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Highlights of Economic and Business Growth in the Tampa Bay Region (News Briefs)

TAMPA BAY, Fla., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- News briefs concerning economic and business growth in the Tampa Bay Region from the Tampa Bay Partnership:

Draper Labs Acquires Manufacturing Site in Tampa Bay

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory bought a 41,000-square-foot building in St. Petersburg recently where it plans to manufacture microchips for the military. Renovations to the building, 10050 16th St. N., should be completed in March 2009. The site could employ an estimated 65 people in the next five years, primarily in highly technical production jobs. Scientists there will work to meet an increasing demand for highly complex, technically advanced MCM systems in small packages for innovative applications, such as medicine, energy conservation, port security and more. In addition to its St. Petersburg facility, Draper Labs is working closely with Progress Energy on energy-related research and development initiatives and is also partnering with the University of South Florida and its medical school to create a facility for the design, development, and testing of BioMEMS technologies. (Contact: Amy Schwenker, 617-258-2601,

Exactech To Open Tampa Bay Manufacturing Facility

Exactech, an orthopedic device company, will open a new manufacturing facility in Manatee County. The 13,000-square-foot facility will manufacture surgical instruments used to implant the company's joint replacement devices. Exactech, based in Gainesville, Fla., expects to hire 12 employees during the start-up phase. That number is expected to at least double during the next three to five years. The company currently designs and manufactures orthopaedic devices that are used by surgeons in more than 30 countries around the world. (Contact: Priscilla Bennett, 352-377-1140,

Biopsy Sciences Relocating to Tampa Bay

Biopsy Sciences recently announced they will move operations from Tucson, Arizona to Pinellas County, Florida. The relocation of the growing biomedical research and device company includes new high wage jobs paying 200% of the county's average annual wage, adding to the region's growing life sciences industry. Biopsy Sciences develops new and innovative products for the medial market including the HydroMARK, a breast biopsy site marker that helps patients by replacing lengthy mammogram-guided wire localization procedures with quick, accurate ultrasound-guided localization procedures that are more comfortable for patients. The company took advantage of Florida's Qualified Targeted Industry (QTI) program to assist with the financial implications of relocating. (Contact: Dr. John Fisher, 727-290-9825, )

Quasar Bio-Tech To Move Manufacturing to Tampa Bay

Quasar Bio-Tech, which produces light therapy devices used by medical professionals and consumers, is planning to move its manufacturing to Manatee County and add up to 24 employees in 2009. Quasar Bio-Tech relocated its headquarters, distribution and research and development from Valley Forge, PA to 2,500-square-feet of space in Manatee County in 2008 citing the cost of doing business and workforce availability as key factors in its relocation decision. Quasar currently uses a vendor in Texas for manufacturing and is seeking local suppliers and vendors for its expansion into Manatee County. (Contact: Frank Kramer, 941-306-5812,

Groundbreaking on $35 million Salvador Dali Museum

Elected officials, civic leaders, museum volunteers, trustees and staff took part in the official groundbreaking ceremony on December 12, 2008 for the new $35 million Salvador Dali Museum which will be located within the Progress Energy Center for the Arts along the downtown waterfront district. The new museum, which has reached three-fourths of its funding goal, is to be called "Placa Dali" and will be a three story, 74,124-square-foot building -- twice its current size. The museum, which currently attracts 250,000 visitors annually, houses the largest Salvador Dali art collection outside of Spain. (Contact: Kathy White, 727-823-3767 ext. 3036,

Chasco Machine and Manufacturing

Chasco Machine and Manufacturing, Incorporated has finalized plans for a new 24,800-square-foot facility in the Hernando County Airport Industrial Park. Utilizing state-of-the-art computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining equipment this Tampa Bay-based manufacturer produces critical tolerance, precision-machined parts primarily for the aerospace industry including parts used in the production of Boeing 737 commercial aircraft. Chasco Machine currently employs 17 full-time workers and expects to add an additional 10 employees with their expansion. Construction has begun on the facility and Chasco expects to be operational by mid-2009. (Contact: Jeff Roth, 727-815-3510, )

USF Awarded Top Research Park

The University of South Florida Research Park has been awarded the prestigious "Emerging Research Park of the Year Award" from the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) at the association's 21st annual conference in St. Petersburg recently. The award is presented annually to an emerging university research park in operation less than five years and during which time has excelled in bringing technology from the laboratory to economic viability. The 87-acre research hub includes a 230,000-square-foot, two- building complex and houses USF's Center for Biological Defense and the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator, currently home to 18 emerging innovative businesses. (Contact: Vickie Chachere, 813-974-6251,

AEW Selects Horizon Bay to Manage Continuing Care Retirement Community Properties

Horizon Bay Retirement Living, a national seniors housing operator based in Tampa, Fla., announced its selection by AEW Capital Management L.P. to manage three continuing care retirement communities (CCRC) in Florida. Regency Oaks in Clearwater, Lake Port Square in Leesburg, and South Port Square in Port Charlotte, have a total of 1,694 residential units for seniors. This transaction marks Horizon Bay's entrance into the CCRC or lifecare market and increases Horizon Bay's units under management to over 14,000, with 77 communities located in 15 states. (Contact: Courtney Loebel, 813-961-8388,

SOURCE Tampa Bay Partnership
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