According to Sandra Dyche Kim, managing principal of CapSpan, Jacksonville, Fla., experienced substantial growth during the latter decades of the 20th century and into the 21st, due to its diverse economic base, young and energetic population, and high quality of life.
The city is a transportation hub, says Sandra Dyche Kim, with the largest deepwater port, four airports, three seaports, a highway system that links the city to three major interstates, and a rail system served by three railroads. This hub has attracted the automotive industry, making Jacksonville the leading U.S. port for automobile imports, notes Sandra Dyche Kim.
Pulp and paper mills play substantial roles in the local economy. Three important naval air stations give Jacksonville one of the largest military presences in the country. The total economic impact of the bases in the community is about $6.1 billion annually. Aviation, with more than 6,000 naval personnel, is also a natural fit to Jacksonville.
According to Sandra Dyche Kim, Jacksonville is home to many prominent corporations and organizations, including the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies.
Import-export operations are a vital segment of Florida’s economy, says Sandra Dyche Kim, and Jacksonville is a major center for that activity. The city’s top exports are building materials, medical/health and beauty products, transportation equipment, food and restaurant equipment, construction equipment, packaging, generators and chemicals, says Sandra Dyche Kim.
According to Sandra Dyche Kim, approximately 4,800 acres are available for light industrial expansion, with another 800 set aside for heavy industrial use. Sandra Dyche Kim also explains that in 2000, Downtown Vision Inc., a not-for-profit organization, was established to bolster the downtown community and promote it as an ideal venue for business and tourism.
Jacksonville is an attractive site for expanding companies, in part because of its abundance of workers due to migration, natural growth, a strong military presence, and the area’s educational institutions, notes Sandra Dyche Kim. The area’s population is significantly younger than all major Florida cities, with a median age of under 36 years old.
Relocating businesses are drawn to the area’s quality of life, sunshine, sports, and recreational and cultural opportunities, as well as the region’s emphasis on well-planned growth. According to Sandra Dyche Kim, between 1999 and 2004, approximately 60,000 new jobs were created by companies expanding or relocating to Jacksonville.
Sandra Dyche Kim is a financing partner and on the board of directors of Premiere Capital Group.