The Leader Magazine

SEP-OCT 2015

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Transportation Spurs Growth in Fort Lauderdale Florida has long been one of the most international of the United States, with its strong connections to Latin America, the Caribbean, and, increasingly, to Europe and Asia. All of Florida's metropolitan areas have collaborated to make this so, but the Greater Fort Lauderdale area is attracting special notice from foreign-based businesses. According to Bob Swindell, President a nd CEO of t he G r e at e r For t L au d e r d a l e Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alliance, encouraging Latin American businesses to place their headquarters in the Fort Lauderdale area has been a key strategy in recent years—and it seems to be paying off. The development of All Aboard Florida (AAF), a passenger rail line that will connect several cities, is also likely to have tremendous positive impact on Fort Lauderdale. "In 2014, we had the second- largest job growth, by county, of any metro area, tied with San Francisco," Swindell reports. "Employment was up by 3.7 percent for 2014. Our airport attracted 25 million visitors l a s t y e a r — a r e c o r d — a n d has just completed its second parallel runway and expanded its international terminal. We attract some of the lowest-cost carriers: International companies can save 20 to 27 percent on travel by coming through Fort Lauderdale." Swindell says Fort Lauderdale is focusing on industries such as aviation/aerospace, infotech and medical/pharmaceutical m a nu f ac t u r i ng , to at t r ac t overseas business. Hoerbiger, a Southern Region REPORT global compression technology company, recently invested $56 million in a new manufacturing f a c i l it y i n C or a l Spr i n g s , bringing 400 jobs to the area. Fort Lauderdale recently beat out Singapore as the home of the new international headquarters of Sato Global Solutions, a Japanese high-tech firm. "Sato liked the accessibility to South and Central America; they liked the community," Swindell says. "Statewide, we have a lot to offer international c omp a n ie s: 15 d e e p -w at e r ports, and we've been diligent a b o u t e x p a n d i n g t h e i r capacities. We're the second- largest cruise port in the world, and the largest container cargo port in the state." Meanwhile, AAF, the $2.5 bi l l ion pa ssenger ra i l l i ne between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando, is likely to be partially operative by 2017. The rail line and the city of Fort Lauderdale are collaborating on a 10-acre site around the station there that could eventually contain up to two million square feet of developed space. The first phase Company officials and local dignitaries attend SATO Global Solutions grand opening in Fort Lauderdale. 44 the LEADER | September/October 2015 SOUTHERN REGION REPORT | SPONSORED FEATURE BY JOSEPH DOBRIAN

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