First Watch building 39,000-square foot headquarters in Manatee County

First Watch to build new headquarters

MANATEE COUNTY (WWSB) - Suncoast residents: Get ready for a new development in the University Town Center area.

First Watch, a breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant that has been open for more than 30 years on the Suncoast, plans to move their corporate headquarters to Manatee County. The new two-story building will be located behind the company’s current headquarters just north of Cooper Creek Boulevard and is expected to open in 2020, according to a release from First Watch.

County Commissioners voted to provide First Watch with a performance-based economic development incentive package, including up to $255,000 for job creation during the next five years, and a multi-modal transportation impact fee incentive estimated to be $135,240.

“The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners recognizes the tremendous value of companies like First Watch that continue to invest in our community through facilities expansions and job creation,” said Cheri Coryea, Manatee County administrator. “By judiciously applying performance-based economic development incentives, the county helps to accelerate job growth and enhance economic opportunity for all Manatee County residents."

The building is being developed by Benderson Development and will overlook southbound I-75, north of the University Parkway exit. First Watch says the expansion brings with it around 85 new jobs, with an expected average salary of nearly $82,000.

What will the new building have? According to the release:

  • Work spaces in addition to private offices and conference rooms
  • A workout center with locker rooms
  • A test kitchen
  • Classroom facilities for the company’s management academy
  • Indoor and outdoor dining
  • Leisure spaces

First Watch has led its operation out of the Suncoast since 1986, when it opened its first Florida restaurant in South Sarasota on Tamiami Trail. It now has nine locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties, with a total of 378 locations across the country.

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