OCULUS sets sights on Port St. Lucie expansion
Ophthalmic surgical instrument maker OCULUS Surgical, Inc. held an expansion announcement ceremony on February 7 on the future site of the company’s planned $7 million, 55,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the Tradition Center for Commerce.
OCULUS Surgical, a global leader in the medical device industry, is headquartered in the St. Lucie West Commerce Park. Over a three-year period, the addition of the new facility and its operations will increase the company’s St. Lucie County employment from 29 to 79.
Founded in 2012 by OCULUS Optikgerate GmbH, a 120-year-old corporation based in Wetzlar, Germany, the company’s surgical instruments support vitreoretinal surgery and are marketed worldwide.
OCULUS GmbH CEO Christian Kirchhuebel and CEO Rainer Kirchhuebel said they are very proud to be enlarging the OCULUS Surgical business in Port St. Lucie. “It is difficult to overstate our enthusiasm for Port St. Lucie and this project. The new people, space, equipment and technologies planned for this project will be of great assistance in maintaining our competitive position,” said Ross McDonough, director of quality and regulatory affairs for OCULUS Surgical.
“The City of Port St. Lucie is excited to welcome the expansion of OCULUS to the Tradition Center for Commerce, to congratulate the Kirchhuebel family and the entire OCULUS team on their continuing success, and to join with our community partners in recognizing another economic development victory in the making,” said Mayor Gregory J. Oravec. “This is an economic development project our citizens can celebrate for a number of reasons, starting with the retention and creation of 79 higher-paying jobs in the high-tech manufacturing sector and the construction of a state-of-the-art facility that will add to the growing momentum of Tradition and our greater jobs corridor.”
“St. Lucie County and Port St. Lucie are very proud to be the U.S. home for OCULUS,” said Pete Tesch, president of the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. “The precision surgical tools made here help save the vision of people around the world. It’s exciting to have a world-class company like OCULUS choose to invest millions of dollars right here in Tradition.”
“It’s exciting to see the growth of our jobs corridor, particularly with the expansion of an existing company with international reach but local roots,” said City of Port St. Lucie Vice Mayor Shannon Martin. “OCULUS’s planned investment in a $7 million facility at the Tradition Center for Commerce, just as TAMCO’s new building begins to take shape across the street, makes me very optimistic about our city’s future.”
The expansion incentive package, which was approved last summer by the Port St. Lucie City Council and the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners, underscores local government’s commitment to higher-wage jobs and capital investment in the jobs corridor. The package includes abatement of city and county property taxes on the new facility, impact fee mitigation, a job growth investment grant and expedited permitting.
“We look forward growing and expanding our manufacturing footprint in Port St. Lucie’s vibrant community of Tradition,” said Bob Zatarain, CEO of OCULUS Surgical.
OCULUS Surgical is also working with the State of Florida on a potential $250,000 grant from the Qualified Targeted Industry Tax Refund program based on the creation of 50 new jobs at an average wage of $42,328 plus a generous benefits package. St. Lucie County is investing a Job Growth Investment Grant of $97,500, of which $50,000 will be used as the local financial match required for the state funding. OCULUS may also be eligible for special utility rates from Florida Power & Light and Foreign Trade Zone benefits.
About the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County
The EDC is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic vitality in St. Lucie County through the attraction, retention and expansion of businesses in the community. The EDC works in partnership with local governments and the private sector to advance its goals of creating more and better-paying jobs for residents, broadening the tax base and improving St. Lucie County’s economic quality of life. Contact the EDC at 772.336.6250 or http://www.youredc.com.
About OCULUS Surgical
Headquartered in Port St. Lucie, Florida, OCULUS Surgical was created in 2012 by its German parent OCULUS Optikgerate GmbH. The company manufactures and distributes innovative, high quality ophthalmic surgical instruments such as the SDI®BIO® Wide Angle Viewing System. For more information, visit http://www.oculussurgical.com.