BROOKSVILLE — A Tampa company that machines parts for the aerospace industry has broken ground on a new headquarters at the Hernando County Airport Corporate Park.
Intrepid Machine Inc. will move from its 9,000-square-foot facility on Race Track Road in Tampa when its 15,000-square-foot building is completed at 2305 Circuit Way. The Hernando facility, being built by Proud Pelican Construction, is expected to be operational by November.
"We're excited,'' said Hernando County business development director Mike McHugh. "It's a good, clean, high-tech manufacturing company. We're certainly still seeing this segment doing well.''
The 13-year-old business makes precision-machined aerospace components such as hydraulics, and fuel and air systems for helicopters and airplanes.
The company is owned by Paul DeSilvio, Tim Tabor and Robert Belle and has 20 full-time workers, many of whom live in Hernando County. DeSilvio lives in the area and said Wednesday that he is looking forward to a shorter commute.
DeSilvio said the business began searching for land around State Road 54 in Pasco County but prices were "outrageous.'' A neighbor told him about the industrial parks at the Hernando County Airport and he decided to check it out.
"They had land to lease, and that made it very attractive,'' he said. "We got involved with Proud Pelican and we decided that they could build us a facility to our specifications.''
The lease-to-buy clause was also attractive because the business could keep its focus where it needs to be, DeSilvio said
"It was the best way to go for us,'' he said. "We're in the business of machining parts, not real estate.''
He also said the deal also is good because the facility has been designed to easily expand.
Although the business decided to relocate to Hernando on its own, it is the same type of manufacturing operation that another machining business in the area is trying to lure to Hernando.
As part of that effort, McHugh's office has been working with the school district to create a machining program at Nature Coast Technical High School.
"They should be able to find some extremely good workers as they continue growing,'' McHugh said.
This is the fifth or sixth similar type of business operating in the county, he said.
McHugh said that Intrepid is typical of the kinds of businesses that have come to the airport — businesses seeking to expand, but looking for an economical way to do it.
He also said the firm is demonstrating a fairly new trend.
While many industrial and manufacturing facilities have in the past located their facilities based on where there are other businesses, now some are seeking locations where the work force exists.
"That's the really interesting dynamic going on now,'' McHugh said. "It is related to commuting and the cost of it.''
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1434.