Tampa Bay — 10 things to know

Tampa Bay continues flexing its strength on almost every economic measure. A youthful population growth, healthy transportation investment and robust construction pipeline have created a commercial real estate market that can be hard to pin down. Learn more about the 10 things we are tracking to help you exercise the right strategy.

1. Command central

Tampa’s favorable business climate continues to attract corporate headquarter relocations and expansions. Amgen, Mosaic, Baker McKenzie, Axogen and others announced major projects in the area last year. These giants count among them a long list of locally based main offices, a fact that helped Tampa rank among the top five South Atlantic cities on Site Selection’s annual list.

2. Collective action

The people have spoken—this time with their wallets—as a self-imposed 1 percent sales tax hike was approved for Hillsborough County. These funds will go towards funding transportation improvements and development, which has been a long-standing issue for the area.

3. The price is right

The year 2018 proved to be one for the record books for Tampa Bay’s commercial real estate market, as asking rates surged to new heights and vacancy dropped to historical lows across most office and industrial product. Even better, when its benchmarked against peer cities across the Southeast, Tampa Bay still charts room to grow.

4. Always in season

At the 2018 US Conference of Mayors, Tampa Bay was voted the nation’s most livable large city among a peer set of 150. Mayor Bob Buckhorn was honored for his Stay and Play program, aimed at providing youth with safe access to parks and recreation facilities, which also helped curb crime rates by 8.9 percent.

5. Well worth the wait

It took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 25 years to return a kick off for a touchdown, and it has been a quarter century since Tampa has seen new office development downtown. This will change in 2019 as SPP brings the Water Street Tampa mixed-use district to Channelside Drive. Paired with multiple office projects in the suburbs and a slew of industrial development along I-4, we are seeing the most active construction pipeline in decades.

6. Riding the coworking wave

Flexible space (coworking) is making waves globally, nationally and even locally. Last year alone, Tampa saw a handful of new-to-market flexible space operators absorb nearly 100,000 square feet downtown. Now, the new year is bringing in the entrance of WeWork, which will be leasing 50,000 square feet at a new office complex north of downtown.

7. Younger than you think

No, Tampa Bay is not just for retirees. In fact, Hillsborough County has a median age of 37, and our population of 15- to 39-year-olds is expected to grow by nearly 5 percent over the next five years. What’s more, the quality of life in Tampa has continued to attract people from across the United States, with Bloomberg recently reporting that nearly 150 people migrate to Tampa every day.

8. As seamless as Bayshore Blvd

As Tampa Bay and Polk County have distinguished themselves as logistics and distribution hubs, the I-4 corridor is growing increasingly active, thanks to its ability to service last-mile deliveries and centralized location for statewide distribution. In these markets combined, we have seen over 7 million square feet of industrial space delivered over the past three years and over 10 million square feet absorbed.

9. Going stronger than Gasparilla

SmartAsset again ranked Tampa Bay and its surrounding towns in the top 10 biggest ‘boomtowns’ out of 581 cities. Based on metrics such as migration, housing growth, unemployment and GDP, Tampa Bay continues to shine as a place where professional success and personal satisfaction meet.

10. Elevating equality

Move over ‘The Big Apple’, because ‘The Big Guava’ ranked as the No.1 city for women-owned businesses in 2018 by Tampa Bay came out on top based on metrics that measured the percentage of women-owned businesses, women-to-men pay difference and women’s unemployment rate. That makes the city inviting for women entrepreneurs — and just plain smart.

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