April 13, 2024

2022 Economic Outlook

Southwest Florida's economic forecast for 2022

Regional business leaders talk about the outlook for the year ahead, plus demographics and statistics

Art Levy | 1/17/2022


    Homosassa has been named one of the cheapest places to rent a home in the nation, according to Rentals.com. Rents average $1,195 a month, or about $1 a square foot, sixth-lowest in the country. The other Florida city on the list, Ocala, tied for third, with an average monthly rent of $1,000. Greenville, Tenn., was the least expensive at $763.


  • Construction is underway on the Meridian at Punta Gorda Isles, a three-story, 127-unit senior living complex.


  • To cut down on noise, Naples has prohibited the use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers within the city limits. The ban also applies to battery-powered and electric-powered leaf blowers that exceed 65 decibels or lack labels indicating the blower meets the noise ordinance’s requirements. K.C. Schulberg has been appointed to lead the Collier County Waterkeeper organization, a water-advocacy group based in Naples. He was previously executive director of the Lee County-based Calusa Waterkeeper group.


  • The state Department of Education has targeted a $5.8-million grant to help fund a 250-student technical school in Moore Haven. The Glades County Technical School is to open this year.


  • Hernando County Emergency Physicians, which provides outsourced emergency department management services to hospitals in Florida, has merged with Pensacola-based Emergency Care Partners, a national provider of emergency medicine and hospital emergency department management services.


  • Lake Placid is getting $1.8 million from the state to install sewer and lift stations near the Lake Placid Camp & Conference Center.


  • TheIncLab, an artificial intelligence firm that moved to Tampa in 2020 from Washington, D.C., is adding 40 jobs this year and is moving into an 8,000-sq.-ft. space in Ybor City. Design and fabrication company Tampa Tank-Florida Structure Steel plans to invest $3 million in new equipment and add 60 jobs, including welders, fitters, machinists and equipment operators, by the end of 2022. The company added 40 jobs in 2021. Sheltair Aviation has started construction on four airplane hangars and office space at Tampa International Airport.


  • Estero-based Hertz says it is buying 100,000 Model 3 Tesla electric vehicles.
  • Lee County got a $2.5-million Florida Department of Environmental Protection grant to add sand to the north end of Little Hickory Island on Bonita Beach.


  • Feld Entertainment, which shut down the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 2017, is considering bringing the circus back — without animal acts. The Ellenton-based entertainment company shut down the circus after protests by animal rights groups and a decadelong decline in attendance.
  • Construction is underway on the Met, a $20-million, 199-unit workforce-housing project in Bradenton.


  • The Pasco County Housing Authority is planning a $16.4-million affordable housing project in New Port Richey. Magnolia Oaks will have 77 townhouse units reserved for low-income veterans and non-elderly disabled citizens. It will also have 34 one-bedroom apartments, 33 two-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom apartments. Construction is scheduled to start in February.


  • Clearwater-based MarineMax bought towboat-dealer Texas MasterCraft for an undisclosed amount. Texas MasterCraft had $45 million in revenue in 2020. Climate First Bank, a St. Petersburg bank that focuses on financing projects that attempt to combat climate change, has opened an office in Winter Park. Clearwater’s KnowBe4, a cyber-security firm, has purchased another cyber-security company, SecurityAdvisor, in a deal worth $80 million in cash and stock. SecurityAdvisor is based in California.
  • Raymond James Financial plans to buy TriState Capital Holdings, a Pennsylvania holding bank, for $1.1 billion. Moffitt Cancer Center plans to develop a three-story, 75,000-sq.-ft. outpatient cancer treatment center in downtown St. Petersburg. A $65-million apartment development called Sur Club has opened in St. Petersburg.


  • Coca-Cola Beverages Florida purchased a 407,000-sq.-ft. warehouse that it plans to open this year in Winter Haven. The facility will start with 200 employees, but the company expects to hire 100 more by the end of the year. Coca-Cola says the warehouse represents a more than $30-million investment. The state will spend $9 million to improve roads that provide access to the Central Florida Intermodal Logistics Center in Winter Haven. Edward Walker Dean is the new city manager of Haines City. He replaces Deric Feacher, who left to become city manager of Daytona Beach.


  • The Longboat Key commission has approved plans for a resort development on the former site of the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key. The St. Regis Hotel and Residences will include 67 condominium units and 166 hotel rooms.


  • The Cross Bay Ferry has started its seasonal service, shuttling passengers across Tampa Bay, with the Tampa dock located at the Tampa Convention Center and the St. Petersburg dock in North Straub Park. The ferry operates between October and May, but it plans to begin offering year-round service in 2024.


  • Duke Energy Florida is building the 74.9-megawatt Fort Green solar power facility on 500 acres in Hardee County. Duke is also building the 74.9-megawatt Bay Trail solar power plant on 500 acres in Citrus County.

Tags: Southwest, Economic Outlook, Feature

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