Iconic investor Cathie Wood’s firm is leaving the Big Apple for St. Petersburg, the company announced Wednesday.
Ark Investment Management, the Wall Street asset management firm known for investing in innovative technologies will relocate to 200 Central Avenue on Nov. 1, according to a press release. The new corporate office will accommodate the hybrid-work model and remote workers, the company said.
The firm will also launch the Ark Innovation Center, a talent incubator that will be built and owned by Pinellas County and in partnership with the Tampa Bay Innovation Center. Located at 4th Street and 11th Avenue South, the center will offer support for Tampa Bay’s entrepreneurs and tech startups, and aims to attract top talent to the area. Construction will begin during the first quarter of next year with plans to open in July 2023.
The 2.5 acres of land was donated by the City of St. Petersburg, according to the firm. Ark expects the 45,000-square-foot center will bring in $28 million in economic impact and approximately 1,265 jobs to the county by 2026.
“Our relocation and the Ark Innovation Center will allow us to be more innovative and to impact the broader community while shining a spotlight on the technological advances and creativity permeating the Tampa Bay region,” Jana Haines, Ark’s chief strategy officer said in a statement.
The company was attracted to Tampa Bay because of its growing technology scene, Haines said.
Ark is one of the biggest investors and influencers in the technology community by reputation, said Lakshmi Shenoy, the chief executive of Embarc Collective, a Tampa Bay nonprofit working with local startups.
Wood founded Ark in 2014 to support disruptive technologies, according to its website. Ark has invested in gene-editing, robotics, artificial intelligence, energy storage and blockchain technology. The firm manages more than $78 billion in assets, according to its most recent federal filings. Wood is also one of the leading voices for Tesla investors, but caused a stir on Wall Street last week when her exchange-traded-fund sold off nearly $270 million worth of stakes of the Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company, according to Bloomberg.
Having the firm come to St. Petersburg is a testament to Tampa Bay’s blossoming tech scene and where it’s heading, Shenoy said. Many startups and local tech companies could benefit from having close proximity to the firm, she said.
”It’s an exciting moment to be recognized as a great place to relocate a business, especially from a hub like New York City,” Shenoy said, “It’s sign of more growth to come.”
The move is a big moment for the Tampa Bay area and the state, Florida Secretary of Commerce and head of Enterprise Florida Jamal Sowell said in a statement.
“Their investment in the St. Petersburg area will have profound economic impacts in the years to come and will continue to set Florida apart as one of the top innovation destinations in the country,” Sowell said.
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Ark’s New York office will permanently close Oct. 31.