August 11, 2022

Business Florida 2011 - The Regions

Tampa Bay - On the Move

Easy access and exceptional quality of life draw diversity of companies to vibrant Tampa Bay.

Janet Ware | 9/21/2010
Dale Chihuly’s art
St. Petersburg boasts the world’s first installation of Dale Chihuly’s art in a setting designed specifically for that purpose.

Vibrant downtowns and suburban office districts, superior educational and research facilities, and multiple airports and seaports providing ready access to the global economy make the eight-county Tampa Bay region an attractive choice for business relocation and expansion. The 14th largest consumer market in the country, Tampa Bay has a quality of life worth boasting about — miles of white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico; tree-lined blocks of single-family homes juxtaposed against ultra-modern, high- rise condos; acres of open space, inland lakes, golf courses and parks; professional football, baseball and hockey teams; and a rapidly expanding arts and culture scene that is snagging international attention.

Tampa Bay
Demographics for the Tampa Bay Region can be found at Business Florida's interactive map of Florida.
Regional Assets

• Clearwater Christian College
• Eckerd College
• Florida College
• Florida Southern College
• Hillsborough Community ? ? College
• New College of Florida
• Pasco-Hernando ? ? Community College
• Polk State College
• Ringling College of Art ? ? and Design
• Saint Leo University
• St. Petersburg College
• Southeastern University
• State College of Florida,
? ? Manatee-Sarasota
• University of South Florida
• University of Tampa
• Warner University
• Webber International University

• St. Petersburg-Clearwater
? ? International Airport
• Sarasota Bradenton ? ? International
? ? Airport
• Tampa International Airport

• Port Manatee
• Port of St. Petersburg
• Port of Tampa

This region is competitively priced, too. In the 2010 Competitive Alternatives study by KPMG LLP, Tampa edged out 22 other cities with populations exceeding 2 million for the title “least costly place to do business” based on 26 significant cost components such as labor, taxes, real estate and utilities. And a report on the state of Tampa Bay’s commercial real estate market by the firm CB Richard Ellis shows that more businesses signed leases in the second quarter of 2010 than broke them, with the majority of commercial activity focused on smaller retailers looking for spaces under 5,000 square feet, according to CBRE’s 2010 Florida Market Perspective.?

Urban arts renaissance

Along the Hillsborough River, Tampa’s Riverwalk meanders past waterfront parks, the main library, the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, the new Tampa Art Museum, the new Glazer Children’s Museum, Tampa Convention Center and the Tampa Bay History Center, as it makes its way to Channelside, home to trendy shops, restaurants and nightlife as well as Tampa’s busy cruise port, The Florida Aquarium and the historic American Victory Ship and Museum.

Along downtown streets in St. Petersburg, the arts are everywhere — in private galleries, the newly expanded Museum of Fine Arts, the renowned Salvador Dali Museum (an enlarged version of which is scheduled to open in a new downtown location in January 2011) and, most recently, “The Chihuly Collection,” the only permanent, museum-quality collection in the world of Dale Chihuly’s exquisite glass sculptures, displayed in a magnificent 10,000-square-foot setting designed by award-winning architect Albert Alfonso. Is it any wonder, then, that AmericanStyle magazine put St. Petersburg in the No. 1 position on its “Top 25 Mid-Size Cities for Art”?

Other cities in Florida’s Tampa Bay region lay claim to artistic fame. Sarasota, which is home to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art as well as the Ringling College of Art and Design and numerous private galleries and festivals featuring the work of local and regional artists, ranked No. 5 on AmericanStyle’s list of “Top 25 Small Cities for Art.” In Bradenton, the “Village of the Arts” is a funky collection of more than 35 galleries, studios, cafes and shops. And in Polk County, the world’s largest collection of buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on a single site can be seen on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

Life sciences on the move

Medical manufacturing is big business in the Tampa Bay region, where more than 320 companies whose primary business is medical devices or components employ upwards of 5,600 people with a total payroll of $274.8 million. Developments in this cluster include: MicroLumen Inc., manufacturer of medical tubing products, is building a 60,000-square-foot headquarters facility at the Brooker Creek Corporate Center in Oldsmar and plans to add six employees over the next year and another 40 within three years for a total of 100 employees by 2014.

 The University of Tampa
This region’s educational assets include the University of Tampa, ranked among the Southeast’s best business schools by The Princeton Review. [Photo: The University of Tampa]

In April 2010, Colorado-based Pico Tesla Magnetic Therapies LLC, which provides personalized electro-magnetic treatment regimens for various chronic diseases, opened a 4,000-square-foot office in Clearwater that will serve as the firm’s East Coast headquarters. The central Pinellas County location near St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport will enable Pico-Tesla to accelerate enrollment in ongoing clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes.

Oscor Inc., manufacturer of pacemaker components, will expand its operations in Palm Harbor by the end of 2010, adding 20,000 square feet and 70 new high-wage jobs to accommodate the company’s plans to conduct research for new medical devices, including a new line of interventional coronary and peripheral vascular diagnostic catheters.

Tags: Tampa Bay, Business Florida

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