Site Selection Magazine’s recently unveiled Top Metros of 2017 positions the Tampa Metro area as number one in the state of Florida, placing higher than the competing cities of Miami and Orlando, and number 20 in the nation. Tampa’s national ranking shows major growth for the region as the city jumped to this year’s 20th spot from 25th in 2016.
The rankings are based on Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database, which tracks the leading metro areas for corporate facility investment projects. In addition, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area ranked number four in the South Atlantic region based on total projects, with 49 new projects in 2017.
“Tampa’s position among Site Selection Magazine’s Top Metros Rankings proves that the region is a growing force not only within the state but in the national competition for attracting corporate investments,” said Craig J. Richard, CEcD, president and CEO of the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation. “Corporate decision-makers are looking for vibrant urban environments with abundant skilled talent, a great quality of life, low business taxes and an affordable cost of living – all key attributes of the Tampa Bay area.”
This new ranking adds to the growing list of accolades that the Tampa Bay area has earned, including ranking number one in the United States in Zillow’s list of most affordable markets for first time home buyers; 15th on the Milken Institute’s “Best-performing large cities” list for 2017; one of America’s top 10 boomtowns from SmartAsset.com; and landing among the top five U.S. markets for office investors by Ten-X Commercial.
A major inducement for attracting new corporate investments to Tampa is the Water Street Tampa project. The $3 billion redevelopment – a partnership between Strategic Property Partners, backed by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, and Cascade Investment, controlled by Microsoft founder Bill Gates – will transform 53 contiguous acres in the city’s downtown core. Once complete, the project will add over two million square feet of office space to the region, nearly double the amount that currently exists.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Tampa area also has the nation’s fourth-highest population gain in 2016, with over 58,000 new residents moving there due to the area’s affordability. The Tampa metro area claims the lowest housing costs among competing markets in the state of Florida and other major metro areas, according to the latest Cost of Living Index (COLI) report issued by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation (EDC). With a national average index of 100, Tampa’s 2017 housing index was 77.0 – 23 percent lower than the national average.
Tampa’s economy includes a thriving financial and professional services sector that has seen investments from Bristol-Myers Squibb, USAA, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and Citi, adding thousands of new jobs in the last three years. The city also has the highest job demand for STEM-related occupations in the state of Florida, and a healthy startup community that is drawing more entrepreneurs, investors, and young talent to this city than ever before.
“Companies continue to invest and grow in Tampa due to the exceptional talent found in the area, whether that is within STEM-related fields, financial services or the growing startup community,” said Richard. “That, combined with the stellar quality of life in the area, is making Tampa the top place to do business in the U.S.”
Link to the 2017 rankings can be found here.
About Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
The Tampa Hillsborough EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention, and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment in Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace. We focus on growing locally established companies as well as recruiting corporate operations in targeted industry sectors including Information Technology, Financial and Professional Services, Life Sciences, Defense and Security, Manufacturing, and Distribution and Logistics. The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation exists because of the generous support of over 120 investors from the local community.