Tampa economic development officials say they have 5 corporate HQ prospects

August 20, 2015

Margie Manning | Tampa Bay Business Journal
Five brand-name companies are potential candidates to relocate their corporate headquarters to Tampa or Hillsborough County.
The five projects are in various stages of activity, Rick Homans, CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., told the Hillsborough County Commission Wednesday morning.
The Tampa Hillsborough EDC last September launched a formal bid to win a corporate headquarters within the next three years. Corporate headquarters bring with them high-level, high-value jobs and philanthropic outreach, as well as higher community visibility, Homans said.
“To me, the most significant thing is we are beginning to show up on the radar for these kind of headquarters locations,” Homans told Tampa Bay Business Journal after his quarterly update to the county commission. “The word is getting out about Tampa and Hillsborough County and the Tampa Bay area. We’re seeing with greater frequency that companies are taking a look at our community, especially at this higher level of a corporate headquarters, which indicates a great deal of confidence in this market to produce talent.”
These kind of relocation decisions are almost always cloaked in secrecy, and Homans declined to give specifics, including whether any of the five companies in the EDC’s pipeline also are working with Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, who has said he is recruiting a corporate headquarters to his $1 billion project on land he owns between Amalie Arena and downtown Tampa.
Homans did say there are “an abundance of sites” each with its own character. “The waterfront district may be right for one, Westshore for another, Plant City right for yet another,” he said. That offers lots of opportunities for companies to create their own strong identity.
He also gave the county commission a progress report on EDC completed projects in fiscal year 2015, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. As of June 30, 16 companies had announced 1,512 new jobs and $76.3 million in capital investment. Another seven projects are in progress, with 665 jobs and $10.8 million in capital investment.