Florida Heartland ERO | tburroughs@co.okeechobee.fl.us | 1.863.697.6325 | ADDRESS:304 NW 2nd St. | Room 123 | Okeechobee, FL 34972
FLORIDA’S HEARTLAND

GLADES COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL, INC.

Land for Opportunity

Glades County’s central location within Southern Florida, just over two hours from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando and nearly equidistant between Fort Myers and West Palm Beach makes us a natural hub for the emerging international and domestic warehousing/distribution market via road or rail.

Our agricultural heritage makes us the natural epicenter for food processing, including cold chain storage facilities, and other manufacturing, as many of the same processes involved in blending fertilizer, bagging mulch or mortar, staging, storing and shipping produce are transferrable to other industries.

The County seat of Glades County, Moore Haven, is located on the Okeechobee Waterway which connects the east and west coasts of Florida, from the Gulf in Fort Myers, via the Caloosahatchee River, across Lake Okeechobee to Stuart and the Atlantic, offering marine industries affordable safe harbor.

This centrality not only gives us access to growing southern Florida markets located within a two-hour dray, but an unparalleled access to a growing workforce in excess of 100,000 within 45-minutes; upwards of a million in an hour.

Glades County also offers certifiable shovel ready sites with frontage on US 27, the recognized freight corridor serving Port Miami and Port Everglades. Entitlements are in place for a mix of commercial to heavy industrial uses within the Glades County Business and Commerce Park and the 770—acre rail-served Americas Gateway Logistics Center, which wraps around it.

Healthcare and Public Safety

The new LEEDS-Silver Certified Glades County Health Department opened in the Glades County Compound in January 2011. The $5 million facility also houses Florida Community Health Centers, which offers primary care (including dentistry) and corporate health services on-site. Just north of the Health Department is the new Glades County Emergency Operations Center, offering emergency services including fire and EMS and thus reduced insurance rates to businesses locating in the Business and Commerce Park or Americas Gateway. The Glades County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management are on-site as well. It is worth noting that Glades County boasts the lowest crime rate in the state of Florida.

Education

Glades County Schools are among the best performing in the Heartland Education Consortium. Enrollment is growing, as evidenced by the opening of new $26 million Moore Haven Junior Senior High School in April 2015. Part of this growth may be attributed to the fact that the Moore Haven High School Scholarship Foundation is committed to providing a scholarship for college or vocational training to every senior who applies. The Glades County Regional Training Center offers customized, grant-funded training for businesses which expand or locate in Glades County, and Suncoast Trucking Academy offers CDL training on-site.

Housing

New housing options in Glades County are growing. Branch Countryside Estates will build 51 site-built homes with a choice of floor plans, while Haven Homes is home to six site built homes with a new spec home recently completed. A new 50-unit affordable housing rental complex with community center is under construction just off City Limits Road, while more than 38,000 square feet of mixed use commercial and residential space is planned for the City of Moore Haven’s Marina District.

Business climate

There is an ease to doing business in Glades County which can be found no where else in the Sunshine State. Not only does Glades County offer expedited permitting, but the Glades County administration, from the Board of County Commissioners to the County Manager welcome new opportunities and staff are dedicated to facilitating new business relocation and expansion. A simple rezoning can be completed in Glades County in two months; building permits with stamped engineered drawings issued in ten days. Impact fees have been waived in Glades County indefinitely. Glades County also offers a local option economic development tax abatement, which allows companies to apply to the Board of County Commissioners for an abatement of the county portion of projected ad valorem taxes from 10 percent to 100 percent for up to ten years, based on the number of jobs expected to be created, and the salaries associated with those jobs. Glades County’s commission may award the abatement for any new business which locates in the county, at their discretion.

 

Quality of Life

If agribusiness remains a primary industry for the residents of Glades County, its natural resources remain their playground.  With more than 30 miles of Lake Okeechobee shoreline, 60 miles of Caloosahatchee River frontage and 52 miles of paddling trails on pristine Fisheating Creek, Glades County offers nature-based tourism assets that are unparalleled in Florida, be you a birder, biker, or boater.

In short, Glades County offers proximity to the attractions of the urban landscape, while at the same time it offers residents, visitors and newcomers the serenity that can only be found outside the high traffic urban corridors.

 

For all of these reasons, Glades County is the land for opportunity for your business expansion or relocation.


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