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Pinnacle Financial To Create 160 Tampa Jobs

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TAMPA - [Pinnacle Financial Corp., an Orlando-based mortgage lender, said Monday it will open a sales and support center in Tampa, creating 160 new jobs with an average salary of $64,000.

The company is setting up shop in 25,000 square feet of leased office space at 3501 Frontage Road. Jim Gallant, president of Pinnacle's marketing division, said his firm chose Tampa for its mortgage origination center because of the ``available work force, convenient location, diverse quality of life, and incentives we need to continue our rapid growth.''

Pinnacle won't receive any upfront government incentives for locating the new center in Tampa, but the company will be eligible for future tax breaks under the state's Qualified Target Industry program, said Gene Gray, director of Hillsborough's Economic Development Department.

If Pinnacle hires as many people as promised and maintains those jobs at the salary levels it specified, then after four years it will get a $5,000 tax credit for each job created, he said.

Pinnacle will help build the region's reputation as a second home for high-paying financial services firms, Gray said. Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and MetLife have major operations in Tampa, and Depository Trust Clearinghouse Corp. announced last month that it had chosen Tampa for a major new operation that will employ as many as 500.

``Financial services have become an extremely important business sector for Tampa and Hillsborough County - and, really, for the entire Bay area,'' Gray said.

Pinnacle said it funded more than $3 billion in residential mortgages last year, and expects to grow in 2004.

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Tampa has always had a pretty good job market, compared to the rest of the country, but its great to see a large amount of high paying professional jobs continuing to come to town.

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