On Wednesday, March 5, Governor Rick Scott and FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad were on hand to announce groundbreaking improvements and the creation of the Tampa Gateway Center at Tampa International Airport. Governor Scott stressed the importance of projects like the one at Tampa International Airport, noting that the Tampa Bay area has long been a destination for tourists. “We want more tourists in our state, they create a lot of jobs,” he said. “More than half of those individuals come in through our airports. Tampa has a great airport. This would be a great expansion.” Governor Scott also spoke about the growth that the Tampa Bay area has recently seen, not only with tourists, but with many people relocating to the area to work and live as well. “You want your tax dollars invested where you’re going to get a return,” Scott said. “The Tampa Bay area is a hot market. Tourists want to come here. People want to move here. People want to buy homes here.”
Construction is set to start this year on the Tampa Gateway Center, a 2.3 million-square-foot car rental and retail facility that will be built south of the main terminal. It will be linked to the airport by a 1.3-mile people mover and will have the capability to connect the airport to future systems of mass transit in the Tampa Bay area. The project is expected to create 7,141 construction jobs and, when it’s finished in 2017, another 1,112 permanent jobs.