PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The St. Joe Company and the Bay Economic Development Alliance announced Tuesday that a large aviation company is coming to Bay County.
GKN Aerospace, "one of the world’s largest independent first tier suppliers to the international aviation industry," will expand its operations by locating a new manufacturing facility in Venture Crossings® Enterprise Centre.
The company intends to lease a new manufacturing facility, which will be developed and owned by a subsidiary of St. Joe and designed to meet GKN Aerospace’s specific requirements
"With this new facility, GKN Aerospace plans to make a capital investment of approximately $50 million and create 170 new jobs for highly skilled employees," EDA officials wrote in a news release.
“We are pleased that a company of the stature of GKN Aerospace will be bringing high quality aerospace manufacturing jobs to Bay County," said Jorge Gonzalez, The St. Joe Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "Manufacturing has a high economic multiplier effect so we remain committed to working with the Bay County EDA and other partners to continue to attract quality job creators.”
Those comments were echoed by Mike Grunza, CEO of GKN Aerospace’s Aerostructures North America business.
“This investment emphasizes our commitment to manufacturing in North America, as this new world-class facility will create jobs and strengthen our competitive position in the US aerospace market for the future," Grunza said. "The excellent support we have received from Bay County EDA, Governor Rick Scott’s office, higher educational partners and The St. Joe Company made Florida an ideal location for GKN.”
St Joe officials added that the Venture Crossings business park is a “Florida First Sites” Certified Site.
"Florida First Sites is a regional site certification program for project-ready sites in the State of Florida. Each certified site undergoes a rigorous screening process, ensuring that pre-work has been complete, taking the majority of the risk out of the site selection process," they wrote. "With commercial and industrial land for sale, lease or development, Venture Crossings® Enterprise Centre offers a strategic location for those seeking to launch, expand or consolidate a business. High tech manufacturers, such as GKN Aerospace and Harris Corporation, have been drawn to Venture Crossings due in part to its potential for 24/7 operations and for transportation options via air, land or sea. Numerous real estate options exist, including pad-ready sites and build-to-suit construction — offering businesses flexibility and capacity to grow."
The site is anchored by Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, major arterial highways and several nearby Florida Gulf Coast military installations.
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