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

Love’s Travel Stop: On the go and already growing in a county driven to succeed.

A strategic location on Highway 27 put Love’s Travel Stop on the map and on the grow since the day the 10,000-sq.-ft. facility opened as the premiere destination for over-the-road drivers staging deliveries to Miami and other key Florida markets.  “Highway 27 is an excellent freight corridor for professional drivers traveling to and from Port Everglades and Port Miami to the rest of the state,” notes Love’s district manager Tim Whipf, who points out that as the inaugural tenant of the new Americas Gateway Logistics Center (AGLC), Love’s will soon find itself in good company with a great place to grow: The master-planned industrial and commercial campus, spreading over more than 770 acres, provides plenty of room for Love’s upcoming service center. And as the County recruits new industry for its high profile, rail-connected acreage at AGLC, existing Glades industry is thriving and expanding, including the manufacturing and distribution operations of Scott’s Miracle Gro, Quikrete concrete and Wedgworth’s, Florida’s largest custom fertilizer dealer.

 

Hardee County

Hardee Commerce Park: The inviting setting where success is secure.

Who says success can’t be a walk in the park? A walk through the Hardee Commerce Park shows a diverse and synergistic mix of tenants in an attractive 264-acre development offering abundant and low-cost utilities and services for non-stop productivity—and even a sheriff’s substation for a 24/7 feeling of security. The Park is a proven location for success, home to leading businesses including: Organics South and Seychelles, subsidiaries of Nutraceutical, a premier manufacturer and one of the country’s largest marketers of nutritional supplements, health care and food products; Howard Fertilizer, a manufacturer and distributor of fertilizers and chemicals for agricultural and recreational uses; Pacer Group, a manufacturer and supplier of electrical supplies for top boat builders and equipment manufacturers, SCOSTA, a steel and wood truss manufacturer; Florikan, a manufacturer, blender and distributor of controlled- release fertilizer;  KeyPlex, a manufacturer and distributor of plant nutrients and biocontrol products for agriculture and institutional uses; and PFMan, a high tech CAD-CAM CNC manufacturer of rotary engine powered generators for institutional use.  Total employment at the park is estimated at 400.

 

Highlands County:

CitraPac®: Healthy profits from healthy snacks in a home-grown success story.

CitraPac® President Greg Harshman has deep family roots in the Highlands County citrus industry dating back nearly a century. But it was a fresh new idea about flash-freezing citrus products that bore fruit with the company’s FruitPearls®, treats made from real oranges and tangerines flash frozen into tiny pearls and mixed with fruit purees, juices and yogurt—without preservatives or artificial additives. The healthy snacks have brought healthy returns, and the company is flourishing, thanks in part to solid County support. Highlands’ sweet deal in incentives, a collaborative state/county package worth $1.2 million, immediately put CitriPac’s new 44,000-sq.-ft facility on the road to rapid ROI. Another critical asset is Highlands’ strategic location, rolling out access without congestion. All together, it’s the perfect combination of place and people, Harshman notes. “The operating costs are low, and the people are great. The local agencies have been extremely supportive through every phase of development, and we have connected with a dedicated team of employees who are helping drive our success.”

 

Okeechobee County

Bass Pro Shops: Florida's largest lake attracts retail and resort giant 

Bass Pro Shops wants to build a fishing resort on the shores of Florida's largest freshwater lake. The Springfield-based company, which already operates multiple lodging properties, was one of two entities that submitted a proposal to Okeechobee County earlier this year to redevelop a 99-acre site along Lake Okeechobee.  Bass Pro has proposed paying $300,000 cash for a nine-month option on the property, which it will use to study the feasibility of transforming the site into "a world-class destination fishing resort." If the company moves forward with its plan, it would pay the county $2.7 million more to purchase the property.

Lake Okeechobee is a 730-square-mile body of water in south-central Florida, about 50 miles inland from the Palm Beach area. The site where Bass Pro is exploring building the resort is at 10430 W. Highway 78 in Okeechobee, along the northern edge of the lake. The site was previously home to the Okee-Tantie Campground and Marina. Use of the county facility declined after damage caused by hurricanes in 2004, leading to the decision in 2012 to close the RV campground and bait and tackle shop, according to documents prepared by the county.  In a letter to the commission, Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris said the company is "the most qualified partner" to develop and operate a resort "on the most notable bass fishing lake in America."

"We also feel that the strength of our company and its marketing horse power make us the very best marketing partner to promote this great fishing destination," he wrote. "Through our stores, catalogs, Internet and social media channels, and through our existing destination resorts, we will create an incredible amount of nationwide exposure for this destination."  Morris said he had visited the property multiple times and referenced "many years spent fishing" on the lake.  The proposal contained few specifics regarding Bass Pro's plans for the resort. Morris said the company was "not at all comfortable" submitting detailed plans it might need to later change.


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