Make us your home page
Instagram

Pasco, private companies seek to grow industrial space

LUTZ — A company that successfully marketed industrial space built speculatively, with no clients lined up in advance, is urging others to do likewise in Pasco County.

"It may have seemed risky at one time," said Heidi A. Tuttle-Beisner of Trinity's Commercial Asset Partners. But the lesson learned is "spec buildings can work."

The project she was discussing was ComPark 75, owned by auto dealer magnate Larry Morgan. He announced the 130,000-square-foot building in 2013, broke ground on it in 2014, and Tuttle-Beisner had filled it with five tenants by the middle of last year.

More expansion is following. ComPark 75, located south of Wesley Chapel Boulevard near Interstate 75 in Lutz, will have an additional 57,000 square feet of space available by summer.

Tuttle-Beisner delivered her message to 110 people who gathered last week at the Residence Inn at NorthPointe Village for a Pasco Economic Development Council session dubbed "Meet the Developers: The Future of Real Estate." It brought brokers and leasing agents together to showcase some of the capital investment going on within the economic development circles of Pasco County and attracted people from Ocala, Orlando and Polk County.

Tuttle-Beisner said ComPark 75 has been successful because of its location near I-75 and a 35-minute drive to Tampa International Airport; access to a high-end labor pool in Wesley Chapel and central Pasco; aesthetically pleasing construction; the flexibility to offer light industrial, warehouse, manufacturing or office space; and Pasco County's business incentives.

One of the tenants, Ortho Technology Inc., which moved to ComPark from Hillsborough County, just inked an economic incentive contract with the county, making it eligible for $231,000 if it creates 77 new full-time jobs as planned. Ortho Technology manufactures and distributes orthodontic supplies and patient accessories to 65 countries.

There will be ample opportunity for others to follow ComPark's lead. The county is seeking applicants for low-interest loans to add infrastructure to potential industrial/office sites or to build shell buildings as spec space. The effort is financed with $15 million from the Penny for Pasco sales tax, and interested parties have until April 11 to apply.

Tuttle-Beisner encouraged others to participate because industrial companies are seeking to expand immediately after years of slow or no growth.

"All the companies we've been dealing with want space today," she said.

Trying to attract and retain high-wage jobs has become a long-term goal of Pasco County as it seeks to diversify its residential-heavy tax base, expand a local economy reliant on construction and service-sector jobs and shed its bedroom community label. The county exports nearly half of its workforce, or 84,714 people, to another county each work day, almost double the U.S. average of 27 percent.

Among the other highlights of the Pasco EDC gathering:

• Danielle Ruiz, Duke Energy's economic development manager, said a Louisiana company using GPS data identified four sites capable of being developed into industrial parks of at least 200 acres. One of the sites includes land in and around the city of Zephyrhills containing 64 acres formerly targeted by Sysco Food Services as a distribution center. The other sites include two in northeast Pasco and another in west Pasco.

Duke, through its site readiness program, has focused on the Zephyrhills land, which totals 414 developable acres owned by three entities — Sysco, the Linville family and 4 Rail LLC — as a possible site to attract firms involved in aerospace, light industry/assembly or plastics. The land is near Zephyrhills Municipal Airport and has access to State Road 54 and a rail line but requires a $1.7 million upgrade for sewage capacity.

Duke has done similar technical evaluations on 187 sites in six states that have attracted 20 projects, 4,200 jobs and $3.7 billion capital investment.

• On the residential side, new home buyers have closed on a dozen homes in the Starkey Ranch development, with houses averaging nearly $391,000 for 2,841 square feet, said Matt Call of developer Wheelock Communities.

• Metro Development's connected city corridor is progressing in Wesley Chapel and eastern Pasco County with its signature amenity, the first man-made Crystal Lagoon in the United States, and is expected to open at the end of this year or in early 2017, said Kartik Goyani, Metro's vice president of operations.

The connected city corridor, a state-approved pilot project for a local planning area, includes ultrafast Internet as one of its centerpieces. The 7,800-acre planning area is bordered by Interstate 75, Curley and Overpass roads and State Road 52 and includes Metro's Epperson, Meadow Ridge and Mirada developments. Those project are planned for nearly 7,000 homes, 292,000 square feet of commercial space and 230,000 square feet of offices.

The 6-acre lagoon will be incorporated among some of the non-residential development within the Epperson project, Goyani said, providing workers at the employment center access to the water amenity.

Pasco, private companies seek to grow industrial space 03/10/16 [Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2016 10:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. 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
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    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]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    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]