Thursday, January 09 2020
Sponsored by Enterprise Florida
In Greater Gainesville, we see the power of the logistics industry and all the ways it interconnects the world. Our amenities give us a bird’s eye view of what works for companies depending on efficient logistics operations to serve their customers and keep costs down.
The Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce has commissioned a five-year economic and community development strategy—Collaborate 2025—to leverage these assets to spur growth in the distribution and trade cluster as well as the talent that fuels it.
Located midway between Atlanta and Miami and central to Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee, Greater Gainesville is emerging as a frontline for logistics expansion, whether it be an expanded supply chain or a first distribution center.
• A regional airport that includes:
+ An in-progress $16 million terminal expansion bringing 15,200 square feet and a revitalized TSA area.
Our five-year strategy will serve as a catalyst for growth for companies that have already located distribution centers here, including Walmart, Amazon, Dollar General, Nordstrom, Thermo Fisher, Sysco, Arranta Bio, Florida Food Service, and a cadre of smaller companies. In addition, our unique, successful homegrown companies like Exactech, Finchberry, Sinmat, Fracture and many more, begin the shipment process of their products here in Greater Gainesville.
The Alachua Commerce Center is a hub for much of the region’s distribution and trade activity, including Walmart’s 1.25-million-sqaure-foot distribution facility, Dollar General’s one-million-square-foot distribution center and Sysco’s 550,000-square-foot facility. The Commerce Center was created through strong, public-private relationships and partnerships centered on a common goal to expand Greater Gainesville's global footprint.
We also know that logistics isn’t just the forefront of the consumer experience, but also the working experience. Due to the number of high-paying jobs in the region’s distribution and trade industry—which grew by 28.4 percent from 2007 to 2017, vastly exceeding the nationwide growth rate of 1.4 percent—supply-chain and logistics have become a central part of the Greater Gainesville economic and community development strategy. The aptly named Collaborate 2025, a new, more holistic approach, is focused on “Creating a Stronger Region and Better Life, Together.”
Collaborate 2025 complements the strategic plans and initiatives already underway with our community partners—the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, our municipalities and county governments and our non-profits, to name just a few—to propel progress toward prosperity, success and upward mobility throughout our region.
Our talent is world-class and global in scale and focus. Across its 16 colleges, the University of Florida (recently named the country’s No. 7 public university by U.S. News & World Report) has focused the talent it is developing on answering questions of global concern. For example, recognizing the need for leadership-focused STEM talent to power emerging industries, the UF Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, which produces 28 percent of Florida’s engineering talent, is graduating engineers educated in ethics, communication, team building and project management.
Santa Fe College (named the No. 1 community college in the nation by the prestigious Aspen Institute in 2015) is located on 125 acres within a mile of I-75, and has established itself as a partner to business by making a science of rapid, industry-aligned talent development strategies.
In Greater Gainesville, we are dedicated to creating a thriving business environment while simultaneously implementing creative and forward-thinking ideas. The Chamber enjoys a working relationship with UF Innovate | The Hub as part of our economic development initiatives, as well as a long-standing strategic partnership with CareerSource North Central Florida to continuously address workforce needs in the region at the same pace at which they evolve. Partnerships such as these combined with low operation costs, a central location, and a culture of innovation make Gainesville an ideal place for any new logistics project.
Fast Growing Logistics Hub in Southwest Florida
The Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park is a 4300-acre, top-notch industrial park surrounding Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in Charlotte County, Florida. The park is well placed adjacent to Interstate 75, with two interchanges providing an outstanding opportunity for manufacturing and distribution companies looking to relocate or expand. Our Park offers easy access to major markets like Miami, Tampa and Orlando as well as international access though major ports located as close as 60 miles, and access to a workforce in excess of 500,000 within a 45-minute drive.
With hundreds of available acres, the Park offers lease or own options on tracts ranging in size from one acre to well over 100. The entire Park has a zoning overlay to encourage future development.
The Punta Gorda Airport, recently ranked as the third-fastest growing airport in the nation, offers three runways with the longest measuring 7,195’. New hangars and a general aviation center are in design as the Airport moved forward with its $50 million capital improvement plan, which will open new opportunities for businesses interested in runway minutes of I-75.
Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park
Add in great weather year-round and “Top 10 U.S.” rankings for golf, boating and fishing, you can see why more and more companies are landing here.
To explore the possibilities for your company, you can call Dave Gammon, director of Charlotte County’s Office of Economic Development, at 941.764.4942. Email: dave.gammon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.