Medical company to build HQ in Lakewood Ranch

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- ISPG, a family-owned manufacturer of high grade medical devices, plans to begin construction on the company’s new global headquarters in Lakewood Ranch.

The specialty medical manufacturer relocated from Connecticut last year after the political climate and rising taxes made the cost of operation unaffordable, says president and owner James Fitzgibbons.

Now leasing a small temporary space near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport on University Parkway, ISPG hopes to move into its new 12,400-square-foot facility in Lakewood Ranch by September.

The company plans to invest $1.6 million in the expansion and double its 25-employee payroll in the next few years.

“We’ve been looking down here for a year or so, and we just couldn’t find anything that matched our criteria,” Fitzgibbons said. “We need something clean in a desirable area, and we love Lakewood Ranch, so we decided to build.”

ISPG is one of the world’s largest suppliers of cannulae, a precision-made tube that can be inserted into the body, often for the delivery or removal of fluid, or for the gathering of data.

The company also makes specialty needles and glass syringes to administer epidural anesthesia for use in obstetrics.

ISPG works with third-party manufacturers, mainly in Japan, that in turn sell the products to end-users in the medical community. ISPG has about 100 customers around the world, with active orders from 35.

“We do business with the who’s who of the medical and pharmaceutical industries,” Fitzgibbons said. “We’re a niche field. When we say we’re the biggest in the world, it’s because there’s not too many out there. It’s a very specialty area.”

After 25 years in Connecticut, the private company has grown to an annual revenue base of nearly $30 million. But it hasn’t lost its family roots.

The company is run by Fitzgibbons, his two daughters and their husbands. They chose Lakewood Ranch primarily because of the quality of schools in the area.

“We just found the future of our business wasn’t in Connecticut,” Fitzgibbons said. “We were driven out just the way the British drove my family out of Ireland. Since being here, it’s been a difference of night and day.”

ISPG has hired Holland Construction to begin building the plant at 10504 Technology Terrace in Lakewood Ranch.

Fitzgibbons hopes the expansion will allow the company to place a heavier emphasis on inhouse manufacturing. The company will receive impact fee credits and local government incentives for the move. Those grants will be based on the number of jobs created, with an exact amount yet to be determined.

Fitzgibbons was appreciative of the efforts of Sharon Hillstrom of the Manatee County Economic Development Council and Karen Stewart of Manatee County in assisting his company with its transition to Manatee County.

Officials said more expanding companies, like ISPG, are choosing Lakewood Ranch because of the community’s quality of living, nearby amenities and thriving business environment.

Lakewood Ranch last week was named one of the 10 best-selling planned communities in the country by California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

“It’s definitely an area where we expect to see continued growth over the next few years,” said Brian Volner, chairman of the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance. “The business community is a huge component of that.”

Josh Salman, Herald business writer, can be reached at 941-745-7095.