Sunday, November 18, 2018
Business

2015 in Review: Economy continues to surge, with hundreds of new jobs anticipated

There is more to Pasco County's surging economy than shopping and home construction.

The opening of Tampa Premium Outlets on Oct. 29 grabbed center stage as the newest retail development, and high-end housing developments along the State Road 54/56 corridor began taking shape or marketing their homes. But, it was growth in other sectors that most excited industrial recruiters in 2015.

• Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel broke ground in August on a $78 million expansion and a 350-employee addition to the payroll while, next door, Florida Medical Clinic began construction on its three-story, 85,000-square-foot medical office building. It is expected to be home to approximately four dozen physicians and more than 150 medical employees.

• CareSync, which focuses on disease management, said in October that it will add 500 employees over the next 18 months after securing $18 million from private equity firms.

• TRU Simulation + Training announced it was expanding its flight simulator business to add 75 jobs in Lutz.

• Leggett & Platt added 124 new jobs to its adjustable bed frame manufacturing plant in northwest Pasco.

• Trinity Corporate Center announced land sales for a four-story office building to be leased to an e-cigarette manufacturer and an 80,000-square-foot facility for a medical device company.

In all, 14 companies announced plans for $118 million worth of capital investment, and 800 new jobs, during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, according to the Pasco Economic Development Council.

Mirroring the rest of the country, Pasco's jobless rate continued its downward trend, falling from 6.5 percent in January to 5.6 percent by the fall.

And, tourism set a record for sales tax collections in Pasco County in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The Florida Hospital Center Ice complex resumed construction in November after a delay of several months. A Holiday Inn Express opened in Trinity, and several more hotels are planned, including one in Lutz near the Suncoast Parkway and as many as five others in Wesley Chapel, Lutz and Land O'Lakes.

C.T. Bowen, Times staff

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