Pasco officials have signed off on an amendment to an economic development agreement that paves the way for Raymond James Financial Inc.’s purchase of 65 acres in Wiregrass Ranch.

The Pasco County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday morning unanimously approved the agreement between the county, Raymond James and Wiregrass Ranch Inc. The land is on state route 56 east of the Shoppes at Wiregrass retail development.

While a closing should occur by the end of the year, Raymond James has yet to offer a firm timeline for beginning construction on an office facility on the property.

After St. Petersburg-based Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) signed an agreement to purchase the acreage in 2011, the county approved a package of economic development incentives. The incentives were based on a projection of 750 new jobs in 100,000 square feet of office space.

The amendment approved Tuesday updates Raymond James’ closing date to Dec. 31, 2016. It also removed a deadline for beginning vertical construction, which was already missed due to delays in the permitting process from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said J.D. Porter, an owner and operator at Wiregrass Ranch.

The Corps proffered the permit in July.

Completion of the purchase was subject to the satisfactory resolution of permitting matters, Raymond James said in its most recent annual report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The cancellation of the agreement date has been extended from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

A Raymond James spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.

By:  Ashley Gurbal Kritzer
Tampa Bay Business Journal