By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2017 Issue
If you’re looking to relocate or expand your business, where would you like to be? How about paradise for work and play? How about a place with a low cost of doing business and a relaxed, tropical environment with plenty of room for expansion? If so, then Cape Coral, Florida is the place for you.
Why? It is seeing robust expansion across the board: in business and residential growth. Cape Coral—located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida—is the largest city between Tampa and Miami, with a population of 175,229. Its area of 120 square miles makes Cape Coral the third-largest Florida city by land mass but it maintains a small-town feel set amidst 400 miles of canals, more than anywhere in the world, and 27 miles of shoreline.
The area’s greatest attractions may be its natural amenities and unbeatably low cost of doing business. Cape Coral is an open slate for key sectors that are planning to expand or relocate, particularly corporate headquarters, light manufacturing and wholesale distribution, and professional/back office operations.
First, there’s the space. Cape Coral offers more than 60 square miles of unimproved commercial and residential land. The city is currently 47 percent built out with an expected build-out population of 365,000 by 2060. That’s one reason that Cape Coral is the hottest growth city in the nation. During the last decade, the city has been the third fastest-growing city—and was just projected by Forbes to be the No. 1 fastest-growing area in the nation over the next year. Cape Coral consistently attracts the attention of major national industry insiders as it also ranked as the No. 1 “Best Area in the Nation for Jobs” in 2016.
Florida’s tax climate has become one of the best in the nation. It ranked as the No. 2 state in the nation in which to do business in 2016 and the Sunshine State’s business tax climate ranks No. 5 in the nation (Tax Foundation’s 2016 Facts & Figures). In addition, Florida ranks among the 10 Best States for Starting a Business by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The benefits of locating your facilities in Cape Coral include: The region’s ample, available workforce; customized economic development incentives (combined state, county and city incentives are available); low taxes (no state personal income taxes and state sales tax of only 6 percent); strategic location for international shipping and metropolitan gateways; quality business sites at competitive prices; and great opportunities in site selection.
Cape Coral hosts diverse investment zones, commercial corridors and sites, and industrial parks that are suitable for a wide range of corporate and entrepreneurial pursuits. With this in mind, the Cape Coral Economic Development Office (EDO) designs customized development incentives for qualified projects aimed at creating well-paying jobs and leveraging new investment to support commercial expansion and development in targeted sectors. Some of the opportunities include:
Mixed-Use – Concourse at Cape Coral is a 170-acre city-owned parcel located at the intersection of four- and six-lane roads. Because the city owns this land, it’s seeking a public-private partnership for this site, nestled in a natural setting. Concourse features 34 acres of preservation lands and could house an entertainment district that can include a hotel, theater, restaurants, bars or a conference center. This site also could be developed as a corporate park or other destination project.
Waterfront – The city is exploring the redevelopment of its waterfront areas to include additional mixed-use offerings. The Bimini Basin area is a good example that offers a unique opportunity to explore a public-private relationship to revitalize an important component of the downtown core while embracing one of the city’s oldest established waterfront communities. This site is located in South Cape, the city’s downtown entertainment district. Another is the canal-front Seven Islands project, city-owned land with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico.
Retail – Numerous existing retailers in Cape Coral have experienced tremendous annual sales and, in some instances, are among the top-grossing stores within their respective chains. This reflects the retail market’s vast potential in the city. The retail sector has experienced phenomenal growth over the past two years. That is why many new stores and restaurants continue calling Cape Coral home. In addition, many locally owned restaurants and entertainment venues have opened and are thriving.
Medical, Wellness & Professional – The Veterans Investment Zone (VIZ) encompasses more than 430 acres of undeveloped land within one mile of the new regional VA Healthcare Center in northeast Cape Coral. The $131 million state-of-the-art facility employs a staff of 500 and serves 1,200 patients daily. The clinic is a powerful anchor for economic development for medical parks, corporate offices, assisted living facilities, retail services, hotels and amenities. The VIZ can evolve into a vibrant village for the community, patients, staff and visitors.
Manufacturing – With two existing industrial parks and a third on the way, Cape Coral is a great place for small to medium manufacturers to locate. Its large population and high concentration of construction workers makes the workforce very desirable to manufacturers. In addition, Cape Coral has incentives geared toward manufacturing uses.
For information about available properties, investment opportunities and economic development incentives for qualifying projects, contact the City of Cape Coral Economic Development Office at (239) 574-0444, (866) 573-3089, via [email protected] or visit capecoral.net/edo.