TBBJ List: Additional content from the Homebuilders List


We asked local production homebuilders to name a few of the newest features, amenities or trends in houses being built in 2015. Here are some responses…

Greg Carlson , K. Hovnanian Homes : More open space; community amenity such as resort style pools and playgrounds; higher ceilings Janice Snow , Homes by WestBay : More elaborate owner’s bathrooms. Flooring upgrades. Gourmet kitchens and outdoor living continue to be high… …read more

Tampa General CEO opposes development near Oxford Exchange

Another prominent Tampa businessman has come out against the proposed apartment-and-retail development on Grand Central Avenue, just as it’s slated to go in front of city council.

Jim Burkhart, CEO of Tampa General Hospital, wrote in a Sept. 8 letter to Abbye Feeley, the city’s planning and development coordinator, that the hospital opposes Altman Development Corp.’s request to rezone 504 Grand Central Ave. to make way for nearly 300 apartment units and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Burkhart… …read more

USF quick to lift coach’s Ybor ban, but it could still fuel the historic district’s stigma as dangerous place

University of South Florida football coach Willie Taggart on Monday banned players from partying in Ybor City — a move that was quickly overridden by the university’s athletics director.

Former USF player Elkino Watson died Sunday after he was stabbed near a night club in Ybor City. On Monday, Taggart said on his weekly conference call that players will “have to find other places to go have fun” besides Ybor, the Associated Press reports.

Within hours, Mark Harlan, director of athletics at USF,… …read more

Former exec blows the whistle on Walter Investment, leads to $30M mortgage fraud settlement with the feds

Walter Investment Management Corp. has agreed to pay $29.6 million to resolve allegations it submitted false claims to the federal government.

The case is a “significant milestone” in the fight against mortgage fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, A. Lee Bentley III.

Walter (NYSE: WAC), a mortgage banking firm headquartered in Tampa, was accused in a lawsuit of submitting bogus claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in connection… …read more

Off the Sarasota coast, a restored rustic beach house that served as a bereaved daughter’s emotional journey (PHOTOS)

For Nancy Nolin, the rustic beach house on Jewfish Key was as much of an emotional investment as a financial one.

Nolin was willed the home at 7155 La Lenaire Drive by her father, Bill Ross, when he died in 2009. In 2011, Nolin set off on a $300,000 renovation, to modernize the home and restore its woodwork.

Now it’s on the market, listed for sale at $1.5 million. Cedric Viquerat, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate’s East Manatee office, got the listing on Aug. 31.

“I… …read more

5 things to start the day: Tampa’s investment hot spot and St. Pete’s Good ‘Burgers award winners

Good morning from the TBBJ newsroom. I’m filling in for Pam Huff, who is getting an early start to the Labor Day weekend. Lucky her – she’s going to run into gas prices that are the cheapest in a decade, according to Bay News 9.

Here are five things to start your day:

Award winners

The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce named its 2015 Good ‘Burgers at a party last night at Jannus Live. The Museum of Fine Arts won the Arts & Culture category. Eat & Treats honors went to Bella Brava,… …read more

Seminole Heights is becoming the new South Tampa

When Wesley Burdette told people he was planning to move his family from Lutz to Seminole Heights, not everyone was enthused by the idea.

“They would say, ‘That might be aggressive,’ or ‘Good luck to you,’” Burdette, 46, said. “They would say it in a friendly way, but a lot of guys, they thought I was a little on the nutty side.”

Seminole Heights, advocates say, is the city’s next hottest neighborhood. It’s filled with historic bungalows, avant-garde restaurants and vintage… …read more

Executive files: Making transit options a huge partnership priority


Title & company: President and CEO of Tampa Downtown Partnership On her DVR: HGTV and the Cooking Channel Short-term TDP agenda: A fervent advocacy for short- and long-term transit solutions. “It’s almost the only thing Tampa is missing in our stride forward.” Chicago: A great place to grow up and a great place to learn city lessons Who plays her in the movie: Cameron Diaz Choice of Monopoly board piece: The Water tower

Why Christine is a big deal: The Tampa Downtown Partnership… …read more

Theft leads to prison sentence for former housing authority leader

Wenston DeSue, former executive director of the Bradenton Housing Authority, was sentenced to a year in prison for theft of federal funds.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew also entered a forfeiture money judgment of $276,300 against DeSue, which was the proceeds of his theft, and ordered him to pay the same amount in restitution to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

DeSue pleaded guilty in May. Prosecutors said he accepted his salary for time he was supposed to be working, but… …read more

Bayfront Sarasota mansion built for entertaining on the market (PHOTOS)

A bayfront Sarasota mansion built for entertaining is on the market for $4.75 million.

Roger Pettingell, an associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, announced the listing for the 6,233-square-foot property at 1378 Harbor Drive on Friday. The home, which sits on the Sarasota Bay in the city’s Harbor Acres neighborhood, has five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a deep water dock and four boat lifts.

The formal living and dining rooms feature an open layout, plus a stone-encased… …read more