Younger Home Buyers Seen in Diversifying Economy


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September 23rd, 2015 – A vibrant economy in Sarasota and its resulting increase in employment opportunities appear likely to boost housing demand, particularly from a younger demographic, reports from the annual meeting of county’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC) held in September 2015 indicate.

A survey released in time for the event attended by some of the top local executives, showed that over half of the 74 companies which participated in the poll expect to hire additional employees, most likely from the younger generation, during the next three years. Business revenues are projected to grow between 10 percent and 49 percent in the next 18 months, the EDC survey also showed.

Diversification of the local economy is also evident as more than half of the firms in the poll were in manufacturing and distribution, while a third were from technical and business services, and 13 percent from insurance and finance. These companies employ over 1,800 workers and generate aggregate annual sales of close to $5 billion. Notably, over half of these firms have added investment in new equipment as well as created new jobs.

Bullish factors

Younger Home Buyers Seen in Diversifying Economy

Several positive factors contributed to these bullish economic projections which could likewise stimulate demand for Sarasota homes for sale. One is the low cost of doing business in the county, which was cited by close to 70 percent of the businessmen surveyed.

The local and state tax structure is another positive which was rated as either good or excellent by 84 percent of the EDC poll’s respondents. Likewise earning praises from the business community are the local governments, university and colleges, and cultural amenities.

Talent and housing search

In their wish list, the business leaders identified employee housing and continuing focus on workforce development as top priority. Ensuring human resource availability, particularly in such key areas as management, marketing, engineering and IT, has also been cited as critical for business growth in a diversified Sarasota’s economy. What most executives would want to attract in particular are the skilled or talented millennials also known as Generation Y in the age 25–29 bracket who are en route to the prime of their careers.

There are initiatives underway which can potentially address these support areas that the business sector wants tackled. On workforce housing, for instance, some 1,000 apartment units are programmed in several projects either underway or in the pipeline at the Rosemary District just north of downtown Sarasota.

Among other level-up efforts in the academe, the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota has developed curricula which reputedly produces some of the top computer design and animation graduates in the country. Notably, the Ringling College has also teamed up with the EDC for this year’s inaugural “Innovation by Creative Design Award.”

Award-winning ventures

This maiden citation was awarded to Osprey Biotechnics, a pioneering Sarasota venture which grows and freeze-dries certain strains of helpful bacteria for sale to agricultural and industrial enterprises. The company has also introduced, Microlife, a new probiotic poultry feed additive that eliminates or reduces the use of antibiotics in raising farm animals.

Reflecting the upbeat mood of the local business sector, this company has expanded its manufacturing facility from 18,000 square feet to 70,000 square feet and doubled its workforce to 72. Also on an expansion mode is PGT Industries, the region’s largest manufacturer, which disclosed that it has been hiring some 20 employees a week recently.

Another honoree during the EDC meeting was Lou Oberndorf, chairman of Medical Education Technologies Inc., who received the “Clyde Nixon Business Leadership Award.” Oberndorf’s company makes and markets medical patient simulators that hospitals and healthcare facilities widely used for personnel training.