Make us your home page
Instagram

California company wants to build port cargo distribution hub in Hillsborough County

A California company wants to build a distribution hub for products shipped into Tampa's port on nearly 400 acres of farmland in southwest Hillsborough County.

Inland Port Systems is betting on port projections that its container cargo traffic will grow rapidly over the next two decades. A complex of warehouses, office buildings, and truck and rail docks will provide a place to reassemble shipments and send them off to the final destination.

"The key is to find a piece of ground that's not tied up in urban sprawl," said Richard DeMariano, Inland Port's vice president and a former port director in Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville. "It's the equivalent of waiter stations in a restaurant to cut down on collisions."

Construction of the project with 2.6 million square feet of warehouse and office space will take about 10 years and cost at least $250 million, said president Dick Ellison. About 1,800 people could work there when the facility is built out.

But the company faces two to three years of work with government officials before turning the first shovel of dirt. Inland Port must persuade Hillsborough commissioners to amend the county's comprehensive plan, which restricts busy industrial businesses to urban areas. If successful, the company would need a rezoning from its agricultural designation.

The county has already heard from residents worried about damage to environmentally sensitive lands and increased truck traffic, said Krista Kelly of the planning commission staff.

Giving companies a hub near rail lines and interstate highways — and far from urban sprawl — is the whole point, says Ellison. He expects to attract three types of tenants: retail distribution centers, light assembly plants and delivery services like UPS.

The site is just north of the Manatee County line, near Port Manatee. But the focus is on Tampa's port, which is investing heavily to expand its container cargo terminal. A master plan last year projected the port's fledging container business would increase sevenfold by 2012 and average annual growth of 15 percent through 2027.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

California company wants to build port cargo distribution hub in Hillsborough County 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 8:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Starbucks to close all Teavana locations, including five in Tampa Bay

    Retail

    Local Teavana locations include Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa, Brandon and Clearwater.

    Starbucks announced Thursday plans to shut down all 379 Teavana stores, citing "underperformance." Starbucks acquired the mall-based tea chain for $620 million in 2012. [ CANDICE CHOI | AP file photo]
  2. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options

    Business

    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]
  4. Founder of Tampa home sharing platform questions Airbnb, NAACP partnership

    Business

    TAMPA — A Tampa rival to Airbnb, which was launched because of discrimination complaints on the dominant home sharing platform, has concerns about the new partnership between Airbnb and NAACP announced this week.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  5. Appointments at Port Tampa Bay and Tampa General Medical Group highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Government

    Port Tampa Bay announced that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. Sowell, a former member of the U.S.Marine Corps, will support internal, external and special projects, assist the executive team with management oversight and serve as a liaison on a variety of port …

    Port Tampa Bay announced this week that Jamal Sowell has been named director of special projects. [Handout photo]