Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read August 2019 — The unprecedented economic growth the Tampa Bay MSA, including Pinellas County, is enjoying comes with both benefits and challenges. At the very center of Pinellas County is it’s fourth largest city, Pinellas Park. Invest: Tampa Bay recently spoke with Mayor of Pinellas Park Sandra Bradbury. She discussed how the city is handling the region’s growth, its focus on remaining economically and environmentally sustainable, and her outlook for the next year.
What efforts are being made to encourage environmental sustainability in the city?
In a partnership with the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch, we just started development on a new park called Lurie Park. This park is going to be completely accessible for all handicapped people, from children to the elderly, and will be geared toward our veterans. We also just purchased a four-acre property that was a horse stable, which we are in the process of converting to a farm. It is an extension of the existing Helen Howarth Park. Our goal is to work with the U.S.-based network of youth organizations 4-H and bring students to the farm to teach them how to sustainably raise and grow their own food.
How are you supporting local business growth?
Businesses come to us all the time because we have a relatively large amount of commercial area that’s available for development. The city council and voter referendum created a package of incentives that we could use to retain businesses that want to grow and expand. These incentives allow businesses the flexibility to move offices or add square footage to their buildings. We are one of the few places that has this ability. It is within our ordinances to allow our economic development manager and her team to offer incentives to local businesses, which revolves around how much they are growing and how many employees they will be hiring with the expansion. So far, city council has provided seven packages to different companies that have grown in Pinellas Park.
What does the next year look like for Pinellas Park?
We think the future is bright. We have a lot of businesses that are still looking at us as a place to expand into. Our position is unique because we are at the very center of the county. We are also one of the few cities that still has vacant land available, especially in our industrial area. This gives a business the opportunity to come here and develop their work space. With the economic growth in the region, our homes have gone up in value over the years, but overall the Pinellas Park area is still affordable. We have parks in the area, and our citizens assist in the conservation and revitalization of those parks as necessary. Overall, we feel extremely positive about the next year.
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