North Port, Florida – January 31, 2013 – The City of North Port’s Economic Development Division today announced an update to its Economic Development Strategic Plan, outlining clear goals to guide the city’s economic development activities over the next five years. The new plan will serve as a foundation for annual economic development planning, budgeting and implementation following last year’s successful campaign to attract new businesses with an impact fee moratorium and other business-friendly initiatives.
“North Port continues to come of age as a major city in the region,” said Allan Lane, North Port’s Economic Development Manager. “We’ve accomplished a great deal since the release of the City’s first Economic Development Strategic Plan in 2007, and now we’re moving forward with clear, measurable, achievable goals for the next five years.”
The updated Strategic Plan sets the following 5 priorities:
1. Nurture the growth and expansion of existing businesses.
2. Develop choice sites and buildings to attract new businesses.
3. Continue to invest in the development of the City’s infrastructure, including:
- Voter approval of a $46 million Road Rehabilitation Bond Referendum that will allow 266 miles of roads to be upgraded in the next 3 years.
- Completion of a reverse Osmosis water treatment system, creating year-round reliability even during drought.
- Development of a Canal and Creek Master Plan that includes building canoe and kayak launches for public use.
4. Develop the City’s workforce with the skills and talents needed for future employment by collaborating with the region’s workforce service providers.
5. Improve and enhance the City’s quality of life by creating dining, shopping, cultural, leisure and aesthetic amenities.
While it is too soon to assess the full effect of the past fiscal year’s Impact Fee Moratorium, early indicators show that for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, the City experienced:
· 75% increase in the value of new home construction
· 162 housing permits issued, a 78% increase from the previous year
· 9% increase in commercial and miscellaneous construction permits
· 1,008 business licenses issued compared with 888 the previous year
The City has enjoyed remarkable achievements in the past few years, including:
· CNN Money rated North Port one of the country’s “Best Places to Live.”
· Established a proactive business environment.
· Established an Economic Development Incentive Fund.
· Suspended or reduced impact fees on new development for two years.
· Benderson Development opened Cocoplum Village Shops, one of the largest power strip centers between Tampa and Ft. Myers, with more than 30 major national retailers bringing quality shopping and restaurants to North Port.
· Since 2009, when Sarasota Memorial Hospital opened a state-of-the-art ER facility in North Port, more than 100 healthcare professionals in a variety of medical specialties have opened offices in the City.
· From 2008 through 2011, attracted 10 companies that brought in capital investment of nearly $70 Million, creating nearly 500 jobs. Businesses lured to North Port include:
o Adams Group, a commercial cabinet manufacturer
o Innomag Solutions, a leading manufacturer of lined piping, fittings and custom spool accessories
o Mid-America Cine Support (MACSI), a premier provider of equipment rental and logistics services to the film industry
o Stenten’s Golf Cart Accessories, a worldwide distributor of golf cart accessories
About the City of North Port
The City of North Port is located in Sarasota County between Tampa and Fort Myers. As part of the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota Metropolitan Statistical Area, North Port boasts more than 58,000 residents with a median age of 40. The City spans an estimated 104 square miles and is only 20 percent built out. North Port is known for its unique natural environment and its youthful population. For more information about the City’s Economic Development efforts, call 941-429-7003.
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