FORT MYERS — While much of the economy is at a coronavirus pandemic standstill, one firm, Fort Myers-based Seagate Development Group, continues to work on several large-scale Southwest Florida projects.
One is a 52,710-square-foot facility in Fort Myers for Conditioned Air, a $57 million HVAC business, which Seagate officials say will be completed on schedule. And, notably, the company is moving ahead with a new global headquarters for cancer genetics testing and information services company NeoGenomics. Just west of Interstate 75 and north of Alico Road along Three Oaks Parkway in Fort Myers, the $60 million project was major win for the firm for Seagate when it was announced in January. Other trade partners on the project include architectural and design firm Studio +, engineering firm Hole Montes Inc. and general contractor DeAngelis Diamond. The state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of third quarter 2021.
Seagate began site-work at the NeoGenomics site in early April, including site clearing, underground utilities installation and roadway improvements, according to a statement. Upcoming roadway improvements will help provide access to the site and will include the addition of two new roads — NeoGenomics Way and Assay Avenue, the release adds. “We are pleased to officially begin work associated with this exciting project,” Seagate CEO and Partner Matt Price says in a statement. “We look forward to advancing through the stages of development to bring NeoGenomics’ vision to life. This project offers us the opportunity to highlight our team’s capabilities and to continue to expand our commercial footprint throughout Lee County.”
In an interview, both Price and Seagate President James Nulf say the company has felt the impact of the coronavirus crisis in many ways, from office employees working from home to significant health and safety changes on sites. “As a company we are adapting to the changing environment,” Nulf says, including hosting virtual happy hours and cooking demos for employees, to keep morale up.
The company, Nulf adds, is “practicing extreme cautionary measures” on job sites to protect employees, including adding more portable wash stations and new protective gear.
And while not 100% business as usual from a future project standpoint, Seagate has gotten creative, picking up work, for one example, in tenant improvements such as new carpeting and painting work while offices have less employees. Price says Seagate, founded in 2014, has always sought to be diversified in its client base. “We built our company to withstand any downturn,” says Price, “although we obviously didn’t anticipate a pandemic in 2020.”
Seagate, with 55 employees, did $65.5 million in revenue in 2019. That figure has grown every year, since $17.6 million in 2015. Officials don’t expect the pandemic to put an end to that streak. “We are still projecting growth in 2020,” says Nulf. “I think that’s a tremendous headline, that even with all that’s happening, we are still projected to grow.”