Monday, September 19 2016
Fort Lauderdale is the new home of speedy internet company Hotwire Communications.
Fort Lauderdale, FL -- Hotwire Communications announced Thursday it plans to create 375 jobs and retain 300 existing jobs in making the former BankAtlantic building its headquarters and dubbing it the "Hotwire Technology Center." The new jobs pay an average annual wage of $51,266.
"Our business growth has been here in Florida," said Kristin Johnson Karp, president and CEO of Hotwire Communications, which was based in Philadelphia with its South Florida office in Miramar.
Hotwire has more than 100,000 customers throughout the state, she said.
Karp said the company has already nearly reached its promised job count, with 100 new employees for a total work force count of 660.
Hotwire's fiber optics infrastructure is used for fast internet access, HD television, digital phone service and home security. The private company was founded by Karp and husband Michael in 2000 to provide cable to apartments owned by his real estate company.
Hotwire fiber optics already are in Broken Sound Club and Woodfield Country Club residential communities in Boca Raton and many condominiums in Miami, with plans to go into the new Paramount and Auberge Beach condominiums on Fort Lauderdale beach, said Mark Hansen, regional vice president for Hotwire.
In April, Hotwire purchased the 185,000-square-foot, former BankAtlantic building at 2100 W. Cypress Creek Road for $21 million, according to Stiles Realty in Fort Lauderdale. The telecommunications provider is making a $27 million investment in the site, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, which worked with Hotwire on the headquarters site.
The Cypress Creek west area, called "uptown downtown" by local officials, is home to major technology companies including Citrix Systems, Microsoft and BAE Aerospace.
Karp said the company also plans a co-working space in Hotwire's headquarters building for emerging entrepreneurs.
Michael Karp, chairman of Hotwire Communications, said the company considered many sites for the headquarters, including Georgia.
The company began its Broward operations with just five employees in 2005. Marty Mohr and Carl Lender, the first and second employees hired, respectively, said they were thrilled with the company's new headquarters. "It's mind-blowing to be in this facility," Lender said.
Bob Swindell, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, said that while Hotwire had a strong presence in Broward County, "you can never take headquarters operations for granted." The alliance worked with the city of Fort Lauderdale and the state to urge Hotwire to consolidate its operations and move its headquarters to Broward.
Hotwire was previously approved for a state and local incentives package of $1.9 million, contingent on confirmed job creation and investment. The Fort Lauderdale Commission approved its 20 percent share of $375,000 to the incentives package in January. The state's portion is $1.5 million, according to city documents.
Jobs currently listed on Hotwire's website include software developer, account manager, business development coordinator, billing specialist, and customer service positions. Interested job seekers can apply online at hotwirecommunications.com/careers.