Boston Calling, Tampa Bay should answer

I apologize, dear Tampa Bay, for not staying local my first Memorial Day weekend as a Tampa resident. I didn’t enter your stores. I didn’t dine in your restaurants. My money went to Boston.

Granted, this weekend you did not have the Boston Calling music festival. Beck, St. Vincent and Run the Jewels played. Could you blame me?

I did think of you during seamless (albeit screechy) public transit rides, spending money in different neighborhoods. The sidewalks cracked with age, but enough of them… …read more

Pending home sales hit highest level since 2006

Pending home sales hit their highest level in nine years in April, a sign that last month’s sales decline for existing homes may be only temporary.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contract signings, jumped to 112.4 in April, rising for the fourth consecutive month. That’s its highest level since May 2006. All four regions of the country saw more contract signings in April, led by the Northeast and Midwest.

“Realtors are saying foot traffic… …read more

First Watch acquires Colorado-based breakfast chain

First Watch is still hungry.

The Bradenton-based breakfast/lunch/brunch chain has acquired The Egg & I chain of 114 units, which also specialize in breakfast.

Terms were not disclosed.

The Egg & I, founded in Colorado in 1987, is the latest in a buying spree by First Watch. In 2014, the chain, majority-owned by the private equity firm Freeman Spogli, acquired 20 restaurants in Arizona called The Good Egg, as well as two Bread and Company units in Nashville, Tennessee.

The haul brings First Watch’s… …read more

$45M Westshore apartments to break ground Thursday (Rendering)

A North Carolina developer will celebrate the construction of a luxury apartment community in Tampa’s Westshore business district on Thursday.

Crescent Communities, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Crescent Westshore at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

The 374-apartment complex will be built at the intersection of West Boy Scout Boulevard and Lois Avenue, near International Plaza. In January, Crescent divided the site and sold a portion of the land to Orlando-based… …read more

EPA finalizes ‘waters’ rule; businesses say it will lead to more land use regulation

The Environmental Protection issued final regulations defining what bodies of water would be subject to Clean Water Act permitting requirements, upsetting business groups that contend the rule will expand federal control over how land is used.

The EPA contends the Clean Water Rule simply provides more precise definitions are what types of waters are subject to federal regulation. This should streamline Clean Water Act permitting, it contends.

“For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities… …read more

New apartment development planned near West Shore and Gandy

A Tampa developer is planning a new apartment community just south of Gandy Boulevard.

ABC Capital Corp. is asking the city to rezone a 2.8-acre parcel of land at 5320 South West Shore Boulevard, where West Tyson and West Pearl avenues intersect with the boulevard. The site is about a quarter mile south of the intersection of West Shore and Gandy boulevards.

The plans are for 188 apartments, 20 of which will be efficiency units, said John Grandoff, a partner with Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa. Grandoff… …read more

New home sales jump in April, as do prices; is it time to build?

Good news for home builders and maybe for the economy as a whole: Sales of new homes increased nearly 7 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s still a below-average rate historically, but it’s up 26 percent compared with April 2014. Plus, home builders were relieved that sales bounced back in April after slumping in March.

“Today’s numbers are consistent with other data we’ve seen recently and indicate a continuing,… …read more

Tampa Bay Brewing Co. sets opening date for new facility

Just over a year in construction, Tampa Bay Brewing Co.’s new facility is set to open July 6.

The 17,400-square-foot brewery/restaurant, built from the ground up, is located on Racetrack Road in Oldsmar, a quarter mile north of Hillsborough Avenue.

“The major construction is done and we’ll soon be installing equipment and start landscaping,” said Mike Doble, who is overseeing the build-out. He’s part of the family that owns and operates TBBC.

All told, project’s price tag is $5.1 million, Doble… …read more

Existing home sales fall while housing starts surge — what’s up with that?

Sales of existing houses unexpectedly fell in April, providing the latest bit of confusing data about the health of the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors reports sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops dropped 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. The good news is that’s the second month in a row that the sales pace topped 5 million. Plus it’s 6 percent higher than it was a year ago.

Economists, however, expected… …read more

Hot apartment market presents $375M opportunity for Landmark Apartment Trust

Landmark Apartment Trust Inc. wants to raise up to $375 million in an initial public offering of its common stock.

A hot market for apartments is driving the IPO. Multifamily was the first sector of commercial real estate to grow post-recession, as people who lost homes to foreclosure or had damaged credit became renters, as Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Ashley Kritzer previously reported.

Landmark, a Tampa-based real estate investment trust, has been rapidly growing since 2012. It owns 71 apartment… …read more