The Real Deal Miami

Raymond James buys 65 acres for office project

The investment firm plans to put 4 office buildings and 750 employees at Wiregrass Ranch

September 25, 2016 02:00PM

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J.D. Porter of Wiregrass Ranch Inc. (Source: LinkedIn)

J.D. Porter of Wiregrass Ranch Inc. (Source: LinkedIn)

Investment firm Raymond James Financial bought 65 acres in Pasco County for an office project at a discounted price of $1.7 million, or $26,153 per acre.

St. Petersburg-based Raymond James bought the land along State Road 56 at a development called Wiregrass Ranch for construction of four office buildings. The company has committed to a quartet of six-story buildings for 750 Raymond James employees – an economic prize for Pasco County that comes at a price.

J.D. Porter of Wiregrass Ranch Inc. told the Tampa Bay Times that his company sold the 65 acres at discount to lure Raymond James to its development: “It was the right thing to do. But we left a lot on the table.”

Raymond James also is eligible for financial incentives from Pasco County and the state totaling $14 million in exchange for bringing 750 jobs to Wiregrass Ranch.

The 65-acre land sale closed earlier this month after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved its permit for the Raymond James office project and Pasco County amended the incentive agreement to remove a construction start date.

Raymond James told the Tampa Bay Times it hadn’t committed to a construction schedule for the office project at the 65-acre site in Pasco County.

But the investment firm got a bargain, compared with past purchases of land in and around Wiregrass Ranch. These include a $13.5 million acquisition of 73 acres along State Road in Lutz for a T. Rowe Price office development that never got built. [Tampa Bay Times] Mike Seemuth

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