(Hey, this Florida. There isn’t a county with no growth.)
“And Covid-19 isn’t slowing it down!”
Developers of the Olympus project say that it will be a one-of-a-kind sports complex inside the area called Wellness Way. (Courtesy of Olympus)
Only 11 of the state’s 67 counties are colored with that full-bodied wine hue indicating that the area grew by 10 percent or more between 2010 and 2017 according to the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida, which tracks population and makes estimates.
That’s a lot in a seven-year period that includes nearly five years of a nearly-dead economy and estimates by the bureau who tend to be a little optimistic. Or is that pessimistic? It depends whether you favor growth or hate it.
Lake County is super-hot for growth, and the research shows that nearly all of it is in the county’s 14 cities, where growth ranges from 5 percent to 120 percent from 2010 to 2018. The population of the unincorporated area of Lake grew by only 4 percent.
Fruitland Park led the pack with an increase of 4,885 people, bringing the total to 8,963 or an increase of 120 percent. Nearly all, however, is from the massive retirement community of The Villages, which has built more than 2,000 homes inside city limits.
Tiny Fruitland Park changed its system of government in 2014 so that it couldn’t be overtaken by elected officials from only The Villages part of town. City voters agreed to switch from all voters electing five commissioners citywide to a district configuration, which now requires those seeking office to live in the district they represent.
Villagers pay some pretty stiff money in amenity fees and other costs to live in the retirement community, from which they get most of their recreation and other services. No wonder they don’t want to pay a lot to Fruitland Park.
Farther south, the percentage of growth has grown dramatically, too. Groveland topped the lot in the south with an increase of 88 percent population and 7,678 new residents.
Minneola followed with a 31 percent growth rate and 2,945 more people; tiny Montverde increased by 26 percent and 383 people, and Mascotte brought up the rear with 14 percent growth and 728 new residents.
But the real powerhouse of growth was Clermont, whose raw numbers of new residents increased by 10,164 people or 35 percent. The BEBR numbers predict Clermont will have just under 39,000 by April 1.
City Council member Diane Travis says they are. Residents like the new restaurants, expanded shopping choices and the renovation of downtown, which is continuing.
The City of Leesburg enjoys a vibrant economic environment. Leesburg’s workforce is stable and well diversified.The Leesburg area boasts flexible and efficient multi-modal transportation, making it easily accessible by air, sea and land. The designated Golden Seal Leesburg International Airport provides excellent services to business and leisure fliers, and hotels, restaurants and entertainment are conveniently located nearby.Leesburg is Lake County’s most full-service city, providing staff to work with new and expanding businesses with needed incentives and financing opportunities. Lake County and the City of Leesburg both provide a Job Growth Investment Fund program that awards qualified businesses with financial assistance.
This area has embraced both market segments, and as a result, has become one of the emerging economic submarkets in all of Central Florida. Recognizing these factors, and tempering them with the reality that Leesburg faces a geographic challenge when compared to other adjacent areas in attracting employees, it is projected that the Leesburg submarket will capture the following shares of county growth to 2025:
Population and Housing — 1/3 of county growth
Agriculture — 10%
Mining — 43%
Construction — 31%
Manufacturing — 44%
Transportation and Commuting — 39%
Wholesale Trade — 30%
Retail Trade — 30%
Finance, Insurance, etc. — 39%
Services — 45%
Government Wholesale Trade — 12%
Total — 36% of county growth
The city provides incentives, which are competitive with regional jurisdictions to encourage economic development. Leesburg demonstrates a business-friendly environment by financing water and wastewater impact fees for businesses that desire to build or expand their facilities. In addition to financing impact fees, the City of Leesburg offers ad valorem tax exemptions for new businesses and existing businesses that expand. Business Services
A 243-acre project called Olympus, whose owners describe it as a “one of a kind” sports complex, has been in the works for nearly four years. It’s expected to come before the council in late January.
“Here at Income Property Solution we buy commercial real estate in Emerging Markets. They produce
good cash flows with a strong back-end.”
Have a great day!
Demetrius Brown, & Team