February 23, 2024

Economic Yearbook 2007

TREASURE COAST: Not Homebound

Biotech moves forward.

Mike Vogel | 4/1/2007

Multifaceted

Regional Trends

COLLEGE CONNECTION: Look at groundbreaking changes in the Treasure Coast and it doesn't seem to be long before you run across Indian River Community College President Edwin Massey or Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan. On Massey's campus: FSU's new medical campus and a high-tech training center. At Brogan's facilities: The temporary headquarters of a biotech relocation and a new lab school for elementary students. Brogan, the ex-lieutenant governor, is the relative newcomer. Massey has been IRCC's president since 1988.

HOMES: Home building is suffering while investors try to unload their bubble buys. "I think the theme of 2007 is going to be inventory correction," says Brad Hunter of research firm Metrostudy. Construction workers are switching to commercial building, says Gwenda L. Thompson, CEO of the Workforce Development Board of the Treasure
Coast.

CITRUS: In the citrus belt, after hurricane-devastated seasons, the elements have combined for a return to 19 million boxes and an extraordinarily tasty grapefruit even by Indian River standards. "A vintage crop," says Doug Bournique, executive vice president of the Indian River Citrus League.

BIOTECH: Biotech steps forward this year when Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies occupies temporary facilities at FAU at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. ... St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast in aggressively courting relocations. ... Martin commissioned a study on how to join the biotech wave, but commissioners rejected its conclusion that development restrictions need to be eased. Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce President Joe Catrambone hopes Torrey Pines and Scripps in Jupiter will still help: "They'll live in Martin County. We have a mailbox economy here."

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