Assets: Why Relocate/Expand in the Glades?
- Land The Glades features acres of land which is developable within multiple zoning uses
- Workforce The Glades has a workforce with generations of experience with hands-on work, and new workers can be trained through various area partners, such as CareerSource, Palm Beach State College, and the West Technical Education Center which is represented by the Glades Career Readiness Roundtable
- Incentives The Glades is a state-designated Rural Area of Opportunity which may qualify your business for additional financial incentives beyond what is typically offered elsewhere
- Access The Glades offers access via roads such as SR80 and US27, through airports such as the Palm Beach County Regional Airport located in Pahokee, or by CSX Railroad’s tracks that run throughout the area
- The Quality of Life in the Glades offered is a sharp and welcomed contrast to coast Florida, as freshwater activities in Lake Okeechobee are abundant, and a more relaxed pace of life exists
The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB), in conjunction with the Lake Okeechobee Regional Economic (LORE) Alliance of Palm Beach County, maintains an online [www.bdb.org] database of available property and land, and assists in matching it with businesses, expedited permitting, Enterprise Zones, Designated Rural Area Tax Credits, and other important property incentives.
Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay adjoin within 10 miles of one another, and thousands of acres of developable industrial and commercial property lie within their annexed city limits or unincorporated areas.
The area is home to U.S. Sugar, Florida Crystals, and independent farmer members of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, with dedicated production that sustains three sugar mills and one sugar refinery.
Palm Beach County is home to over 118,000 full-time and part-time direct jobs in agriculture, forestry and related food industries. Agriculture is the second largest industry group in sales exceeding $11 billion. It’s 9.7 percent of the county’s output.
The majority of manufacturing conducted in the Glades is related to agriculture. Companies such as Florida Crystals spend countless hours turning their freshly farmed sugar cane products into value-added consumer products. However, nonagricultural manufacturing has gained traction over time in the Glades, and companies such as Tripp Electric Motors located in the City of Belle Glade are thriving. Currently, the Glades offers industrial land for potential users interested in manufacturing here.
Rising costs and shrinking coastal Florida land availability makes inland Florida the natural alternative for companies that desire access to ship to both Latin America and North America, and the Glades Region offers this option.
By Air: Just 35 miles west of Palm Beach International Airport; home to Glades Airport in Pahokee, the county’s designated general aviation, recreational, parachute operations, and sport-flying airport; and Belle Glade – State Municipal Airport, a publicly owned single-runway airport that can accommodate corporate jets.
By Rail: The area is served by Florida East Coast Railway Company (FEC) and by the South Central Florida Railroad (SCFRR). Both lines connect with CSX Railway and Norfolk Southern to provide service throughout Florida and the United States as well as parts of Canada.
By Water: Development of an 850-acre, 10 million square-foot inland Intermodal Logistics Center is planned, a collaboration between the Port of Palm Beach and Florida Crystals in anticipation of the resulting economic boost in international trade, logistics, and freight handling the 2016 completion of the Panama Canal Expansion engendered. The partnership establishes formal cooperation in information exchange, marketing, market studies, planning and development, training and technological interchange, can readily tap an available workforce, and is proximate to key infrastructure, such as U.S. Highway 27, and areas of rural economic opportunity.
By Roadway: U.S. 27, which runs north/south from Miami to Indiana, intersects with State Road 80 running east/west across the state from West Palm Beach to Ft. Myers, in South Bay; and U.S. 441 runs northwest to southeast through the Glades’ Tri-Cities area. All three communities are served by Palm-Tran, Palm Beach County’s award-winning public bus system.
This region of 40,000 is within an easy commute for 3 million skilled workers. The BDB and LORE coordinate responsive labor placement and training inquiries with the cities, CareerSource, and other entities such as Palm Beach State College and the Glades Career Readiness Roundtable, so to answer inquiries about new employer Rural Jobs Tax, the Federal New Market Tax Credit, Rural Areas of Economic Opportunity, and other state incentives.