Three years of success validated Tim and Sara Hale's decision to base their cloud consulting company in Flagler Co. Their recent purchase of the Discovery Center confirms their commitment to stay.
After renting space there since the company’s founding three years ago, Coastal Cloud has purchased the 25,834 square foot Hammock Beach Discovery Center at One Hammock Beach Pkwy in Palm Coast, Flagler County. Three years of success have validated Tim and Sara Hale’s decision to base their cloud consulting company here. Their recent purchase of the Discovery Center confirms their commitment to stay here.
The Hale’s launched Coastal Cloud at a 2013 event held in the Discovery Center’s spacious lobby. Business leaders and politicians, including Florida Governor Rick Scott were there. That day, the Hales detailed their plans to hire up to 100 technical consultants over the next three years. That goal has been met.
Hales original plan was to build a corporate center on property they own in Flagler Beach. However, the rapidity of Coastal Cloud’s growth plus forward-looking expectations led Hales to conclude the Flagler Beach location would not be sufficient to accommodate the company’s expected growth. The property is at 904 Oceanshore Blvd, a short distance south of the iconic Flagler Beach pier and across A1A from the Atlantic Ocean. It epitomizes the company’s slogan, Live at the beach. Work in the cloud, but the combined lots are only .37 acres.
We will likely develop the Ocean Shore Blvd property into something with a lower use intensity than our Discovery Center-based corporate hub will necessitate; perhaps a conference or training center,” says co-founder and Managing Partner, Tim Hale.
Coastal Cloud occupies the entire second floor of the Discovery Center. Two long-term tenants, May Management and Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, occupy most of the first floor. The remaining first floor office space the will be rented. The spacious lobby will likely be repurposed into a coffee bar or possibly a deli.
Thus, the Hammock Beach Discovery Center comes full circle. It was built in 2003, during the real estate boom of the early 2000’s to serve as “Starship Enterprise” for the GINNdom, GoToby.com’s respectful moniker for the Bobby Ginn Companies that helped put Palm Coast on the map. Locally, Ginn developed the Hammock Beach Resort, Yacht Harbor Village and the Conservatory.
After an intervening foreclosure precipitated by the real estate market collapse, the building is once again in the hands of a Flagler County success story. “Coastal Cloud is the poster child of what our area’s economic development efforts should reap,” says Helga van Eckert, Executive Director at the Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity.
Coastal Cloud’s next generation consultancy and delivery model maximizes the value available from Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Embracing the concept of rural-sourcing, the company’s location in Northeast Florida provides its employees with an exceptional quality of life and an affordable cost of living. “A nimble, high-touch, deeply skilled US team at a reasonable price point can provide more value than offshore providers and expensive consultants in large metro areas,” says Sara Hale, also a co-founder and Managing Partner.
Coastal Cloud is structured on a Hub & Spoke model, with its primary Cloud Solution Center in Palm Coast. A secondary hub recently opened in Louisville, Kentucky. Approximately 50% of Coastal Cloud’s consulting team is located in Florida, most of them in Palm Coast. The remainder of their certified cloud consultants are located strategically near clients across the country.
Last week, Coastal Cloud hosted its consulting team for the company’s second annual two-day “All Hands on Deck” meeting. The working portion of the meeting was held in the Discovery Center’s lobby area, the same place as the company’s launch.
The building is already showing the benefits of being owner-occupied. The exterior has been pressure washed, landscaping has had a makeover and the outside up-lighting has been upgraded.
Public records indicate the selling price was $2,175,000, or $84.19 per square foot. The building once carried an assessed value of $3,654,225. The current assessed value is $1,450,000. The deed lists the purchaser as Coastal Cloud Properties LLC. The seller was RMB 13 LLC. The transaction closed March 31, 2016.