Talk of the Bay: Keep an eye on Puerto Rico's biotech push
By Times Staff
Published April 16, 2007
Keep an eye on Puerto Rico's biotech push
Florida's economic development team is so focused on competing with the likes of Texas and New York, they almost missed the Little Island That Could chugging up behind them. Over the past few years, Puerto Rico has embarked on making itself a "biotech island," a reference to medicine created by genetic modification. Eli Lilly and Amgen are recent billion-dollar successes. Florida's no laggard in the biotech race. It's landed such outfits as Scripps Research Institute in Palm Beach and Merck & Co. in Tampa. Puerto Rico's status as a tax haven has long attracted pharmaceutical plants.
I-75 paves the way in occupancy
Want a job? Go to Interstate 75. In the first three months of this year, businesses leased more than 500,000 square feet of offices, making the I-75 market tops in the Tampa Bay area. Some of that success came at the expense of Tampa's Westshore business district, including a 115,000-square-foot relocation by insurer Met Life. Ten buildings are under construction in the I-75 market, which stretches from about New Tampa to Riverview. Demand is brisk: Those incomplete offices are 77 percent leased or sold. The Colliers Arnold real estate firm provided the numbers.
Have $1-million? You're wanted
With so many millionaires in the Tampa Bay area, more brokers can afford to be choosey about their customers. Raymond James & Associates opens an office in the Northdale Executive Center II in Tampa today, but don't bother dropping by if you have less than $1-million to invest. Broker Greg Ghodsi and financial planner Ginger Snyder have teamed up to form the "360 Wealth Management Group" to focus on wealthy families, starting off with about 240 who followed Ghodsi from Robert W. Baird & Co. Ghodsi said they hope to raise the account minimum to $2-million, but they'll make exceptions for good friends and family members of current clients.
Soak up that sunshine, workers
We really are paid in sunshine. In an analysis of 17 professions, Salary.com found that wages in Tampa and St. Petersburg were slightly below the national average in every single category. For example, the average salary for a software engineer in St. Petersburg is $51,000, compared with $53,200 in Tampa and $54,700 nationally. The Web site is providing online data to complement Parade magazine's "What People Earn" issue, which was distributed in the St. Petersburg Times on Sunday - just in time to distract all the megaprocrastinators who should be finishing their taxes.
[Last modified April 13, 2007, 22:01:22]
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