Florida locations selected for Duke Energy's 2020 Site Readiness Program to attract jobs, spur economic development

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  • Properties added in Pinellas, Polk, Volusia counties.

  • Participating prime industrial sites in Florida increase from 31 to 34.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Three Florida properties have been selected to participate in Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program. In Florida, the program has led to $165 million in investment and 615 jobs over the last seven years. 

The new sites are Tropicana Field Site in Pinellas County, 472 Properties in Volusia County, and Frostproof Business Park Site in Polk County. The Site Readiness Program will prepare these new sites for targeted commercial and industrial development to attract future capital investment. Since 2013, Duke Energy has selected 34 high-quality industrial sites in Florida to participate in the program.

Duke Energy works with site owners, local economic development professionals, and county and city officials to identify each participating property's current status and develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity needed for development.

“I like to think of our Site Readiness Program as planting the seeds of success,” said Catherine Stempien, president of Duke Energy Florida. “The Site Readiness Program plants the seeds for communities to cultivate by implementing the consultants’ recommendations and investing in the readiness of their sites. After seven years of planting seeds across Florida, we are harvesting fruit. These new sites after going through the Duke Energy program will be the seeds that our communities can cultivate so that tomorrow we can harvest again.”

Duke Energy worked with major site selection firms to evaluate each property. The consultants included Global Location Strategies of Greenville, S.C., Site Selection Group of Dallas, Texas, and Ardurra of Tampa, Fla., for engineering services. Once evaluations are complete, materials highlighting the property's attributes are used by Duke Energy’s business recruitment team to help strategically market the sites nationwide for companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Site summaries

Tropicana Field Site (Pinellas County)

Spanning 86 acres of publicly owned land in the middle of downtown St. Petersburg and adjacent to I-275, the Tropicana Field site represents a development opportunity with existing infrastructure available for a large-scale master development.

“The Tropicana Field Redevelopment project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of St. Petersburg,” said Alan DeLisle, city development administrator for St. Petersburg. “Recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing cities and named one of the top places to start and grow a business, St. Pete’s economic indicators strengthen each year. The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program helped the city identify the site’s physical, workforce and economic strengths, so we could properly convey them to the development community as part of our RFP process. The Tropicana Field site presents endless possibilities to take this city on the rise to the next level.”

472 Properties (Volusia County)

A group of properties totaling more than 640 acres at the interchange of Interstate 4 and State Road 472. The site is a prime location for the rapidly growing logistics and distribution industry and offers a large and well-suited workforce.

“Team Volusia was excited about the opportunity to once again work with Duke Energy on its Site Readiness Program,” said Keith Norden, president & CEO, Team Volusia Economic Development Corp. “The 472 interchange properties represent a tremendous opportunity for growth in the West Volusia area and with the feedback from SSG, Team Volusia is poised to position the area for development opportunities in food manufacturing, light assembly, professional services, distribution and warehousing. We are grateful for the pivotal role Duke Energy continues to play in our pursuit of economic development.”

Frostproof Business Park Site (Polk County)

The Frostproof Business Park is 225 acres with two separate large contiguous, buildable sites of 115 and 90 acres. This site is located adjacent to State Road 17 and 3 miles east of U.S. Highway 27 near Nucor Corporation’s recently announced micro-mill steel rebar facility. A labor force of more than 277,000 is within 45 minutes of the site.

“The Central Florida Development Council has had the pleasure of partnering with Duke Energy’s economic development team on several Polk County sites identified as prime candidates for their Site Readiness Program,” said Jennifer Taylor, vice president business development of the Central Florida Development Council.

“The Frostproof site is made up of 200 acres of rail-served land nestled between two major distribution centers – Lowe’s and Ferguson’s. The Central Florida location adds to the appeal that has attracted the likes of Nucor Steel – the largest steel maker in North America. The city of Frostproof and the Polk County Board of County Commissioners are well-known for their business-friendly attitude and the ability to do what needs to be done to attract industry to the area. A heartfelt thank you to Duke Energy for creating this program that places our community and the state of Florida in the most strategic and competitive position for economic prosperity and high-wage job growth.”

Duke Energy’s economic development efforts are perennially recognized by Site Selection magazine in the publication’s annual list of “Top Utilities in Economic Development.” Through the Site Readiness Program alone, Duke Energy has helped recruit $8.3 billion in capital investment, 53 projects and more than 12,232 jobs across the six states it serves, including Florida.

For more information about Duke Energy Florida’s economic development programs, visit duke-energy.com/LocateFL

Duke Energy 

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Allison Barker
Media line: 800.559.3853
Twitter: @DE_AllisonB