Raymond James is a step closer to building a campus in Wesley Chapel, according to J.D. Porter, whose family has a pending contract on a land sale to the financial services giant.
Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the permit needed for the project last week, Porter said. “It covers the entire Raymond James project,” he said.
The project, which would be built near State Road 56 and Wiregrass Ranch Boulevard, ultimately could have 1 million square feet in office space.
“The process from here on out is that we’ve got to go back before the Board of County Commissioners and ratify the deal, update timelines, because it took a little while to get the permit in. And then, after that, per their contract, they have 30 days to close,” Porter said.
Steve Hollister, a spokesman for Raymond James, offered no timetable for when the project will proceed.
“Raymond James continues to evaluate occupancy needs as part of the firm’s long-term growth strategy. We believe the Wiregrass Ranch property is a good future development opportunity and expect to close on the property within the next three months, but cannot commit to a specific construction schedule at this time,” Hollister said, via email.
Still, the Corps’ approval is a significant milestone for a project, which has been described by leading Pasco officials as “a game changer” for the county.
The Pasco County Commission enticed Raymond James to locate in Wesley Chapel by providing about $10 million in roadwork and tax breaks. The state also provided about $4 million in incentives.
Before the county approved the deal in 2011, the Pasco Economic Development Council commissioned an independent analysis of the potential economic impacts.
That analysis, conducted by Impact DataSource, of Austin, Texas, estimated that the Raymond James campus would lead directly or indirectly to 1,200 jobs, providing total salaries of more than $600 million and would yield approximately $135 million in additional taxable sales within the county.
Raymond James is a diversified financial services holding company, with subsidiaries engaged primarily in investment and financial planning, in addition to investment banking and asset management, according to the company’s website. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company has more than 6,700 financial advisors who serve more than 2.7 million client accounts in more than 2,700 locations throughout the United States, Canada and overseas, the website adds. Its total client assets are approximately $500 billion.
The company’s name came from merging companies run by Robert A. James and Edward Raymond, the website says.
Published July 20, 2016