Make us your home page

Raymond James financial plans to buy Pasco County land

Thanks in part to incentives, including a hefty chunk of state road money, Raymond James Financial said Wednesday it intends to buy property in Wesley Chapel that could be used for a major expansion.

"Raymond James has signed a letter of intent for the purchase of property in Wiregrass Ranch in Pasco County," company spokesman Steve Hollister said in a statement. "But we are in the process of conducting due diligence and cannot share details about our plans unless and until an agreement is executed."

The announcement comes as lawmakers unveiled a state budget that includes $4 million for two new roads at Wiregrass for "a business expansion expected to create capacity for 750 corporate services jobs."

Rep. Will Weatherford, who secured the money during last-minute negotiations with the Senate, confirmed it is part of an incentive package to lure the Raymond James expansion.

"We're trying to help close that deal," said Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel. "It would be a huge, huge step for Pasco County."

Wiregrass is one of two Pasco sites Raymond James is considering for a satellite campus that could be half the size of its sprawling 1 million square-foot headquarters in the Carillon Parkway complex in St. Petersburg. The company is also considering sites in Hillsborough.

The company previously said the current headquarters will reach capacity over the next few years. The firm considered building a fifth tower at Carillon but wanted a location less vulnerable to hurricanes to house operations such as the IT department. Hollister said Wednesday that potential uses for the new campus have not been determined.

J.D. Porter, whose family owns Wiregrass Ranch, would not comment Wednesday on the deal. "We've got a lot of deals going on all the time,'' he said. "At this point we're not at liberty to comment on anything."

John Walsh, vice president of the Pasco Economic Development Council, also said he could not comment directly on the deal. In general, he cautioned against getting too excited about the firm's announcement. "Letters of intent are signed all the time, and it all depends on whether the details can be worked out."

The firm's initial request for proposals says the campus could be 300,000 to 500,000 square feet.

In the latest St. Petersburg Times' rankings, Raymond James was the seventh-largest public company in Tampa Bay with $2.6 billion in annual revenue.

Before Raymond James confirmed it intends to buy land in Pasco, County Commissioner Ted Schrader said he thought the company would make a decision soon. "We feel confident that we're going to be competitive with the proposal we put together," he said.

Schrader said county officials were "working feverishly" to put together an incentive package that included the state road money. He declined to discuss other items in the offer until the firm makes a decision.

Landing Raymond James would be a major trophy for Pasco officials as they try to change the county's decades-old image as a bedroom community. In 2009, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price bought 94 acres off State Road 54 near Land O'Lakes for an office complex that could bring 1,600 jobs over the next decade. Construction on T. Rowe's first building must be finished by 2015.

Officials have promised $30 million in state and county incentives for T. Rowe if it brings enough jobs with a high enough average wage.

With a second major banking and investment firm choosing Pasco, the county could promote itself as a financial services hub.

"It really changes the game," Weatherford said.

If the deal at Wiregrass were to fall through, the $4 million in state road money would revert to a transportation fund and could be used for other economic development projects.

Lee Logan can be reached at Lisa Buie can be reached at

Raymond James financial plans to buy Pasco County land 05/04/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 8:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  2. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  3. Precinct Pizza to cover new neighborhood


    NEW TAMPA — In 2006, husband and wife, Rick and Jessica Drury opened up Precinct Pizza in Channelside.

    Precinct Pizza looks to gain greater popularity in New Tampa with its Bambino Bleu Cheese piazza. Photo courtesy of Precinct Pizza.
  4. Da Burger Joint's menu goes beyond 'da burger'


    OLDSMAR — After owning and operating restaurants in four different states, Danny Falcone recently opened his ninth restaurant in Oldsmar.

    The old-fashioned onion burger is a favorite at the Da Burger Joint in Oldsmar. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  5. Vegan kitchen comes to Downtown Tampa


    Charles Rumph and Tim Fedorko's first attempt at launching a vegan restaurant concept in Tampa "was a disaster."

    Farmacy Vegan Kitchen + Bakery serves wraps, acai bowls, smoothies and juices and plant-based baked goods like strawberry cupcakes. Photo courtesy of Charles Rumph.