PALMETTO, Florida – Port Manatee and Carver Maritime LLC have entered a long-term marine terminal operating agreement for a 10-acre aggregate offloading facility at the Florida Gulf Coast port.
The agreement, for as many as 20 years including options, was approved today [Thursday, Aug. 16] by the Manatee County Port Authority and ensures property lease payments totaling $1.8 million for the initial five-year term, in addition to wharfage payments for annual cargo throughputs.
“We, along with our customers, are excited about this opportunity, and very much look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Port Manatee, as well as its tenants,” said Carver Laraway, president of Altamont, New York-based parent firm Carver Companies. “The projected growth of Central Florida and the business-friendly environment of Manatee County make us eager to call it home.”
With its 1,400-foot-long conveyor system, truck loading facilities and deep-water access, the Port Manatee site, formerly occupied by Vulcan Materials Co., falls directly in line with Carver’s core capabilities of aggregate supply, heavy construction and maritime operations, Laraway said, adding, “It will provide a solid foundation for the company to enter a new, vibrant market to service its customer base and grow alongside other businesses in Manatee County.”
The Port Manatee facility will be the third maritime endeavor for Carver Companies, which was founded in 1989. The first, the Port of Coeymans, a 400-acre privately owned and operated maritime industrial complex, opened in 2007 on the Hudson River, 10 miles south of Albany, New York. The second was established in 2016 on a former naval base property in North Charleston, South Carolina, and now encompasses 40 acres of industrial laydown and warehousing.
“Carver provides a perfect addition to the diverse family of operations at Port Manatee,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director, who noted that it joins Kinder Morgan, Federal Marine Terminals, Logistec and Logistec Gulf Coast among the ranks of Port Manatee marine terminal operators and stevedores.
Manatee County Port Authority Chairwoman Vanessa Baugh, citing Carver’s projected creation of 30 jobs over the next three years, as well as expected generation of heightened commerce, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the Carver operation and the favorable economic impacts it will bring to our port and region.”
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.