Brokers and developers are extremely important to the Lake Wales Economic Development Council. The LWEDC couldn’t inspire economic growth in Lake Wales without their dedication, hard work and support.
This is because real estate professionals play a key role in keeping the LWEDC apprised of new developments within the Lake Wales market.
One of the brokers with whom the LWEDC has an excellent relationship is Larry Bossarte, a broker associate at Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Ralston Realty and a member of the Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce. Bossarte has been in the real estate industry for over 30 years and works closely with the LWEDC to ensure that the council knows about new listings, freshly completed real estate deals and possible leads.
“Since I work in commercial real estate full-time, [The LWEDC relies] on us to keep our thumb on the pulse and know what trends are and what demand is and what transactions have taken place or are taking place,” Bossarte explains.
This is crucial to the economic development council, because these full-time real estate professionals have cultivated an excellent list of contacts and sources. Brokers can therefore provide the LWEDC with valuable information from inside the local market, Bossarte said.
“It’s equally important that The LWEDC knows what’s going on locally in terms of possible expansions or relocations of [businesses that are] already here, and they’re not going to get those leads from outside sources,” Bossarte said.
For example, Bossarte and his associates connected KEGEL to the LWEDC and the Chamber while the bowling business was planning to expand. Because of that connection, the LWEDC was able to research incentive programs to aid in the expansion.
In the same vein, developers also have the ability to provide incentives to new business prospects, said prominent Lake Wales developer Joe Miranda of Joseph F. Miranda, Inc. A good relationship with developers is crucial because the developers can help advance the negotiation process by offering incentives.
Joseph F. Miranda, Inc. is the private developer of the Longleaf Business Park, among other business and commercial properties in the area. With the park, in particular, Joseph F. Miranda, Inc. and the city have been working together closely for the last 17 or so years. Miranda was responsible for building out the infrastructure to make Longleaf Business park a shovel-ready opportunity for new tenants looking to expand or relocate.
“We certainly have a great relationship,” Joe said. “The city of Lake Wales has done a tremendous amount of work getting to where they are now.”
Developers also have the ability to help Lake Wales attract specific, targeted industries to the city. These include medical and health establishments, hotels and schools—all of which improve the Lake Wales standard of living and increase its draw to outside residents and businesses.
In 2005, the Lake Wales Medical Center approached Joseph F. Miranda, Inc. because the health center needed additional office space in order to draw more doctors to the area. Miranda agreed and developed a 2-story, 20,000 square-foot office building , which is now called the JFM Medical Center and includes a Wound Healing Center in addition to the doctors’ offices.
“It was a good arrangement for both of us,” Joe said.
These examples highlight why the LWEDC’s relationship with local brokers and developers is so key. With the help and expertise of real estate professionals, the LWEDC can effectively continue its goal to promote economic development in Lake Wales.