Highwoods Properties is a publicly traded (NYSE: HIW) real estate investment trust specializing in the development, acquisition, leasing and management of quality office properties across nine market divisions, primarily throughout the southeast. Companywide, they own and manage approximately 32 million square feet, mainly in the BBDs (best business districts) of Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Raleigh, Richmond, Greensboro, Memphis, Nashville and Pittsburgh. In Tampa, Highwoods Properties is the largest office landlord with 22 buildings totaling 3.8 million square feet.
A 30-year commercial real estate veteran, Dan Woodward is directly responsible for day-to-day operations in Highwoods Properties’ Tampa Division, overseeing all acquisition, leasing, management and development activities. With Highwoods since July 2006, he previously served as Senior Vice President of Trammell Crow Company, responsible for the oversight of development activities in Central Florida.
1. Tampa and Hillsborough County continues to rise as a top business destination for relocations and expansions. When you are traveling or visiting other markets, what do you tell the people you meet about our community?
Tampa and Hillsborough County is a vibrant, diverse economy that provides abundant opportunities for everyone. This is an easy city to do business in, thanks to low costs, a skilled labor pool, and minimal regulatory burdens. Our community is home to excellent educational institutions, Tampa International Airport, Port Tampa Bay, and MacDill Air Force Base, which all provide us with a solid economic base. Tampa and Hillsborough County is a great place to live, work, and raise a family, which makes it easy to attract and retain talent.
2. How does your company impact the business culture of Tampa and Hillsborough County?
Highwoods Properties owns, develops, acquires, leases, and manages properties in BBDs (best business districts) primarily throughout the southeastern United States. We are the largest office landlord in Tampa with 22 buildings totaling 3.8 million square feet. Our daily work revolves around supporting more than 200 companies, our customers, as they successfully operate their respective businesses here in Tampa. We provide class A space and amenities for them, and also offer a great platform for growth, with 37 acres of developable office land in Hillsborough County capable of supporting approximately 800,000 square feet. By allowing customers to expand and grow here, we ensure their long-term growth and commitment to Tampa and Hillsborough County.
3. Talent recruitment has become a huge strategic initiative of the EDC over the past few years. How are you selling out-of-state talent on Tampa and Hillsborough County? Why is local talent inclined to stay here?
In the past, college graduates would first look for job opportunities before they settled on a place to live. We’re now seeing a shift in that dynamic with college graduates first looking for the place they want to live and then seeking employment. This change greatly benefits Tampa and Hillsborough County, as we are a great community to work and live, offering an outstanding quality of life as well as plenty of professional opportunities.
4. Where do you derive the most benefit for yourself and your company as an EDC Investor?
As an Investor of the EDC, we have an opportunity to be more involved with our community. We work alongside government and business leaders to make Tampa and Hillsborough County an even better place that it already is. All the hard work done by the EDC increases economic vitality in the area, which in turn increases demand for office space
5. The EDC offers a variety of services to the local business community, as well as businesses looking to relocate or expand their operations into Hillsborough County. In your opinion, what is the most valuable service provided by the EDC?
The EDC’s support of local companies is invaluable. The job is not done once the company is here; the EDC makes sure they are adapting and integrating into the community. From assisting with labor needs to making sure their families are comfortable here, the EDC is truly there every step of the way.