New York-based ARK Investment Management LLC, an investment adviser focused solely on investing in disruptive innovation, will relocate its corporate headquarters to St. Petersburg and will also take part in building an incubator.
ARK, spearheaded by iconic investor Cathie Wood, will open its new corporate headquarters in downtown St. Pete at 200 Central, which is where the Industrious co-working space is located. The relocation will become effective Nov. 1.
In addition to the HQ relocation, ARK is collaborating with the Tampa Bay Innovation Center on the new incubator that Pinellas County will build and own. The new name of the building will be ARK Innovation Center. It’s scheduled to open in July 2023 and will be at 4th Street and 11th Ave. South in the Innovation District.
Construction for the 45,000-square-foot ARK Innovation Center will take place in the first quarter of 2022, according to the company’s announcement on Wednesday. The Tampa Bay Innovation Center will continue to operate the building.
“We are thrilled to relocate our corporate headquarters to St. Petersburg, Florida, as we believe the Tampa Bay region’s talent, innovative spirit, and quality of life will accelerate our growth initiatives,” Wood, ARK’s Founder, CEO and CIO stated in the company’s announcement. “ARK is not a traditional Wall Street asset management firm, and we are looking forward to breaking the mold further by relocating to St. Petersburg, a city investing in technology, science, and innovation. Our relocation and the ARK Innovation Center will allow us to be more innovative and to impact the broader community while shining a spotlight on the technological advances and creativity permeating the Tampa Bay region.”
Tonya Elmore, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, told the St. Pete Catalyst she believes ARK was interested in working with the center due to its longstanding and key supporters.
Elmore described the collaboration as a “game-changer for our region.”
When the center is completed, it will house 10,000 square feet for innovation partners, 30,000 square feet of incubator space – and there will be a café.
By 2026, the innovation center is expected to impact the county by $28 million, thanks to the 1,265 direct and indirect jobs expected. Meanwhile, its clients and graduates are expected to generate $127 million in annual revenue, according to the announcement.
“Tampa has been recognized as the top emerging technology city in the U.S. and the broader area including St. Petersburg is among the top metro areas for STEM professionals. It offers a vast network of companies, universities, incubators, entrepreneurs, and many others dedicated to advancement,” stated Jana Haines, ARK’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We are inspired by the area’s vibrant and diverse talent base and the early success of public and private partnerships focused on innovation. As St. Petersburg is primed for exponential growth, ARK hopes to be a catalyst and connector, amplifying the efforts already underway.”
A significant number of ARK employees will relocate and work in the office; however, ARK has a hybrid model where employees can also work remotely.
“With this model, ARK hopes to maximize its productivity and attract top talent from around the world,” the company’s release read.