Pinellas by Design
Pinellas by Design

Young-Rainey STAR Center

Location: 11400 Bryan Dairy Road, unincorporated Pinellas County

Redevelopment District: Largo Industrial District

Project Type: Rehabilitation/reuse, brownfield redevelopment

Description: In 1994, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) closed its Pinellas Plant, a local facility that produced nuclear weapons components. Some 1,400 highly skilled workers lost their jobs, and the county lost a major catalyst for local high-tech industry. The community was left with a vacant 96 acre site that included some environmental contamination, making redevelopment to other uses difficult. To address these issues, a public-private coalition called the Pinellas Plant Community Reuse Organization (CRO) was formed.

With participation by the DOE, local governments, and business and community representatives, the CRO oversaw the facility's transition from an obsolete military facility to a modern high-tech industry campus. Pinellas County agreed to take ownership of the property, which was renamed the Pinellas Science, Technology, and Research (STAR) Center. The DOE contributed $23 million to remediate and upgrade the facility, train displaced workers, and recruit private-sector tenants. An incubator for new businesses, the STAR Technology Enterprise Center, was also created with assistance from Pinellas County and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council.

Today more than 20 technology-related businesses reside at the complex, in fields as diverse as engineering, marine science, forensics, and homeland security. More than 3,000 jobs were retained or created, and another 700 are planned. The DOE has recently awarded Pinellas County an additional $1.5 million grant to continue upgrading the facility.

STAR Center
The Pinellas Plant - 1972

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