Palm Bay Florida

T he City of Palm Bay, Florida was on a steady growth path in the early part of the new century. In fact, for three consecutive years –2003-2005–Palm Bay was a finalist for the All-American City Award, and its future looked bright. But then came the housing crisis of 2008, followed by the Great Recession, both of which dealt a severe blow to the city’s economy. “We were hit pretty hard during the Reces- sion,” said Andy Anderson, Palm Bay’s Director of Economic Development and External Affairs, when he first spoke to Business View Magazine, a year ago. “The shuttle program went out of busi- ness at the same time as the housing bubble hit, so we had a double whammy and we were hurting,” he explained. “Up until then, our economy was a successful residential development-based economy and the city had set aside very little in the way of commercial property. But it’s very difficult to sustain a city on residen- PALM BAY, FLORIDA MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Florida AT A GLANCE PALM BAY, FLORIDA WHAT: A city of 111,000 WHERE: In Brevard County, on Florida’s Space Coast WEBSITE: