Emily Topper, Managing Editor | THE PLANT CITY OBSERVER
Plant City is continuing to make a name for itself as a Hillsborough County hub of local manufacturing.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, Peninsula Steel held a grand opening at the company’s new home, 4504 Sydney Road.
City leaders, including Mayor Rick Lott, City Commissioner Mike Sparkman and City Manager Mike Herr were present at the ceremony, as well as Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce President Christine Miller and Plant City Economic Development Corp. President Jake Austin.
Peninsula Steel, a family-owned company run by Pablo and David Villarreal, produces steel products for the construction industry. Products include welded wire mesh, pencil rod concrete accessories and bar supports.
The company currently has 12 employees, David Villarreal said. He serves as the company’s operator. Within the next four to six months, the company has plans to expand to 30 employees.
Prior to a tour of the plant given by the employees, Austin welcomed the company to the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World and congratulated the owners on a successful launch.
“This project’s been a while in the making,” Austin said. “It’s been about three years, from my perspective. We’ve seen this site as a critical, competitive site that we’ve been promoting for Plant City for some time.”
For Austin, the project signified further growth and expansion in Plant City.
“This project represents foreign, direct investment … from Mexico, which is a big deal, not only for Plant City, Hillsborough County and the state, but for the nation,” Austin said. “This one was pretty special to us. We want you to know that we have your backs, and we’re here for you.
Peninsula Steel produces 60 tons of steel per day out of its Sydney Road facility.
We’re going to make sure that every step along the way that you operate in Plant City, we’re there with you, arm in arm.”