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Laser Spine Institute plans new headquarters in West Shore, will add 100 jobs

TAMPA — Since the Laser Spine Institute was founded in 2005, it has grown from nine employees to more than 800 workers across the country.

Now the Tampa company is ready to expand again here at home. The company said Wednesday that it plans to build a $56 million headquarters in the West Shore area while adding 100 jobs to its Tampa operation with average annual pay of about $80,000.

The new building will give the Laser Spine Institute about 176,000 square feet of space to expand its Tampa medical practice. The company also plans to add administrative space and staff locally to support a nationwide expansion of its medical offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland and St. Louis.

The company is growing so fast that it has set aside 35,000 square feet of space in its new headquarters in the Avion Park development to expand even further.

"At the growth rate we're going at," said chief executive officer Bill Horne. "I would imagine that in the first year, we'll be eating up all that space."

The Laser Spine Institute was founded by three doctors — Glenn Hamburg, Michael Perry and James St. Louis — and bills itself as a leader in "minimally invasive spine surgery" as an alternative to open back surgery.

It has surgical centers here and in Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Scottsdale, Ariz. The company said that since its founding in 2005, it has treated more than 45,000 patients for back and neck conditions such as bulging and herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves and other ailments.

Horne said his company employs 600 people in Tampa.

The company is still in its original location in the Rocky Point area in Tampa, now occupying floors in two buildings. But the lease is up next year, and it's time to bring the company's operations together, Horne said.

"It wasn't designed to be efficient and patient-friendly," he said of the old offices.

The Laser Spine Institute said it now performs about 10,000 spinal surgeries a year, about 4,500 of those in Tampa. This expansion will allow the company to treat 25 percent more patients locally.

Highwoods Properties Inc. will oversee construction of the facility, which is expected to start in the fall. The new building should be finished around the start of 2016.

"Laser Spine Institute has deep roots in Tampa, and as they grow, so does our reputation as a first-class destination for business," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn in a prepared statement. "Because of companies like Laser Spine Institute, we're driving our local economy to new heights, creating quality jobs in competitive industries."

Horne said the Laser Spine Institute has not asked for any incentives from local and state economic development agencies to help pay for its new building and expansion, but it has not ruled out seeking such help in the future.

Contact Jamal Thalji at thalji@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3404. Follow @jthalji.

Laser Spine Institute plans new headquarters in West Shore, will add 100 jobs 09/03/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 11:11pm]
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