The groundbreaking was held Friday, Jan. 27, at Lakeside Station in Plant City.
QGS Development Inc., a site development and golf course contracting company, held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, Jan. 27, for a 16,000-square-foot office building as part of Lakeside Station on Park Road.
The company started in November 1982 as Quality Grassing & Services Inc. by Howard Barnes and JW Thomas. Originally a seeding and mulching contractor, the company expanded and began installing turf on golf courses. The company is now one of the leading golf course and grassing contractors in the United States and internationally.
In addition to QGS President P. Howard Barnes and Vice President Thomas Barnes, Mayor Rick Lott and City Commissioners were present at the event. One hundred students from Plant City High School on a business field trip were also able to attend.
Bob Appleyard, of Lakeside Station, gave a speech just before the groundbreaking, expressing his gratitude for the new business in Plant City.
“QGS is a terrific, terrific addition to this community,” Appleyard said. “QGS has values of honesty, integrity ... and hard work, faith, country. QGS is exactly the kind of quality company that we want to attract to Plant City. QGS, like many companies, started long ago with a very small bank account and a very, very, very big heart. I’ve known and admired and respected Howard Barnes since 1984. I cannot tell you how much pride and joy it gives me to welcome the company that Howard built with his own heart and hands to Lakeside Station and to Plant City.”
Appleyard then went on to express his hopes for the future of Plant City, and its continued growth.
“Leaders in Plant City have a unique ability to work long and hard again and again on multiple projects and they don’t come away tired, they come away energized,” Appleyard said. “And I’ve come to realize that the factor that allows that, the factor that creates that, is a little bit of the factor that I’m feeling today. It’s a love for community and a determination and commitment to build a better future.”
Appleyard attributed the continued growth and success of Plant City to the community leaders at organizations including the Plant City Economic Development Corp., the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce, Rise Plant City, Plant City Main Street and the City Commission.
“This community is filled with those kinds of people who seem to draw energy from hard work and multiple projects and commitments,” Appleyard said. “It’s these kinds of people, these kinds of organizations and their dedication that make quality community progress and economic development happen. And I have absolutely no doubt, with these people, that that’s exactly what’s happening today and is going to continue to happen in Plant City.”
Contact Emily Topper at [email protected].