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Fortune 500 company plans to establish its global HQ in St. Pete

Veronica Brezina

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Photo: City of St. Petersburg

A Fortune 500 company is planning to relocate and establish its new global headquarters in St. Pete.

The company, codenamed Project Athena, would lease at least 100,000 square feet in St. Pete and bring 300 jobs that would pay an average annual wage of $120,000.

The site selection firm assisting the Fortune 500 company has been working with the city and the St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation to explore sites, answer questions, and discuss economic programs and community partnerships. The company’s headquarters are currently located in the Northeast, according to city documents.

A Fortune 500 company’s new presence in the Tampa Bay area can be a major draw for investors and be a signal for other firms to consider expanding in the region.

Today, the Tampa Bay region is home to several Fortune 500 companies such as Jabil Inc., Raymond James and Tech Data.

The unknown company is seeking a financial incentive of up to $475,000 from the city for the economic impact the global HQ would carry.  

“With the emergence of the St. Petersburg office market and with the impact of the pandemic, the city has been exploring new incentive ideas to attract more headquarter opportunities, knowing that they create economic development stability, strengthen the business sector and establish community partners for a growing city. That opportunity has presented itself with this project,” city documents read.

Therefore, the $475,000 would come from the unappropriated balance of the general fund to the Economic and Workforce Development Department to provide funding for the company if it met certain conditions such as the job creation component and office space.

A new job that’s one of the 300 promised jobs may include a current employee who relocates to work in the company’s global HQ in St. Pete, or is a new hire.

Under the consideration for the incentive, the company must meet with St. Pete Works, a city employment program, to consider individuals for job openings at its global HQ.

If the company meets the conditions required to receive the initial base incentive of $250,000, it may receive a one-time hiring incentive up to $125,000.

The company would be eligible for a workforce development incentive in the amount of $50,000 if the company prepares and submits a workforce plan to the city related to its workforce plan within the first year after the company relocates to St. Petersburg.

The workforce plan would identify training opportunities for residents to obtain skills necessary to be considered for future employment. 

The EDC declined to comment on the project; however, the project is not related to Cathie Wood’s plans to relocate ARK’s headquarters from New York to St. Pete, according to other sources. 

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    William Silver

    October 11, 2021at4:46 pm

    Tech Data is no more it is TD Synnex now a fortune 100 company since sept 1. Cmon man

  2. Avatar

    SonofStPete

    October 12, 2021at7:56 am

    Why is St. Pete paying ANY company ANY incentive to move here let alone a Fortune 500 company, they should have enough money to move on their own. Also we are giving them $475,000 for 300 jobs which they are paying 120k a year per, no regular person is going to get that job, they are going to be reserved for the highly skilled. How does shelling out all this money from St. Petes coughers, to have just another company move to St. Pete, help create jobs for the regular people who were born and raised here and are struggling to keep a roof over their heads? With the substantial rent increases couldn’t we simply put that 475000 towards stabilizing the rent for these people who are already here? Lets focus on supporting our community and the people who have been living in it, instead of just selling it, our culture, and our way of life to any big business who makes boisterous sales pitches.

  3. Avatar

    Geldscheisser

    October 12, 2021at8:10 am

    I think the City should charge the company a $475,000 impact fee. Enough with the corporate welfare.

  4. Avatar

    Mark Calonder

    October 12, 2021at8:40 am

    This is how it’s done. Companies and towns have been operating like this for decades. The economic impact would be substanial to everyone who lives here. Greater tax collections, more money spent here. When done ethically and professionally, it a total ‘win-win’ for all. What they’re asking for is nothing compared to what they’re contribute to the area.

  5. Avatar

    Matt D

    October 12, 2021at9:48 am

    If you have been fortunate enough to own a home in the Tampa Bay area these same fees you are complaining about have been putting money in your pocket. We are at least twenty years behind many major cities when it comes to tech, nightlife, shopping, and restaurants. Go to Orlando or Miami and you are seeing national chains invest there but not the Bay area. Our towns are as stagnant as the lakes and swamps that surround the region. I’m personally looking forward to what the future will bring and would love to go to a beach for some quality food and not the toned down offerings we currently provide. Hulk Hogan’s gift shop should never be the biggest draw to what is a beautiful coastline that lines this state.

  6. Avatar

    JOHN DONOVAN

    October 12, 2021at12:18 pm

    Obviously, we don’t know the details, but $475k is typically nil compared to benefits of 300 jobs. Just the marketing advantages of having a Fortune 500 company HQ in St Petersburg would be well worth the same money. #500 on F500 is Moodys, preceded by #499 RR Donnely; 498 Avis Budget Group. Interestingly, when you go to the F500 web site at fortune.com/fortune500/2021/search , one of the search functions is HQ City.

  7. Avatar

    JOHN DONOVAN

    October 12, 2021at12:21 pm

    #496 is Camping World, and is HQ in Illinois. A good guess for our new neighbors.

  8. Avatar

    JOHN DONOVAN

    October 12, 2021at12:29 pm

    Franklin Resources is #484, has had offices in St Petersburg for 30 years, but is currently HQ IN San Mateo , Calif. Another good guess. ( A co doesnt have to leave a state entirely to move its corp HQ. )

  9. Avatar

    JSWEN

    October 13, 2021at8:06 am

    Too many cars, too many people….where is dear Sleepy St. Pete. Luckily we still have seniors who live here and remember the good old days. Our Waterfront was the golden hidden secret. ‘We’ wondered when would the world catch on? 2000 it did!

    I don’t drive slow because i’m an insecure driver…I drive slow to gape at ‘the changing world!
    Home owner living ‘just’ outside the ‘scramble’ in a bit of heaven!

  10. Avatar

    Jim Murphy

    October 14, 2021at11:56 am

    Foot Locker or Ralph Lauren would be my guess.

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