Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has seen growth in its commercial and industrial sectors this year. In February, the early-stage technology company AeroClean Technologies announced that it was moving its corporate headquarters to this Palm Beach County community. With this move, AeroClean joins more than seventy other companies that have established headquarters in the city. With more companies setting up operations in the community, is Palm Beach Gardens becoming a new corporate HQ destination?
Palm Beach Gardens Employee-Incentive Grants
In January 2021, the Palm Beach Gardens City Council voted to approve the issuance of over $450,000 in economic-development employee-incentive grants. Grant funding was approved to be used to encourage two unnamed companies to develop operations in the city. The two entities were identified as “Project Branch,” a financial services firm, and “Project Gator,” an early-start clean air technology company. The approved incentive for Project Brach was $165,000, and Project Gator’s approved incentive grant was for $300,000.
AeroClean Technologies (“Project Gator”)
It was recently reported that Project Gator is AeroClean Technologies. AeroClean Technologies is a seven-year-old company that designs, develops, and sells a line of autonomous air and surface treatment devices for offices shared spaces, and hospitals. The company plans to establish its base of operations in a 20,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by hearing health company HearUSA. The facility is located on Riverside Drive near Burns Road, within miles of the Scripps Research and Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience campuses in Jupiter.
According to a recent report, the City of Palm Beach Gardens and the Palm Beach County Business Development Board worked together to attract AeroClean to Palm Beach County. These efforts included providing a real-estate search, expediting permitting, and offering economic incentives for job creation based on the company’s three-year outlook.
Kelly Smallridge, chief executive and president of the Palm Beach Business Development Board, related that “We are thrilled to add AeroClean to the list of 70-plus headquarters that call Palm Beach County their home.” Ms. Smallridge also stated that “The city of Palm Beach Gardens played the most critical role in fast-tracking the process and rolling out a warm welcome mat.”
In addition to the incentives offered by the county’s Business Development Board and the city of Palm Beach Gardens, the company was reportedly attracted to the area due to its growing biotech hub. AeroClean’s chief executive Jason DiBona commented that “Palm Beach County, and Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, in particular, have an emerging life-sciences hub with a growing pool of talent in the medical technology and related sectors, in addition to established aerospace and other engineering talent.” According to DiBona, the city-approved economic incentives are structured so that the company will receive them after it creates jobs in the community.
AeroClean hopes to complete the construction of its warehouse soon and anticipates that employees will move in by April 2021. The company plans to hire more employees to support the launch of its first commercial air-purification unit, the Pūrgo. DiBona commented that “With a product ready to launch, the company will be increasing its hiring activities in 2021 to support warehouse operations, logistics, supply chain, engineering, research and product development, certification ad service, sales, marketing, and finance.” He also stated that “The company will quickly scale for national sales and distribution in 2021.” AeroClean reportedly “hopes to create 100 jobs at an average salary of more than $100,000 a year by 2023.”
Virtu Financial’s Expansion into Palm Beach Gardens
In early January 2021, Virtu Financial announced plans to expand its operations to Palm Beach Gardens. The company’s new location will be in Class-A, a state-of-the-art, 10,019 square foot office space within DiVostaTowers. According to a recent report, “Virtu has worked with CBRE, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Gatsby Enterprises, and Tower CRE during the past year to facilitate the expansion.” Virtu is moving its headquarters to the DiVosta Towers location.
Virtu Chief Executive Officer Doug Cifu commented on the development, stating that “In the past year, we have witnessed the success of working remotely. At Virtu, we have used this experience to diversify our office footprint outside of New York City. Opening a substantial office in Florida makes perfect sense for Virtu. The business and economic environment, growing population, and infrastructure make it an obvious choice for our growing business.”
According to reports, Virtu will employ approximately 50 people in Palm Beach Gardens over the next five years with an annual average wage of $165,000. Cifu related that the staff members who are transferring to Palm Beach Gardens will retain their current salaries and that the effect would be to give most an 11% pay raise because Florida has no income tax.
According to a recent article, other financial firms have been considering moving out of the northeast and relocating to Florida. As more companies decide to leave Manhattan, it’s anticipated that they will be looking for space in Palm Beach County.
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