EDITOR’S NOTE: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace column.
The Jacksonville area is poised and appealing for business. Just ask the 40 securities traders at Deutsche Bank whether they would trade their positions in Jacksonville for a return to New York City.
When Deutsche Bank opened its offices in Jacksonville several years ago and established trading capabilities, they enticed traders on their New York City desks to relocate here. They promised these traders that they could return after completing their commitment.
The proposition lasted for several years and recently ran its course. So how many of the 40 traders opted to return to New York City? None. They prefer the lifestyle and natural amenities (weather, beaches, lack of congestion, etc.) in North Florida — and the lower taxes.
In the next move to enhance its presence, the global German firm will add 300 positions in Jacksonville — one of several major companies that are hiring here. Others establishing or increasing operations in the Jacksonville area are Bank of America, Embraer, FedEx, United Healthcare and Northrop Grumman.
The immigration of and preparation for almighty jobs extends to surrounding areas, such as here in Nassau County, FL. The 1,800-acre Crawford Diamond industrial park in Bryceville was recently recognized as a turnkey relocation site in a ceremony involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
The Crawford Diamond has access to two major railroads — as well as two interstate highways and several ports. Not to mention a convenient airport nearby in Jacksonville. Print a 2-page PDF file with details of Crawford Diamond Industrial Park.
And it sits on what will soon be four-lane State Highway 301. The site will be ideal for a sizable manufacturer, for instance. It is owned by a subsidiary of Rayonier, which also owns a large multi-use tract in Yulee.
Both of the Rayonier projects are structured around the prospect of attracting jobs. Not only is Jacksonville in an employment mode, so is the state of Florida (behind Scott’s initiatives).
In fact, the Jacksonville region anticipates creating more jobs this year than in any period since the 2008-2009 financial collapse. As of the middle part of this year, 16 companies have announced they would bring some 2,600 new jobs to Jacksonville. The onslaught of new jobs has helped to improve the employment picture in Jacksonville. The unemployment rate is now 6.5 percent for the region, down from 8.2 percent a year ago.
However, Deutsche Bank is not the only company expanding here. Bank of America will add 200 positions, while United Health plans 300 new jobs. Aviation company Northrup Grumman will add the most positions — 400.
Other companies boosting their presence in North Florida are: Body Central Headquarters, Coastal Cloud Headquarters, Digital Risk Financial Services, Railex, and SunGard.
In addition, a market research company from New Jersey plans to relocate its headquarters to Amelia Island. The company, dtw Marketing Research, specializes in pharmaceuticals and will build its office on the south end of the island.
The dtw relocation will create 40 jobs and inject $2 million worth of capital improvements into the area over the next two years. Now, that has a lot of appeal.
Business expansion and relocation information: Learn more at Expand in Nassau County, Florida (Nassau County Economic Development Board).