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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 Connect Brochure 2015-03-05Connect


City of Winter Haven Construction Projects

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


Brownfield Area

With the passage of the Brownfield Redevelopment Act in 1997, Florida established a model for overcoming the barriers to brownfield redevelopment. The Act was created to enable the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other regulatory agencies to assist in the reduction of public health and environmental hazards and to incentivize the reuse of these lands.

The designation of a brownfield area allows for certain state and federal economic incentives.

  • $2,500 per job corporate income tax credit.
  • 50% state loan guarantees for primary lenders for site rehabilitation and development costs.
  • sales tax credit for building material purchases.
  • 50% voluntary cleanup tax credit applied against Florida corporate tax.

The designated area location in the City of Winter Haven is located west of US Highway 17, east of Lake Shipp, and south of Avenue R, SW.  The area is approximately 20 acres.  Click here to view map of the area.


Core Improvement Area

Resolution R-07-30, adopted by the City Commission on July 9, 2007, established the Core Improvement Area within the City of Winter Haven and approved an inter-local agreement between the City and Polk County providing for the waiver of certain impact fees.   The core improvement area:

  • Consists of 1,505 acres
  • Consists of approximately 3,774 parcels or 25.5% of the total parcels in the City.

To view Resolution R-07-30, please click here.

To view a map of the Core Improvement Area, please click here.


Enterprise Zone

An Enterprise Zone is a specific geographic area targeted for economic revitalization.  Enterprise Zones encourage investment and economic growth in distressed areas by offering tax advantages and incentives to business locating or expanding with the zone boundaries.  Winter Haven's Enterprise Zone was established in 2012 and contains 2,283± acres and approximately 15,808 residents.  The Winter Haven Enterprise Zone encompasses all of the downtown area as well as several surrounding neighborhoods and includes the main north-south commercial corridors through the City.

The local incentives include, but are not limited to:

  • Fast track permitting and site plan review.
  • Business Tax Receipt fees reduction.
  • Impact fee waivers and reduction.

To view a map of the Enterprise Zone, please click here

For more information contact Sean Byers, Senior Planner,863-291-5600, or sbyers@mywinterhaven.com


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

Sal's Garage - car lot

Automotive

101 E Central Avenue

Who's Next Auto Detail Automotive 100 E Central Avenue

Elite Fitness Gym

Service

6296 Cypress Gardens Blvd

Kinann M. Grocery Store and More Retail 1428 1st Street North
Spa G & Boutique Service

144 Avenue B SW


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
Chipotle/Aspen Dental 802/804 Cypress Gardens Boulevard          0.80
16
Zaxbys 7450 Cypress Gardens Blvd          1.45
10
Wawa
NE corner US Hwy 17 & Avenue O, SW
2.00

Legoland Ice Cream Parlor

1 Legoland Way

Winter Haven Integrated Logistics Center

Logistics Parkway
340
 
Humane Society 3195 Dundee Road          4.7  
O'Reilly Auto Parts 2020 US Highway 17 North           1.25  
   
 
       
       

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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