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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Friday, Jun. 2, 2017 1 year ago

Fast-growing firm gets new digs

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Outgrowing its Sarasota location, Environmental Pest Services finds home in Tampa

Tampa recently won a new corporate headquarters, but unlike in some past victories, there was little public fanfare to trumpet the move.

The company is Environmental Pest Service, which had been based in Sarasota since the 1950s, where for many years it was a local leader under the name Arrow Pest Control. EPS signed a five-year lease on a 7,800-square-foot office in Bay West Center in the Westshore business district. The company has 35 employees for its internal headquarters operations, and most of them made the move north, says CFO David Bradford.

“We just finally outgrew our space in Sarasota,” Bradford tells Coffee Talk. “It made sense for us to move to Tampa.”

EPS, with $50.5 million in revenue in 2016 and nearly 500 employees companywide, is one of the fastest-growing pest control and lawn care firms in the country. It has acquired and merged with 80 companies since 2010, including six acquisitions in 2016. It's also grown organically in multiple markets, and was ranked No. 19 on Pest Control Technology magazine's 2016 list of the Top 100 largest firms in the industry by revenue. Brands under the EPS banner include: Arrow Environmental Services in west and central Florida; Bug Out Service in north Florida; Skyline Pest Solutions in metro Atlanta; and State Pest Control in central North Carolina.

Bradford says being in Tampa, specifically Westshore, hits two major points for EPS: it's near a major airport, which is good to get to locations EPS has in Georgia and North Carolina, and there's a larger talent pool there than Sarasota when seeking employees.

But one thing EPS didn't get in the move: incentives from any local government, which are usually routine when a company takes employees from one spot's tax base and moves them to another.

Bradford says EPS executives spoke with a consultant about getting incentives, but the company would likely have had to go someplace else, not Westshore, which defeated the purpose of the move. “It wasn't about pitting Pinellas vs. Hillsborough vs. Pasco to see what that would get us,” says Bradford. “We knew near the airport is where we wanted to be.”

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