Radio Shack to Tampa? Relocation buzz grows cold as business recommits to Fort Worth
Wake up and good morning. You might recall the buzz from last November when the Fortune 500 company Radio Shack of Fort Worth, Texas, was sniffing around a few other metro areas -- including Tampa -- and whispering about relocating its headquarters?
Tampa took those whispers seriously, to the point of commercial real estate folks here pitching certain properties to an "unknown" business. Tampa even dubbed the effort to sell the anonymous corporate shopper on the local merits of moving "Project Prince." Among other metro areas allegedly on the relocation short list? Albuquerque, NM, Raleigh, NC, and Nashville, Tenn.
Well, hopes of any corporate relocation by Radio Shack appear to be fading. Says the Fort Worth Business Press: "The tide looks to be turning for Radio Shack Corp. to retain its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth."
David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, told the Business Press that Fort Worth competed with five top-tier communities for Radio Shack’s headquarters including Irving, Texas, as well as Tampa, Albuquerque, Raleigh and Nashville. Here's the complete Business Press story.
What triggered Radio Shack's decision to stay right where it is? The company reportedly extended its lease (which expired in 2011) at its current Fort Worth location within The Tarrant County College District’s Trinity River campus, allowing the electronics retailer to remain in the space until June 30, 2016. Additional incentives to keep Radio Shack where it is are expected to be provided by local Texas governments.
After the November chatter about a possible corporate relocation to Tampa, the rumor mill remained mostly quiet. Florida's difficult recession may not have helped the state's ability to wave additional incentive funds of its own at Radio Shack. Still, it's good to know Tampa was actively in the mix. It can be a terribly difficult task to extract a major corporation from its home town.
-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist