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They say change is inevitable, and in Winter Haven change is not only certain but celebrated! This is best represented by the community’s most recent economic development additions of LEGOLAND Florida and the CSX Integrated Logistics Center.

Seven months after the opening of Florida’s newest theme park, LEGOLAND Florida, unveiled its first major expansion – LEGOLAND Water Park providing 200 additional jobs. LEGOLAND Florida has become one of the City’s largest employers with more than 1,200 employees, which will increase as it continues constructing its first themed LEGOLAND Hotel on the property.

The Central Florida Intermodal Terminal Facility opened in April 2014 and is in full swing.  At build-out, the the Integrated Logistics Center will create 8,000 new jobs and more than 5 million square feet of development.

So the obvious question…why Winter Haven?  Why did these projects – each being an economic development home run - end up in a community of 36,000 people in Central Florida?  The short answer is synergy - the combined benefits of location, infrastructure and a business-friendly environment. 

In addition, a renewed partnership between the City and the business community was born with the creation of the Winter Haven Economic Development Council.  We encourage you to visit the Council’s new website at www.whedc.com.

See for yourself what makes Winter Haven so special.  We invite you to put our team to the test.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

(July 2014)

The tracks in Winter Haven continue to be laid for a robust future as the Central Florida Intermodal Logistic Center economic engine continues to shape Winter Haven into THE hub of logistics activity. City Manager Deric C. Feacher completed the City’s obligation by signing Closing Statements June 30, 2014 to sell 532 acres (Parcel 2A) of City property to the GEM Development Team for the construction of an Integrated Logistics Center (ILC).  The final closing was July 2, 2014 when the buyer completed the process by signing final closing documents. The property, which is adjacent to the Intermodal Logistic Center in southeast Winter Haven, was sold for $8.516 million, and development is anticipated to begin by March 2015. Zoning for this property allows for construction of about 8 million square feet of warehousing. Parcel 2B, which includes the remaining 400 acres is anticipated to be purchased in about 18 to 24 months, once required mitigation of wetland impacts are finalized as indicated in a Section 404 permit of the Clean Water Act.  City Manager Feacher commented, “The City is looking forward to a long-term productive partnership with the Development Team and the companies this project will attract.”

Michael Mullen with the GEM Development Team said the location and population within the Central Florida region are keys for success of the ILC project. "The demographics here were some of the best I have ever seen anywhere in the country," Mullen said.  "I've done very large logistics parks like this before and they typically resulted in thousands of new jobs. I'm definitely a believer or we wouldn't be making this investment."

Winter Haven City Manager Feacher also stated, "This is the beginning of a new future for Winter Haven, Polk County and the State of Florida.  A strong economy is the goal of every community.  By combining the state-of-the-art Central Florida Intermodal Logistic Center and a high-tech Integrated Logistics Center in a planned location, the state is now set for significant impact and opportunity in this region. The special way of life our residents already enjoy will be improved through an increase in high paying jobs establishing Winter Haven as a prominent location for enhanced business, tourism, and quality living.  It's a great time to live in Winter Haven, Florida where our enriched and diverse opportunities paired with our unlimited potential serve as a benchmark for others to emulate."


City of Winter Haven Construction Projects

For a list of construction projects that the City is working on, please click here.


Business Tax Receipts

Below is a list of some of the businesses that have recently received a Business Tax Receipt in the City:

Name Type Address

Freeway Insurance Services

Insurance

1136 6th St. NW

Sleep Telemedicine Services Professional 7450 Cypress Gardens Blvd.

Texas Wieners

Restaurant

700 3rd Street

Hog Heaven Smokehouse Restaurant 6344 Cypress Gardens Blvd.
Angelique Bridal & Formal by Gina Retail

290 1st Street S


Projects:

Below is a list of some of the commercial projects that have been approved, are under development, and/or were recently completed within the City limits of Winter Haven. 

Project
Location
Acreage
Approx. No. of Employees
150 Avenue T Improvements 150 Avenue T NE          0.35  
Dollar Tree 5863 Cypress Gardens Blvd          1.02  
Heartland Community Church
Avenue C & 2nd Street NW
1.30

RaceTrac

SR544 & US 27
2.03
40

Haven Lofts

2nd Street & Avenue A, SW
0.59
 
Love Express Car Wash 7468 Cypress Gardens Blvd          0.90  
Pep Boys (utilities only) 5694 Cypress Gardens Blvd          0.74  
Waterside Estates N side of Avenue Z
2.57
 
       
       

Economic Development Plan:

Creation of the City's Economic Development Plan is complete! 

Click here for the Winter Haven Economic Development Action Plan August 8, 2011

At a City Commission meeting held February 16, 2011, additional input from the City's elected officials was gathered.  Take a look at the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting: Economic Development Presentation - City Commission Meeting_2.16.2011

Presentation to the City Commission on May 9, 2011 Target Industry Analysis Presentation

Presentation to the City Commission on April 11, 2011 Economic Development Presentation City Commission Meeting 4.11.11.  Document to be presented to the City Commission on June 13, 2011 Economic Development Assessment Document CC Meeting 06.13.2011

The Landings Economic Impact Analysis, by Gordon Kettle, Economics instructor, Polk State College and Webster University

For more information, contact 291-5600.

 


 

 

 


 


 

Merle Bishop

Growth Management Director

mbishop@mywinterhaven.com

Winter Haven City Hall

451 Third Street NW
Winter Haven, Florida 33881
Phone: (863) 291-5600

 

 
 

 



 
City Hall:  451 Third St. NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881    tel: (863) 291-5600
 

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