Archive for Ruskin

Ruskin Rays

Posted in Ballpark, FL, Hillsborough County with tags , , on January 15, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Ruskin TomatoThe little community of Ruskin is the Rodney Dangerfield of Hillsborough County: getting no respect.

The Tampa Times wonderful double-truck color map of the Tampa Bay Area today mistakenly shows Ruskin located to the north of Apollo Beach.

Please, when you next review a real map; note that both St. Pete and Tampa are actually closer to Ruskin than they are to each other.

Ruskin has several lovely plots of land available along I-75 that could happily accommodate a Regional Ballpark.

ruskinraysThink about the panache of a team called the Ruskin Rays, in a ballpark under a huge, retractable tomato half.

 An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.
John Ruskin

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


High-wage jobs wanted? Get on the phone!

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL with tags , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by verbumsapienti2

Watching the BOCC “Green-tech” workshop today I wondered what all the county commissioners’ true motivations are in doggedly trying to push this Green Tech round-peg into that I-4 rural square-hole. 

It can’t be to speed high-wage employment.
County staff tells them it will take years.

 It can’t be to attract new enterprise.
County staff tells them Full Cost Recovery makes it uncompetitive. 

It can’t be to leverage incentives.
County staff tells them the county can’t afford new urban services there. 

It can’t be to create a “permit-ready” cluster-site.
Ruskin has an approved 380 acre site in the Urban Services Area along I-75 with the first 90,000 sq. ft. already under roof. 

So then, what is driving this I-4 Rural Expansion Area?

  • Ego?
  • Envy?
  • Pressure?
  • Bad advice?
  • Contributions?

 Could it be that no one actually knows how to pick up a phone and call the Fortune 1,000 companies?

Maybe someone from The County could call and keep calling each one of them until they come down for a location tour.

The County staff does location tours, yes?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

I-4 Study Flawed

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL with tags , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by verbumsapienti2

The BOCC will soon be considering the I-4 Economic Corridor Study coming from both the Planning and Growth Management Department and the Planning Commission to encourage employment opportunity  in Light Industrial, Office and Research.

 Seemingly overlooked by the I-4 Study Team is the existing 4.4 million sq ft South Shore Corporate Park located on 380 acres along I-75 in Ruskin. This one development alone exceeds the total projected countywide land needs for the next 6 years. According to the I-4 Study, “Each 20,000 square feet of development on average would provide space for 100 employees.” The 90,000 sq ft building already built there could be providing good jobs for 450 people. 

I urge the County Commissioners to take the most cost-effective elements from the I-4 Study that might actually help create jobs; apply them county-wide and not spend our tax dollars needlessly expanding the Urban Services Area.

 <IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

I-4 tech corridor

Posted in Economic Development with tags , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by verbumsapienti2

The I-4 tech corridor proposal will suck the life out of economic development in other areas of unincorporated Hillsborough County.

 SouthShore Corporate Park in Ruskin has already been approved for 4.4 MILLION square feet of light industrial space which could employ 10,000 people. The problem is that it is located in the long-ignored I-75 corridor. The I-4 Economic Corridor Study refers to a review of the I-75 Corridor Study and dismisses the area as “primarily residential and retail development” and “Little land remained for higher wage employment.”

The I-75 corridor plan however clearly states “Large tracts of undeveloped land in proximity to I-75’s interchanges make the corridor area location well suited for expansion of the growing research, light industrial and corporate office sectors of the county economy.”

Are we reading the same reports?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Growth management fees

Posted in Economic Development with tags , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by verbumsapienti2

Hillsborough County Planning and Growth is looking into charging developers a growth management fee variously described as a “mobility fee” or a “sprawl tax.” This could very well come on top of existing impact fees. Whether this new fee ultimately comes from the county or the state, the object is to collect money to offset the infrastructure costs of residential development that occurs away from the urban centers. In our case, the further away from one of the incorporated cities that home development occurs, the higher the fees that would be attached to the project.  The rationale is that when people live away from where they work, shop or go to school, the added length of the average trip adds to traffic congestion and the need for more/better roads.

An alternative that few seem to be looking at is encouraging job growth closer to where people live. For instance, what could the County of Hillsborough do to assist the SouthShore Corporate Park located in Ruskin to fill its 4.5 million square feet of permitted light industrial space with tenant businesses that would provide jobs for South Hillsborough County residents? The one-time tax incentives that could be offered now would be more than offset by added business, property and sales taxes while reducing traffic.

 The recently formed SouthShore Economic Development (SHED) Council has started a website, and will soon sponsor its first public meeting to focus on bringing jobs to the area. Visit the website for updates on economic development in Hillsborough County south of the Alafia River.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Source: Growth-management fees could spike in rural Hillsborough communities

HCC SouthShore Campus worth every penny

Posted in Schools with tags , , , , on December 20, 2009 by verbumsapienti2
Ruskin College

HCC campus in Ruskin

Sure there were cost over runs. Lesson learned. Sometimes however it is not so much what something costs, it’s what you get. In this case, the community of Ruskin got iconic architecture that is not only pleasing to the eye but also to the environment. Lakeland’s campus got Frank Lloyd Wright and Ruskin proudly got architect Everett Henderson Jr. As a  LEED certified building it will save hundreds of thousands of dollars annually on energy and water costs.  

Raised parking areas direct water run off into the ground; classroom lights are programmed to go off when no one is in the room; 99% of the rooms face outside to take advantage of natural light; a 300,000 gallon storage pond for rainwater runoff doubles as a design element and  provides the campus with water for toilets and irrigation. The list goes on. 

The surrounding community has also taken the campus to heart. Student attendance is already pushing 4,000 which is more than twice the number originally anticipated. Many save on gas, driving to this campus closer to home. 

The criticism for cost over runs did not include the fact that the land for the entire 60 acre campus was donated by Ruskin founding family, the Dickmans. This is the same family who cared so much for the community that they donated the land for the first college in Ruskin over 100 years ago.  

John Ruskin once said “When we build, let us build for the ages. Will our children’s children say ‘see, they did this for us?’ ” I think Ruskin would be proud of this campus building located in the community which bears his name. 

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen