The Asturia Corporate Center, a speculative building project supported by Penny for Pasco funding, has reached full occupancy, according to a Pasco Economic Development Council Inc., news release.
UPS has become the final tenant in the 235,000-square-foot building that is now filled to capacity, with a mix of occupants, representing various target industry sectors.
Building speculative space is a risky business considering the costs of developing infrastructure, the Pasco EDC release points out.
“Early in the current development cycle, the Penny for Pasco, a Pasco taxpayer approved $0.01 sales tax, helped bridge capital gaps with loans to developers willing to build speculative space,” the release adds.
The goal of bringing new office and industrial space to market to attract new and expanding industries has proved successful, the release continues.
“In 2018, Pasco County Commissioners approved a 10-year, $7 million Penny for Pasco loan to HP Asturia, LLC (Harrod Development) to build Asturia Corporate Center, a $26 million, 235,000-square-foot speculative “Flex-Industrial” project to meet the demands of Pasco’s rapidly growing industrial sectors.
“Many companies don’t have years to search for a location and build out an entire facility, and that’s why these speculative projects are so important,” Bill Cronin, Pasco EDC president/CEO, explained in the release.
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having a local government who truly understands the support our business community needs. Now Pasco is experiencing sustained growth and market demand attracting speculative development that would not be possible without the Penny for Pasco.”
Asturia Corporate Center’s tenant mix includes UPS, Lowe’s, Stratford Care and Belmar— bringing 286 new jobs to Pasco, when all the tenant improvements are completed, the release says.
It is expected to create up to 400 total jobs created over the life of the leases, the release adds.
The news release also points out that once fully completed, the project is expected to bring close to $35 million, annually, in positive economic impact to Pasco’s Gross County Product over the next 10 years. Those figures are based on estimates from Pasco County’s Office of Economic Growth, according to the release.
The county board chairwoman also weighed in.
“The success of the Asturia Corporate Center is a perfect example of Pasco’s Master Planned Unit Development (MPUD) strategy.
“We encourage developers to design business parks into their residential developments, and when we work together, great companies with high paying jobs want to move to Pasco,” Pasco County Commission Chairman Kathryn Starkey, said in the release.
Penny for Pasco has twice been approved by Pasco voters. It is a tax, paid at the rate of 1 cent per each dollar per sale, up to a sales amount of $5,000, according to the Pasco County website.
The funds are designated for economic development, public safety vehicles and equipment, conservation of land and natural resources, transportation infrastructure improvements, and enhancements to educational facilities.
The first Penny for Pasco Local Government Infrastructure Surtax was passed by Pasco County voters on March 9, 2004 and was in effect from Jan. 1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2014, and collected more than $320,000,000.
On Nov. 6, 2012, voters approved the continuation of Penny for Pasco for 10 additional years, garnering support from 70% of the county’s voters. Under that vote, the county began collecting Penny for Pasco revenues in January 2015 and will continue collecting them through Dec. 31, 2024.
Proceeds from the second round of Penny for Pasco are expected to exceed $700,000,000, the website says.
Published January 26, 2022