|Lake Wales Area Business|
Because of its convenient Central Florida location, the Lake Wales area offers outstanding opportunities for economic growth. The intersection of U.S. 27 and S.R. 60 at Lake Wales makes an excellent hub from which goods may be transported easily to all points in Florida.
Although citrus and tourism are an important part of the area's economy, more business and industry are relocating to the area with the construction of Longleaf Business Park just 2 miles south of Lake Wales on Highway 27. Kegel, Co., the park's first tenant, manufactures bowling equipment and cleaning supplies that are marketed worldwide and has a state-of-the-art training facility utilized by bowling professionals, college teams and bowling enthusiasts. In addition, Spin Magnetics, a manufacturer of transformers, occupies another building in the business park.
Additional emphasis by the City has been on the location of light manufacturing and distribution companies west of Lake Wales along S.R. 60, to take advantage of the new CSX multimodal distribution center expected to locate just north of the area with the next year.
In addition to the downtown commercial district, the along S.R. 60 east of Highway 27 and along Highway 27, north and south of the City, are home to many retail businesses and professional offices. Each area provides many options for new business location. New commercial development at the north end of Lake Wales along Highway 27 over the past few years has included Eagle Ridge Mall, the Shoppes on the Ridge, Bob Evans, Chili's, two hotels - Hampton Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express - Home Depot, Lowes, and Kohl's. With the Fall 2011 opening of the LEGOLAND FL Resort, just minutes away from Lake Wales on S.R. 540, additional commercial development is expected to meet the needs of the millions of visitors who will be drawn into the area.
Working together to create a new Economic Development Plan to guide development efforts, the City of Lake Wales and the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce have pulled together community business leaders and respresentatives of area educational institutions to form a new Lake Wales Area Economic Development Partnership. The results of their cooperative planning efforts has been approved by the Lake Wales City Commission and the Board of Directors of the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce.