tampabay.com

Jabil land earmarked for new HQ

The electronics company plans to relocate its nerve center to a 94-acre site in St. Petersburg it purchased years ago.

By JAMES THORNER
Published November 18, 2006


With little fanfare a few years ago, Jabil Circuit Inc. paid $13.4-million for 94 acres on the northwest corner of Interstate 275 and Gandy Boulevard.

Now we know why: The global electronics component company plans to build a 2-million-square-foot headquarters on the vacant land.

Jabil recently submitted site plans for the project with the city of St. Petersburg. Bureaucratic hurdles aside, city officials are salivating at the prospect of the $10-billion company upping its stake in the area.

For now, Jabil's local operations, including its headquarters, are centered at Gateway Business Park, 10560 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.

"Jabil is the second-largest company in the Tampa Bay area. Having them be successful in St. Petersburg and expand operations and solidify facilities is very important to the city. Extremely important," said David Goodwin, the city's economic development director.

The site is big enough to house offices and manufacturing in several buildings, Goodwin said. He assumes the project will rise in phases over several years.

It's unclear, though, what the company's physical expansion will mean for area employment.

For zoning purposes, the new Jabil site is part of developer Grady Pridgen's Gateway Centre Business Park Development of Regional Impact.

Just north of the Jabil parcel is Pridgen's La Entrada project, which includes a business park for such companies as Cox Target Media, which prints ValPak coupons, and medical equipment manufacturer Halkey-Roberts Inc.

Jabil will need the assistance of Pridgen, its landlord in the other industrial park, to amend the plans to accommodate the new headquarters.

Neither Jabil officials nor Pridgen could be reached for comment late Friday.

Jabil Circuit Inc. employs about 65,000 people in more than 45 facilities in 20 countries.

James Thorner can be reached at 813 226-3313 or thorner@sptimes.com.