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 [email protected] Lisa Buie can be reached at [email protected]

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. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  2. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  3. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo


    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program


    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]