Cathie Wood Says St. Petersburg Wants to Be the ‘Next Austin’
(Bloomberg) -- ARK Investment Management’s Cathie Wood is betting that St. Petersburg, Florida, can become the next buzzy destination for technology firms.
Woods touted the low cost of living in the Sunshine State, which has no income tax, and pushed back on the notion that it’s just a place for retirees.
“We believe that St. Pete wants to become the next Austin and attract tech companies, attract innovation,” Wood said on ARK’s monthly webinar Tuesday. “Many people think of Florida and St. Pete as a retirement home and it’s anything but that.”
ARK announced last week that it will close its Manhattan office at the end of October and move its headquarters to St. Petersburg, which is on Florida’s Gulf Coast in the Tampa Bay region. The relocation highlights the once-overlooked area’s growing appeal to Wall Street players, including the already-established Raymond James Financial Inc. and Dynasty Financial Partners.
While New York finance firms have looked to open satellite offices in Florida, companies based in California have been relocating to Texas, another low-tax state. Austin, where Tesla will move its headquarters, has seen real estate prices skyrocket during the pandemic as tech workers move there.
Austin, with a population approaching 1 million, is the fourth largest city in Texas, trailing Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.
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