Make us your home page

Manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway moving headquarters to Tampa

Chalk up a win in Tampa Bay's ongoing campaign to lure higher-paying manufacturing jobs.

Heat Pipe Technology, a maker of dehumidifier heat pipes, said Thursday that it is moving its headquarters and an expanded manufacturing and testing facility from Gainesville to Tampa.

The company, which goes by the name HPT, plans to initially relocate 15 employees and hire up to 15 more upon arrival. Within five years, it envisions growing to about 100 employees here.

"We're thrilled," said Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. "This has all the ingredients of the type of high-wage and advanced technology jobs we're trying to bring to Tampa Bay: It's a headquarters operation; it has research and development; it has advanced manufacturing."

Plus, he said, the firm has "blue chip" lineage. HPT is a division of MiTek, part of Warren Buffett's massive Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.

There's one more incentive for Homans' enthusiasm: This time, it didn't take a local-state tax incentive package to lure a headquarters to the bay area. Economic development officials working with the Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance and Hillsborough Community College will help the company fill positions, but no tax dollars are involved.

Rather, HPT was attracted here by access to a larger labor pool, proximity to the port and airport, and ample room to grow, said MiTek spokesman Gregg Renner.

Heat Pipe Technology was founded in 1983 with a grant from the Department of Energy to research new uses for heat pipe technology. By applying heat transfer principles to air conditioning systems, researchers increased the removal of moisture up to 50 percent in a big boost to efficiency.

Today, its products are sold worldwide to control air quality and reduce energy costs in buildings for schools, hotels and laboratories. The company's roster of clients has included Walt Disney World, Kennedy Space Center, major hotels, the U.S. military, and numerous universities and schools.

HPT currently operates a 30,000-square-foot production facility in Gainesville's Airport Industrial Park. The new facility will be about 42,000 square feet and allow for manufacturing "retrofit projects," a niche where the company has been growing the fastest.

Renner said the jobs pay higher than median wages but would not reveal specific salary ranges. The company has identified an existing facility near Interstate 4 and Interstate 75, but was not more specific on the location. The relocation is expected to be completed in November.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at (727) 893-8242 or

Manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway moving headquarters to Tampa 09/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 27, 2012 6:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.