Technology investment firm chooses St. Pete over Miami for new HQ

A major financial backer of innovative technologies is moving its headquarters out of New York City and into Florida, but instead of Miami, the company chose downtown St. Pete

Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest plans to invest in the region in some big ways. 

"Cathie Wood is an icon in the investment industry," the CEO of the Tampa Bay Innovation Center, Tonya Elmore said, bluntly. "It’s a very big deal." 

ARK Invest puts money into a portfolio of businesses know as disruptive innovation – start-ups in energy storage, blockchain technology, robotics, and DNA sequencing, to name a few.

ARK Innovation Center rendering (ARK Innovation Center)

ARK’s move to downtown St. Pete on Central Avenue will bring dozens of high-paying jobs to Pinellas County. 

In addition to moving ARK’s corporate headquarters, the company is also merging with the Tampa Bay Innovation Center and building an incubation center, which will be complete in 2023. The company hopes the incubation center will be birth more new technology. 

"It is something that will impact our communities for decades to come," Elmore said. 

ARK Innovation Center rendering (ARK Innovation Center)

St. Petersburg’s mayor, Rick Kriseman, is thrilled St. Pete won out over Miami. 

"We are a state that has no income tax, but I’ve always felt what separates St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay is the quality of life," Kriseman said.

For Wood, it came down to the industry.

"We’ve been blown away the focus on, and the commitment to, science and innovation in Tampa and St. Petersburg," Wood said. 

The move for ARK Invest from New York will be complete by the end of October.