Construction of Braves complex highlights boom times for North Port
VENICE — While much of the economic development buzz in North Port has centered around the Atlanta Braves’ decision to build a $100 million spring training complex in the West Villages, three speakers at the South County Tiger Bay Club Friday drove home the point that North Port is bustling for a variety of reasons.
First, Ruth Buchanan, economic development program manager for the city of North Port, offered an overview of the region’s general robustness, highlighting growth in manufacturing.
“We’re doing very well in manufacturing, and we hope to do even better,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan pointed to King Plastic Corp. adding 110,000 square feet to its current 150,000-square-foot facility and MTI Equipment moving its global headquarters from Englewood to a 40,000-square-foot facility off of Toledo Blade Boulevard, as well as the opening of Suncoast Technical College in North Port, as a means to provide a trained workforce.
She also touted North Port’s growing profile on a variety of national ratings, such as being a Best Place to Raise a Family in Florida, according to Smart Asset, being recognized by Playful City USA for seven straight years and ranking in the top 10 for its population in the Center for Digital Government’s national 2017 Digital Cities Survey.
Then, Paul Erhardt, president of the West Villages, followed up with the continued bright prospects of the country’s fifth-fastest growing master-planned development. While securing the Braves complex is a major piece and significant lifestyle amenity, Erhardt noted that 992 homes were sold in 2017. With more developers marketing on their portion of the 9,600-acre district, he anticipated that sales in 2018 will easily eclipse that.