Tampa Bay is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The four-county area is composed of 2.84 million residents, making it the second-largest largest MSA in the state, fourth largest in the Southeastern U.S. and 18th in the United States. Two of the major economic engines for the region include the Port of Tampa and MacDill Air Force Base. The Port of Tampa has a $15.1-billion annual impact with nearly 100,000 jobs created and 34 million tons of cargo and 1 million cruise passengers moving through the port annually. MacDill Air Force Base, which is home to United States Central Command, United States Special Operations Command and the sixth Air Mobility Wing, has a $4.98-billion annual impact.
Tampa’s open-for-business attitude, skilled workforce, lower cost of doing business, climate, quality of life, and convenient airport are just a few of the reasons companies valued at $19 billion have placed their headquarters in the region. The firms include Publix Supermarkets, Tech Data, Jabil Circuit, Raymond James Financial, OSI Restaurants, Gerdau Ameristeel, and Home Shopping Network.
The Greater Tampa Bay office market consists of more than 145 million square feet (msf) of space. Besides those firms with corporate headquarters here, some other companies with a major presence in the region include Allstate Insurance Company, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., MetLife, USAA, Progressive Insurance, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and T. Rowe Price. Many of these companies are currently expanding their presence; while other new users are looking to locate new facilities into the area.
Tampa Bay’s industrial market comprises more than 270 msf. Most of the warehouse demand is derived from users providing finished goods and residential-construction materials for the regional market. The excellent highway infrastructure provides ease of access to central Florida, the west coast of Florida, and the Port of Tampa and Tampa International Airport. Amazon is about to announce two (2) one million square foot distribution facilities in the Tampa Bay Region for distribution of goods throughout the state.
The Tampa Bay retail market consists of more than 213 msf of space. Retail in Tampa Bay continues to display improvement slowly as the overall local economy improves. Signs of continued recovery include new construction of grocery-anchored shopping centers and larger big-box retailers looking at sites for future stores. Newcomers include Bass Pro Outlets, which entered the market with the development of its first store along the I-75 corridor.
Tampa Bay appeals to investors because of its large influence on Florida’s economy as a whole. With the Greater Tampa Bay eight-county region comprising more than 4.3 million people, it is currently home to 22% of Florida´s population and has 22% of the labor force. Tampa Bay will be a major beneficiary of growth prospects, attracting new business and people because the region offers a high quality of life infrastructure is in place to support growth. The Tampa area, with its efficient port system, has become a global gateway. With the Panama Canal being expanded and Cuba eventually opening up, commercial property in Tampa is a sound long-term investment.
Avison Young opened its Tampa Bay office in September 2013 with 19 members joining from Lane Witherspoon & Carswell Commercial Real Estate Advisors (LWC) and L&W Commercial Property Management. LWC and L&W were founded in 2007 in Tampa by Kenneth E. Lane III, Clay Witherspoon and Trey Carswell. LWC and L&W have provided commercial real estate services in both the central and west coast regions of Florida. Services include the completion of office, retail and industrial property acquisitions and dispositions, landlord and tenant representation, buyer and seller representation, full property management and property accounting. As a result of its acquisition of LWC and L&W, Avison Young ranks among the leading commercial real estate services companies in Florida’s central and west coast regions. The firm has more than 6 msf of sales listings on the market and in excess of 2.3 msf of leased property under management.