Project to centralize immigration services in Tampa
Posted on June 2, 2011
TAMPA –Immigrants will soon have a new place to go through the process of becoming American citizens with the construction of what officials describe as a modern, energy-efficient U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office on Hoover Boulevard.
Officials broke ground on the $10 million, 42,282-square-foot building near Tampa International Airport on May 18 and expect it to be completed early next year. It is being built to be hurricane resistant by Procacci Development Corp.
The government has a 15-year lease on the building, with a possibility of getting out of the lease after 10 years, according to developer Phil Procacci.
The cost is $41 a square foot, or about $1.73 million a year. Procacci said the full-service lease includes such things as taxes, janitorial services and tenant improvements.
Immigrants seeking to become citizens now must go to three locations in Tampa – one to apply, one to get their fingerprints taken and another to be sworn in. The new office will contain all the resources needed, including an application support center and a room for naturalization ceremonies.
The Tampa field office received 11,649 applications for citizenship last year, up from 9,093 in fiscal year 2009. In the first six months of fiscal year 2011, there were 6,721 applications, according to Sharon Sheidhauer, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Services.
In general, Sheidhauer said, 80 percent to 85 percent of citizenship applications are approved.
The Tampa field office provides services to residents of 12 counties: Citrus, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota.
Procacci, which is headquartered in Boca Raton, is also building a 7,520-square-foot building on the 6.5-acre site. It will offer office and retail suites aimed at businesses related to citizenship services, such as immigration attorneys and photographers, as well as a coffee shop.
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