Make us your home page

Ashley Furniture picks Centro Ybor for its U.S. e-commerce headquarters

TAMPA — Ybor City is well-known for its late-night entertainment. But in recent years it has started to move beyond that, attracting hotels and tech firms.

The latest — and most prominent — business to put down roots there is Ashley Furniture, which announced Thursday that its subsidiary, Ashcomm LLC, will build its e-commerce headquarters in the historic district.

"We find ourselves coming full circle for the next chapter of not just this project, but of Ybor City," Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a news conference.

Ashley, which has a distribution center in Brandon, considered locations in six states before settling on the Centro Ybor shopping center in Ybor City.

The 70,000-square-foot space in Centro Ybor will house more than 100 employees, some relocated and some newly hired. They'll fill executive, administrative, marketing, design and information technology positions. Some of the space that the company is leasing and renovating was occupied by the Muvico Centro Ybor 20 movie theater.

Thousands more Ashley employees will visit the Centro Ybor office for training and meetings — which means they'll also patronize other Ybor City businesses, said Ashley Furniture Industries founder and chairman Ron Wanek, who lives in St. Petersburg.

The launch of the new office was delayed for construction, but employees are expected to move in by the end of the year.

"This is a time of strong growth for Ashley Furniture, and we're proud to partner with the city of Tampa, Hillsborough County and the Ybor City business community to build our future in this exciting and historic location," said Ashley CEO Todd Wanek, who is the founder's son.

Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. CEO Rick Homans said Ashley Furniture's decision to settle in Ybor City is an endorsement of the area's potential as a business center.

"What this announcement delivers beyond the jobs and the capital investment, which we all love, is a very important message," Homans said. "It says we have the talent and we attract the talent to form a global e-commerce company."

The company will receive $320,000 in taxpayer incentives over the next four years. The city and county will provide $64,000 of that, and the rest — $256,000 — will come from the state.

Contact Emily McConville at [email protected] or (813) 226-3375. Follow @emcconville.

.Fast facts

Employment opportunity

People interested in working for Ashley Furniture in Ybor City are encouraged to apply at Click "Careers."

Ashley Furniture picks Centro Ybor for its U.S. e-commerce headquarters 05/21/15 [Last modified: Friday, May 22, 2015 10:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  4. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  5. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]