Veterinary Chain Expanding Tampa Headquarters
December 31, 2014
Yvette C. Hammett | Tampa Tribune
A specialty veterinary chain that started locally, then spread to 14 other states, is expanding its headquarters building on Busch Boulevard and plans to add 50 employees over the next three years.
Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, which operates specialty veterinary hospitals and clinics throughout the Tampa Bay area and elsewhere, will spend $1 million to add 4,800 square feet to its offices in 2015. Hillsborough County is expediting the permitting process for the expansion, but no other government incentives are involved.
“We moved into the building we are in now in March of 2014 and rapidly began running out of room,” so the time is right for expansion, said Blue Pearl CEO Darryl Shaw, who started the business with his brother, Neil Shaw in 1996.
This may not be the largest business expansion announced here recently, but it is an important one, said Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., which works to develop and sustain the local economy.
“This project shows that we are paying a lot more attention to our home-grown success stories,” Homans said. “And we are making sure that we nurture, protect, encourage and celebrate the companies that are right here in our community that have a national or global footprint. We are doing everything we can to help them grow.
“We always have to keep in the back of our minds that these companies have choices on where they can establish their operations,” Homans said. “We want all of them to be so happy here that they will never even consider an approach from another community.”
“We’re very excited to be adding more talented people and a brand new building at our headquarters,” Darryl Shaw said. “Tampa has always been our home and we are happy to be creating new jobs and opportunities with our support services team as we continue opening veterinary hospitals across the United States.”
Blue Pearl, which provides specialty and emergency medical care, grew rapidly after opening. The company employs 1,800 people and operates 40 veterinary hospitals. Shaw said the company expanded to Seattle and Tacoma this year.
Darryl Shaw was in the news just recently for purchasing, with development partner Ariel Quintela, the historic Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn property in Ybor City for $2.2 million. “I’m a strong believer in Ybor City and the history and the culture there,” Shaw said.
He and Quintela, in the New Year, plan to undertake an historic renovation of the 114-year-old Oliva Cigar Factory on 19th Street, converting it in to apartment buildings. The pair also plans to historically renovate the now-empty Blues Ship Cafe on Seventh Avenue with apartments upstairs and retail or restaurants downstairs.
Meanwhile, Shaw said, Blue Pearl is considering its options for even more expansion, nationwide, in 2015.
“There are stories like Blue Pearl throughout Tampa Bay and we need to do everything we can to encourage them to grow here,” Homans said. “Until you sit with Darryl Shaw and hear about their operations, that they plan to experience considerable growth in the years to come, I, quite frankly, didn’t realize how strong and large a company they are. That’s exciting.”