October 2, 2023

2020 Economic Outlook

Southwest Florida - Red tide, higher ed, transportation

Art Levy | 12/26/2019



  • Nuco Citrus has plans to purchase 193 acres in east DeSoto County, where it will process pectin from citrus peels and other leftovers from the juice-making process.


  • The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, under construction in downtown St. Petersburg, had been scheduled to open last December, but museum officials now say the $90-million, 137,000-sq.-ft. facility won’t be ready until later this year. The museum will have 20,000 objects, including furniture, pottery, glass, tiles and arts and crafts lighting.
  • Charlotte County will host the 2020 USA BMX Sunshine State Nationals in October. The three-day event is expected to attract more than 600 riders.
  • During fiscal year 2018-19, 841,424 people visited the Florida Aquarium, 5% above the year before, and the highest since 1995, the aquarium’s opening year.


  • Tampa-based Oracle Elevator, which Jeff Vinik has a stake in, has purchased Miami-based Duncan Entrance Systems, which makes automated doors. Terms were not released.
  • The Naples Yacht Club, the oldest private club in Naples, has spent $10 million to renovate and expand its clubhouse.


  • Amid concerns over low salaries and few health and other benefits, adjunct faculty at St. Petersburg College have voted to unionize. The college employs 865 adjunct teachers.
  • To augment its STEM-focused curriculum, Florida Polytechnic University has created an applied liberal studies certificate to make sure students graduate with what the university calls the “soft skills” such as communication and social skills.


  • St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial is considering building a campus in Pasco County, where it filed a site plan that includes five office buildings on a 65-acre site near the Shops at Wiregrass mall.
  • The BRP Group, a Tampa-based insurance distribution firm, has become a public company.


  • The Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, located in Fort Myers, and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg have agreed to give providers at both hospitals privileges to admit and treat patients at either hospital. “Location should never be a barrier to finding the best health care for your child, and this relationship not only helps to expand care for young patients across the west coast of Florida, but also builds upon the pediatric research underway to find cures for childhood diseases,” says Thomas D. Kmetz, All Children’s president.
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has created a training program to help law enforcement officers understand and better respond to emergencies involving people on the autism spectrum. The program is being funded by a $95,000 grant from the Cigna Foundation.
  • Tampa General Hospital has opened a 10,000-sq.-ft. diagnostic center in the rural Hillsborough County community of Wimauma. The center has an urgent care clinic, a primary care practice, diagnostic imaging facilities and a laboratory.
  • Moffitt Cancer Center is partnering with the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Pinellas County and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa to expand its clinical research to include veterans being treated at either of the Tampa Bay-area VA hospitals.


  • The Tampa Bay Wave’s 20th cohort includes nine early-stage tech companies, including Medzoomer, an on-demand prescription delivery service, and SoleVenture, which provides back-office support infrastructure for small businesses.
  • Meanwhile, seven Tampa Bay startups have been selected to be part of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center’s 2019 Accelerator cohort. Those companies include Bulk Nano, a composites and materials maker, and GIVVN, which uses artificial intelligence to help non-profits solicit donations.


  • The Cross-Bay Ferry has resumed service between the Tampa Convention Center and the St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Yacht Basin. The ferry is adding trips to accommodate Pinellas County residents wanting to take the ferry to attend Tampa Bay Lightning games.
  • Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has a new cell phone parking lot, allowing motorists to park free as they wait to pick up arriving passengers.


  • A 40-story apartment building, to be called Seasons Apartments, has been proposed for a parcel near downtown Tampa. The tower would have 487 apartments. Meanwhile, a 27-story apartment tower, which would have 54 units, has been proposed nearby.
  • A proposal to build 90 homes on a 20-acre driving range site in Spring Hill was nixed after the Hernando County Commission refused to zone the land from recreation to residential.


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Tags: Southwest, Economic Outlook, Feature

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