ED Secret from 006: From a Jail to an ED Site

This month’s episode of Economic Development Secrets features Lucienne Pears, Director of Economic Development in Charlotte County, Florida. When working on a recruitment project, her team needed to go above and beyond in order to give the company the perfect location. Check out the excerpt below:


One of the biggest projects that we’ve worked on recently in Charlotte County is the Cheney Brothers project. Cheney Brothers is a food distribution and supply and restaurant supply company. They have other locations in Florida and they were looking to expand. Their expansion territory that they were looking at was basically from the south end of Tampa Bay all the way down to the Everglades on the west coast of Florida. One of their criteria was that they wanted significant highway frontage and visibility. They found that in a couple of communities and in Charlotte County they were really struggling until they found one parcel that happened to be owned by the county that was directly adjacent to the county long term stay facility, otherwise known as the county jail.

That piece of property was a Brownfield property and it was committed by the commission for jail expansion opportunities and we saw that there were some constraints to that property but instead of just crossing it off the list right away, we approached the sheriff and said, “Hey, things have really changed at the county jail with your future plans, we have this great opportunity in economic development. Would you be willing to give up your right for this land?” The sheriff readily agreed which was fantastic and we were able to sell at a very reasonable market price to Cheney Brothers, that piece of property.


Click the player below to listen to the full episode:

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