Jose Garcia: Focus on better housing has wider economic reach

Title, company: Executive director, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay

Education: B.S.Ed. in Special Education, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela

Named director RTTB: 2007

Arrived in Tampa Bay: 2002

Family interests: History from the discovery of the Americas to medieval

First paid job: Special education teacher

Why Jose is a big deal: RTTB’s mission is to provide decent housing to the most vulnerable sector of the population. With nearly 25 years of experience in the nonprofit… …read more

Gold toilets, a personal hockey rink and more: Behind the doors of custom homes in Tampa Bay

What is the most unusual request you have had from a client?

Mike Bartoletta, Taralon Homes: To install a gold toilet

Brandon Boss, Boss & Mennie Inc.: To build a hockey rink inside a home

Jay Fechtel, The Fechtel Co.: To design and build a “car barn”

T.J. Nutter, Nutter Custom Construction: Glass garage doors

Leslie Bessey, Macale Builders Inc.: We had a three-story, castle-like structure to build.

Stephen Bronstein, Cornerstone Homes and Design: Mid Century Modern home

Joe Triplett,… …read more

Florida Fast 100: Right place. Right time. Right skills.

The key to being one of the fastest-growing companies in Florida , it turns out, is pretty easy: All you have to do is be in the right place at the right time with the right skills.

Of course, figuring out exactly what those right things are is the hard bit.

For the companies that made the 2015 Florida Fast 100 list — health care companies, technology firms, construction businesses and more — making sure they hired the very best people they could, pushed them in the proper direction and focused… …read more

Downtown St. Pete apartments sold for $84.5M

A downtown St. Petersburg apartment development has been sold for $84.5 million.

Alabama-based B&M Management paid $259,202 per apartment for Beacon 430, which is at 430 Third Ave. South, in a deal that closed Thursday.

Beacon is a four-story building, wrapped around a five-story parking garage. The amenity package includes a pool, 3,000-square-foot fitness center, yoga studio and outdoor kitchen.

JBM Multifamily Institutional Advisors of Tampa represented the seller, NRP Group, in the transaction.… …read more

Two major transactions in two days as Ritz-Carlton condo, coastal compound sell in Sarasota (PHOTOS)

Two major residential real estate transactions in Sarasota have closed in the last two days.

The home at 8306 Sanderling Road on Siesta Key sold for $6.25 million on Tuesday. On Monday, unit No. 1101 in The Beach Residences at the Ritz-Carlton sold for $4 million. One agent from Sarasota brokerage Michael Saunders & Co. was involved in both transactions.

The buyers have not been disclosed, and deeds for the transactions have not yet been filed in Sarasota County.

The home on Sanderling Road is… …read more

What people earn is expanding most rapidly in America’s heartland

Paychecks are expanding more rapidly in the nation’s heartland than anywhere else in America.

Five major markets enjoyed income growth of at least 2.5 percent per year between 2009 and 2014 — and four are located in a narrow belt from Arkansas and Oklahoma to Texas.

Atop the list is the Fayetteville, Arkansas metropolitan area, which is best known as the home base of Wal-Mart Stores.

The typical worker in the northwestern corner of Arkansas earned $42,410 in 2014, the latest year for which official… …read more

23-story apartment tower in downtown Tampa moves forward (New renderings)

An Atlanta developer is moving forward with plans for a 23-story apartment tower on downtown Tampa’s Grant block.

Carter closed on the three parcels at 910, 911 and 915 N. Franklin St. on Sept. 9, paying $6.4 million for the one-acre site, according to a Hillsborough County deed filed Friday.

The sellers were father-daughter duo Jeannette and Doran Jason, who also own downtown Tampa’s historic Kress building.

The developer first filed plans with the city for the tower in September 2014.

Closing… …read more

Waterfront mansion in Westshore Yacht Club hits the market (PHOTOS)

A recent listing in Westshore Yacht Club shows how far Tampa Bay’s luxury housing market has come in the last five years.

The 6,681-square-foot waterfront home at 6021 Beacon Shores St. hit the market last week, listed at $3.3 million. Jennifer Zales, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, has the listing.

The sellers — Gordon Troy and Julie Simpson, according to Hillsborough County property records — purchased the home from the original developer in 2010 for $950,000.

The… …read more

Grand Central site near Oxford Exchange ‘destined’ for multifamily development, owner says

Harvey Parido and his family thought Altman Development Corp.’s proposal for Grand Central was exactly what the neighborhood needs.

Parido’s wife, Cecille Stoeltzing Parido, owns the land where Altman had proposed a building with 296 apartments, 5,000 square feet of retail space and 622 parking spaces. Tampa City Council struck down the rezoning request that would have cleared the way for that development, which was hotly contested by several neighbors.

Altman is under contract to buy the 2.51-acre… …read more

Tampa City Council blocks proposed luxury development near Oxford Exchange

Tampa City Council has struck down a rezoning request that would have cleared the way for an upscale apartment-and-retail development near Oxford Exchange.

The vote came shortly after midnight Friday, after a public comment period that spanned almost three hours. The majority of those who spoke opposed the proposal.

Altman Development Corp., based in Boca Raton, had sought to rezone the 2.51-acre site bound by front Grand Central Avenue to the north and Cleveland Street to the south, Cedar Street… …read more