State kicks in $5.5M to help new commerce park
Now they’re going to have jobs in Marion Oaks.’
The County Commission on Tuesday accepted the state Department of Economic Opportunity’s plan to put up $5.5 million to help development of the Cross Florida Commerce Park on County Road 484 west of Interstate 75.
The money will be used to widen CR 484, build a road into the property, and extend utility lines.
The county’s five-year capital improvement plan includes $6 million in matching funds to help on widening CR 484.
“The governor and their team believe in Marion County,” Commissioner Carl Zalak said during Tuesday’s commission meeting. “They (developers) need a foundation to build on, and government’s role is to help get that aligned.”
Commission Chairwoman Kathy Bryant said this commerce park will “change the face of our community in a positive way,” just as the Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park did when it opened just north of U.S. 27 and just east of I-75.
“It really was what turned things around for Marion County,” Bryant said of that park, which houses FedEx, AutoZone and Chewy.
Commissioner David Moore noted that Marion Oaks workers must come into Ocala, or drive south to Citrus County, or head southeast down the turnpike to find work.
“Now they’re going to have jobs in Marion Oaks,” he said. With the state on board to help pay for infrastructure, local officials are confident they will be able to attract top-flight tenants to the new park.
County leaders praised the team effort that led to this agreement, with special shout-outs for property owner Richard McGinley, county staff, the governor’s office, the Department of Economic Opportunity staff, the county’s legislative delegation in Tallahassee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho and the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership.