By Mayor Douglas T. Kinson
When it comes to diversifying our economy through job creation, nobody does it better than the City of Maitland. Nearly two years ago, just prior to one of the worst downturns our country has ever seen, Metavante Corporation. broke ground in Maitland Center committing to over 500 jobs. Since their commitment, Metavante was bought out by Fidelity Information Services, also known as FIS.
The City of Maitland met with the players involved and decided this was the type of project and company we wanted to attract. We committed early on to support the company and project, and, in the end, a win-win scenario that involved non-cash, state-based incentives was the key to attracting the company to Maitland.
FIS decided on Maitland after an extensive search of many municipalities. Liberty Property Trust, committed to constructing the 220,000 square foot building in the Maitland Summit Office Park after the company signed a lease for nearly half of the facility. And even though the economy turned, FIS stood steadfast in their commitment to their employees and to Maitland. In the end, this project became one of the largest office building deliveries in all of Central Florida over the past year.
This commitment has paid off for both FIS and Maitland, as FIS, one of the largest banking solution companies in the world, not only chose to locate their headquarters for their Orlando Banking Solutions center right here in Maitland Center, but they also committed to expand by another 300 jobs in the near future.
FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to over 8,000 financial services firms and businesses worldwide. They join an impressive list of blue-chip tenants in Maitland Center including EA Sports, Charles Schwab and ZOM Corporation.
In addition to well over a thousand business and professional jobs having been created, this building will be LEED Gold designed and will be constructed under the guidelines of a 'green building', with the goal of obtaining U.S. Green Building Council certification!
This past Monday, the official ribbon cutting took place for FIS at their new facility. The backdrop was the beautiful water feature, a key component of the development, along with the linear park, which provides an amenity for all employees in the area.
Nearly every employee of FIS was represented at the ceremony, along with key executives, including President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Martire and Chief Operating Officer Gary Norcross, one of my next-door neighbors. In my discussions with Frank regarding their future plans, I was pleased to find out that their expansion of 300 jobs will take place sooner than expected with growth over the next three years to surpass 1,100 employees!
At a time when nearly every candidate running for office screams of job growth, Maitland has succeeded with not only supporting business in our community, but attracting new companies that will serve to support our economy long term. FIS is a perfect example of what it takes to commit to a stable, economically vibrant community.
Many thanks go out to all of our elected officials and residents for recognizing the benefits of supporting and keeping projects like FIS moving forward.
Projects like FIS help support Maitland's long term financial stability and allows our City to keep our taxes low and to continue providing the quality of services and life we all expect.