Hernando County launches spec building program to attract industry

In an effort to stimulate economic growth, Hernando County’s Board of Commissioners has agreed to try an incentive program for developers amenable to building speculative, or “spec,” structures, the board announced from Brooksville, Florida recently.

County officials cited a limited supply of existing facilities as an impediment for attracting new business to the area.

"Offering these initial incentives to developers is a partnership to encourage investment in Hernando County,” County Administrator Leonard Sossamon said.

Hernando County manufacturing jobs swelled by over one-third between 2012 and 2015, and its unemployment rate lowered slightly to 6 percent as of December 2015, both indications that real estate would bolster potential activity.

“With this type of growth we need to ensure we can meet the demands of not only new businesses, but our existing companies as well,” Sossamon said. 

The jurisdiction hopes to recruit a variety of industries, from manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, to back office operations and logistics; to do that, it needs to present tangible opportunities for occupancy.

Hernando County’s Office of Business Development prepared a set of incentives to complement its drafted requirements for the spec building project. Advantages will include an offset of initial site and land costs along with expedited permitting.

Buildings must meet requirements for light/heavy industrial work, with a minimum of 10,000 square feet with office and manufacturing/warehouse space or Class A office space, and be finished within 18 months. The county pledges to adhere to all transparency needs.

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