Havana in 50 years; and a master plan to add deeper channels, an expanded auto import terminal and a petroleum storage center.

Tampa Bay

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY (continued)

Corporate Headquarters

TAMPA North American Roofing Services is relocating from Asheville, N.C., with plans to create 180 management, finance, HR and IT jobs.

TAMPA The Cott Corp. is expanding with 60 jobs and an $800,000 capital investment. One of the world’s largest beverage distributors, Cott has operations in 20 countries.

SARASOTA FloorForce, a digital agency for flooring manufacturers and retailers, is relocating to Sarasota with plans to create 72 positions over five years.

SARASOTA ITelegen, a leading provider of health care IT support, system administration and professional services, is relocating from New Jersey;
20 jobs are expected.

Key Players

Bloomin’ Brands | Tampa
Publix Super Markets | Lakeland
Sykes Enterprises | Tampa
Tech Data | St. Petersburg

 

Business/Financial Services

TAMPA McManis & Monsalve Associates, a veteran-owned, HUBZone management consulting firm with an emphasis on risk assessment and mitigation, has expanded to Tampa, along with its precision machining subsidiary Monsalve Tool & Design; 12 jobs are expected.

TAMPA Professional services firm BlueLine Associates, which already has offices in Tampa, is moving its global headquarters from Cary, N.C., and creating 150 jobs in its financial, legal and HR groups.

TAMPA Lukos, a veteran-owned provider of professional services to the federal government, has expanded its Hillsborough County headquarters with 10 project management and financial analysis positions.

TAMPA Chicago-based Fay Servicing, a specialist in managing distressed and at-risk residential loans, has selected Tampa as the site of its southeastern regional headquarters; 100 jobs are anticipated.

SARASOTA Cocoa, Fla.-based Single Stream Recyclers is expanding to Sarasota with plans to hire 40 in 2017 and another 40 in 2018. The firm sorts, bales and ships recyclables collected from residential and business sites.

TAMPA Global talent acquisition services provider Velocity Resource Group has relocated its corporate headquarters from Illinois, creating 50 jobs. Currently leasing space in downtown, the firm plans a move to larger quarters by the end of 2017. 20 jobs are expected.

Key Players

Citigroup | Tampa
JPMorgan Chase | Tampa
Northern Trust | Tampa
Raymond James Financial | St. Petersburg

 

Technology/R&D

LARGO Vology, one of the nation’s largest managed IT services providers, added 80 workers in 2016 and plans to add 200 more over the next 2-4 years. The company currently employs 310 in Pinellas County.

TAMPA ReliaQuest, a provider of cybersecurity solutions, has expanded operations for the second time since 2015. The firm is creating 150 jobs and has moved its headquarters to downtown Tampa to accommodate rapid growth.

TAMPA Iron Bow Technologies, a leading IT solutions provider for government, health care and commercial clients, has opened a Tampa Bay contact center and created 170 jobs.

TAMPA Global technology and software development company Vendita plans to relocate from Ohio and create 15 jobs by 2019, adding to its current staff of 14.

Key Players

Nielsen Media Research | Oldsmar
ReliaQuest | Tampa
Vology | Largo

Tampa Bay

LIFE & LEISURE

Beaches to brag about
To boast that Tampa Bay has some of the best beaches anywhere is verifiable fact. Siesta Beach, south of Sarasota, is ranked No. 1 on TripAdvisor’s “2017 Top 25 Beaches, U.S.,” and close on its heels are St. Pete Beach at No. 3 and Clearwater Beach at No. 4. And by the way, Siesta Beach is both No. 5 on TripAdvisor’s “2017 Top 25 World Beaches” (the only U.S. beach to make that list) and No. 1 on Stephen Leatherman’s (aka “Dr. Beach”) list of America’s 10 best beaches, which also includes Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin/Clearwater at No. 7.

Another “lazy” aftenoon along Clearwater Beach

Military might
The location of MacDill Air Force Base at the tip of a largely residential peninsula jutting out into Hillsborough Bay makes it easy to forget that this is a military town, and a mighty influential one at that. MacDill hosts the U.S. Central Command, responsible for security in 25 nations; the U.S. Special Operations Command, charged with overseeing the global war on terrorism; and the 6th Air Military Wing, which refuels military aircraft worldwide; not to mention almost 19,000 military and civilian personnel. Its economic impact on the region comes to nearly $5 billion annually.

Batter up!
The city of North Port in south Sarasota County is close to finalizing a deal to bring Atlanta Braves spring training baseball to a 70-acre site near the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota campus. Groundbreaking for the $75- to $80-million complex that will include an 8,000-seat stadium, practice facilities and public multi-use fields is expected in fall 2017 with completion to follow by February 2019.

Presenting: Water Street Tampa
The $3-billion, mixed-use redevelopment project planned for downtown Tampa’s Channel District — Water Street Tampa – will encompass more than 9 million square feet of new development on 50 contiguous acres, including 3,500 residential units, more than 800 hotel rooms and the University of South Florida’s Morsani School of Medicine. Phase 1, consisting of concurrent vertical construction on 18 buildings spanning 10 city blocks, will begin in early 2018 and is scheduled for completion by 2021.

A+ educational choices
Tampa Bay is home to 20 colleges and universities, the largest of which is the University of South Florida, serving more than 49,000 students across campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. Here, too, is Florida’s newest regionally accredited university, Florida Polytechnic, and Florida Southern College with the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture; both are in Lakeland. High schools in this region are worth bragging about too: four earned gold medals in U.S. News & World Report’s “2017 Best High Schools” rankings, including Pine View School in Osprey, which at No. 13, was ranked the highest of all Florida high schools.

Welcome home
Located midway between Tampa and Orlando, location is today Polk County’s greatest asset. The county has become a distribution hub with an integrated logistics center and warehouse space for tenants like Amazon and Walmart. And with 500+ lakes, Detroit Tiger baseball each spring and attractions like Legoland Florida and the annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In Expo, it’s a pretty great place to live.

Lake Mirror in downtown Lakeland in Polk County