> Florida West requesting development proposals for Pensacola Technology Park site says PEDC - Webgeak

Florida West requesting development proposals for Pensacola Technology Park site says PEDC

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Earlier this year, the Pensacola-Escambia Promotion and Development Commission, or PEDC, decided it might be hospitable a shift faraway from the park's original purpose of providing high-paying technology jobs after the land has sat vacant for quite a decade. Last week, FloridaWest issued requests for proposals on the way to develop the park, which is due in October.

The request is extremely broad, inviting developers to either stick with the first technology project requirements or come up with a totally new thanks to using the land. Developers could either purchase or lease the land at South Ninth Avenue and East Salamanca Street for love or money from office space and hotels to commercial and residential uses.

"We're very open. we would like to entertain all options at this point," said Scott Luth, CEO of FloridaWest. "We actually need to ascertain what's out there and what people are brooding about ."

After the Oct. 30 deadline, board members will examine proposals then take steps to barter with developers for any plan they'll like.

Back in 2012, the PEDC used a $2 million Economic Development Administration award to create infrastructure at the location.

The award came with a requirement that the technology park creates 370 net new jobs with a mean wage of $50,000, also like $20 million private sector investment. The EDA is now hospitable redefining the scope of the project, however, if it's a "clearly defined economic benefit to the community," consistent with the request. If not, the PEDC would need to come to a cost-sharing agreement with the EDA.

The project has had a variety of stops and starts beginning with being created with three specific companies in mind, two of which, AppRiver and Avalex, ended up located in Gulf Breeze.

Since then, an unnamed anchor tenant fell through after losing its government contracts. Space Florida was on hold while the park waited for an anchor tenant and therefore the University of West Florida dropped the park as a part of its Innovation Network Triumph Gulf Coast grant application.

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To recruit potential developers, FloridaWest is now marketing the property through Google, running a Wall Street Journal advertisement also as sending the knowledge bent a developers email list.

The request for proposals, which officials are calling an "invitation to negotiate" comes at a time when economists say the U.S is during a recession. Closures to curb the spread of the coronavirus prompted many non-essential businesses to shut in Florida during a safer-at-home order in April, putting many out of labour and creating a 12% percentage locally.

But board members believe it's an honest time to obtrude the request because the economy begins reopening and businesses are reexamining their health and safety practices.

"While overall the U.S. (economy) is slow, there are getting to be decisions made from what the new way of doing business is. Are you getting to have tons more people from home? Are you getting to need to reconfigure office space? Are you getting to want to separate your office space?" Luth asked. "All of these decisions are happening immediately to scale back company risk."

Clorissti Shoemo, PEDC vice chair, said during a news release that the timing of the request for proposals was intentional by the board. She also pointed to larger cities and regions, which were more suffering from the pandemic.

"Company executives are trying to find safe options for his or her employees to attenuate the risks we are seeing with larger cities and regions across the U.S., while at an equivalent time trying to satisfy customer demands," Shoemo said. "Pensacola offers an excellent business climate and a singular opportunity which will be coming just at the proper time for those looking to expand operations or to relocate."

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