Port Tampa Bay steps up efforts to attract new tenants, increase cargo traffic

July 8, 2015

Port Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest and most diversified seaport, has embarked on an ambitious campaign to recruit new tenants for 25 available commercial parcels and increase steel manufacturing and distribution activities at Port Redwing in southern Hillsborough County.
The port is also making a big play for container ships and other larger ships to boost its import and export cargo traffic, which grew dramatically in 2014. Last year, Port Tampa Bay reported a  17 percent increase in ships coming into the port, 22 percent more inbound container cargo, 45 percent more dry bulk products, such as phosphate, shipping out, and a whopping 200 percent more steel arriving at its docks.
IERT Gateway with Railcars 9-23-12 06In June, Port Tampa Bay executives shared details for a new deep water berth located near the 22nd Street Causeway in Tampa. The berth will be created by dredging an existing industrial finger to bring the water depth from 20 feet to 41 feet and provide additional acreage for port operations in the East Bay area.  The port will also build a steel bulkhead to accommodate the larger ships it is working hard to attract. The $18.6 million project is targeted for completion by mid-2016.
A grant from the Florida Department of Transportation is helping to pay for the East Bay project. Once completed, the new 20-acre property will be marketed for a variety of cargo and manufacturing activities.
Tampa’s steel business gains strength with new expansions
In January, Tampa Tank Inc. and Florida Structural Steel announced plans for its new steel fabrication facility at Port Redwing, which includes a 120,000 square-foot building and retrofit of an existing 40,000 square-foot building. Tampa Tank is creating 108 new manufacturing and headquarter office jobs in Port Redwing and Ybor City, respectively.
More recently, Kloeckner Metals Corp., a steel distributor that has outgrown the space it currently leases at Port Tampa Bay, agreed to a 25-year lease with the port for a new 144,000 square foot facility on 12 undeveloped acres in the Southbay area of Hillsborough County. As part of the deal, which is expected to generate $8 million in rent to the port in the first decade, Port Tampa Bay will build a warehouse, add a rail spur and utilities and make other site improvements for Kloeckner Metals.
“The stars are aligning on several fronts for the port,” said Raul Alfonso, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Port Tampa Bay. “These activities and the preparation of infrastructure are a natural result of our pursuit to expand across all of our lines of cargo business.”
Port Tampa Bay’s available land is ideal for all categories of cargo operations, including liquid and dry bulk, break-bulk and heavy lift projects, container and roll-on/roll-off operations.  Manufacturers and distributors alike can benefit from the port’s location and available real estate. Port Tampa Bay boasts more than 1,000 acres of industrially zoned land on deep water with close proximity to the I-4 Corridor, home to one of largest and fastest growing consumer markets in the southeast and the largest concentration of distribution centers in Florida.  Port Tampa Bay’s assets also include easy access to the Interstate highway system with connections to the CSX rail network and abundant electricity available at competitive rates.  Zoned for heavy industry, the Port’s properties fall within Foreign Trade Zone No. 79, which allows companies to reduce customs duties and other costs associated with qualified importing, exporting, manufacturing and distribution activities. Port Tampa Bay will also add two new post-Panamax container cranes in early 2016, augmenting its existing three cranes. Together with terminal operator Ports America, the port created a phased build-out plan to quadruple the size of its container terminal facilities.
Port Tampa Bay’s 25 available parcels for lease can be viewed here, and on this aerial map.  We encourage you to visit the Port Tampa Bay web site for more real estate opportunities and information.