After years of economic struggle, Titusville sees resurgence

By Caitlin Wilson, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016, 9:45 AM EDT

Since the manned space program and most of the jobs that went with it were shut down, Titusville has struggled. But things seem to be looking up for the historic town.

  • Titusville struggled after aerospace jobs left the community
  • Blue Origin, OneWeb, Lockheed have recently come to area
  • Smaller businesses are benefiting as people have returned

In the past few months, dozens of new business have opened, and many local businesses are expanding, bringing in more than 1,000 new jobs to the area.

Sunrise Bread Company opened in Titusville 20 years ago, and it's no stranger to hard economic times left behind after the manned space program shuttered.

“You saw a lot of people who lived on the Cape move away to North Carolina, and a lot of faces just started to disappear,” store manager Austin Averill said Friday.

But lately, a lack of customers hasn’t been an issue. In the past six months, aerospace companies such as OneWeb, Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin have decided to move to Titusville, bringing more than 100 new jobs each with them.

“You also have companies who are longtime Space Coast partners, like Embraer, which has an operation in Melbourne, but now they’re expanding into Titusville. When you add it all up, that’s around 1,000 new jobs in the Titusville area,” Chamber of Commerce President Marsha Gadcke said.

Along with the news jobs has come a surge in the real-estate market. More people are buying property or wanting to vacation in the area.

"We’re already seeing residential activity pick up, so our real-estate market is growing," Gadcke said. "Our housing pricing is increasing. People have a little more income to spend, and it’s really trickling down into our retail environment.

This is good news to local businesses, which say they’re expecting to see this trend continue.

“You can definitely expect to see us booming again,” Averill said.

The Florida's Space Coast of Economic Development Commission said it's planning for the future, and to ensure the area's economy stays secure, it's looking to bring all types of businesses into the area — not just space related jobs.