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Oldsmar boat shop relocates to Pasco

Cheaper land and lower taxes are drawing more businesses like Stainless Fabricators Inc. to the county.

By JAMES THORNER

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000


ODESSA -- A manufacturer of metal boat accessories has jumped ship from Pinellas County to Pasco County, moving its 42 employees to a new plant in Odessa.

Stainless Fabricators Inc. relocated June 12 to a new 25,000-square-foot metal shell building on Gunn Highway. The building sits between Fedco Systems Co. and D.I.G. Inc.

The company's relocation continues a trend of business slipping north of the Pasco border to take advantage of lower taxes and cheaper land.

Earlier this year, Florida Computerized Machinery announced it was leaving a plant on Race Track Road in Oldsmar for a new $9-million factory in Odessa's West Pasco Industrial Park.

"We were able to build for a better dollar in Pasco," said Keith Binney, Stainless Fabricator's president of 14 years. "It's a nicer area. It's growing. It's less expensive."

Binney founded the company in Largo in 1986 and shifted operations to Roberts Road in Oldsmar five years ago. Yearly sales have fluctuated between $3-million and $5-million.

If business trends continue, Binney expects to hire as many as 20 new employees at the new plant in Odessa.

The firm started with stainless steel and brass railings on boats. It has since branched into other products, including sheet metal snack kiosks for Universal Studios in Orlando and glass hand railings for shopping malls.

"Our main line is specialty metal work like stainless, brass and bronze," Binney said.

The soon-to-open Suncoast Parkway, the three-county toll road a couple miles east of Gunn Highway, also figured in Binney's decision to move to Pasco.

Binney wanted fast access to his clients near Sarasota and to his Gold's Gym franchise in Hernando County's Spring Hill community.

"With the Suncoast Parkway I can go either way fast," he said.

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