A national IT services firm with a Tampa presence for more than a decade is working with Hillsborough County to draw more high-tech companies to the area.
David Jones, chief executive officer for Peak 10 Inc., which broke ground Thursday on a 60,000 square-foot data center near the University of South Florida, said his company offers a service that other tech companies can use.
“We’ve been connected at the hip with (the county economic development team) for about a year as we’ve gone through this process” of expanding, Jones said. “We will have more engagement with them as they attract new industry in to the area.”
In an effort to diversify the county’s job base and bring in new employment opportunities, county commissioners have focused effort on attempting to lure tech businesses to the area.
New companies moving here will have to consider whether they will build infrastructure for their own IT system or whether they will use a company like Peak 10 to provide that service, Jones said.
Among Peak 10’s existing customers are the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Florida Panthers and the Outback Bowl.
“We can be on the front end with (county officials) to help them ask the right questions and attract those businesses,” he said.
Hillsborough County Commission Chair Mark Sharpe, who has been at the leading edge of the effort to draw more tech companies, called Peak 10 the county’s “pride and joy.
“There is a natural magnetic pull that occurs when tech comes to Tampa Bay,” Sharpe said. “It draws other companies. There is a definite partnership. Peak 10 is exactly the type of company we want here” and it will help the county to attract others, he said.
The IT infrastructure and cloud services provider is spending $11 million to construct its first new data pod for information and server storage and ultimately expects to spend $40- to $50 million to expand even further in Tampa, Jones said. The buildings are being constructed to withstand up to a Category 5 hurricane, which is even more of a lure for businesses moving to Florida, he said.
“It is about success in Tampa,” said Jones, who started his company in Jacksonville and built its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. “We have a high level of optimism for continued growth here. We are more than doubling our data center capacity. We are a long-term player and really happy to be in investing in Tampa.”
“When a business makes a multi-million dollar investment in Tampa, it sends a pretty clear message about the economic strength of our community,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a company news release. “We’re leading Florida out of the recession, and companies like Peak 10 are helping us do it..”
Sharpe said the company’s “investment speaks volumes about our potential for IT growth, and supports recent community developments like the establishment of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida.”