Vinik’s plans create a sense of urgency to improve the TECO Line Streetcar

Unfortunately for the TECO Line Streetcar, Jeffrey Zampitella is an anomaly among downtown Tampa residents.

Zampitella, president of the SkyPoint Condominium Association, said he is such a passionate advocate for public transit and a walkable city that he finds excuses to take the streetcar whenever he can — and sometimes for no reason other than it’s there.

“I go out of my way to use it, because I just believe in the streetcar system,” Zampitella said.

He averages about six rides on the streetcar… …read more

Florida leading indicator continues upward trend in December

Florida’s leading indicator — a measurement of economic activity in the state compiled by Durham, N.H.-based — increased in December by 0.5 percent after an increase of 0.4 percent in November.

The December data is the most recent available.

Nine of the 10 components that make up Florida’s leading indicator had a positive contribution in December: unemployment claims, weekly hours in manufacturing, exports of manufactures, building permits, exports of manufactures, international… …read more

Kahwa Coffee goes far afield, announces newest location in Westchase

Continuing its aggressive expansion northward, St. Petersburg-based Kahwa Coffee will open its seventh location this spring in Westchase.

The 1,100-square-feet space — in the bottom floor of the Altis Highland Park apartment complex just north of Westfield Citrus Park mall — will feature indoor and outdoor seating.

Founded by the husband-and-wife team of Raphael and Sarah Perrier, Kahwa began roasting in St. Pete in 2005. It opened its first storefront on Second Street North in 2008, providing… …read more

PGT opens new glass plant

By Salem Solomon

Custom window and door maker PGT Inc. has opened a $14 million glass plant in Venice.

The 96,000-square-foot facility has been under construction since January and will employ about 220 people when running at full capacity, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. So far, 65 new employees have been hired.

The company believes the rebounding homebuilding industry in Florida will lead to greater demand for its window and door offerings, the Herald-Tribune said. “New construction is half of what…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

A closer look at redevelopment plans for the Kress in downtown Tampa

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

The latest proposal for revitalizing the historic Kress building in downtown Tampa is about half the size of the plans pitched at the height of the real estate market.

The Tampa Bay Business Journa l was first to report that a group of Tampa real estate veterans has teamed up with an Atlanta hotel developer to redevelop the five-story Kress, which was the home of five-and-dime store S.H. Kress & Co. The Tampa team includes father-and-son construction executives Sam Ellison and Casey Ellison; Anthony…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

Luxury condo project, with units starting at $3 million, breaks ground in Manatee

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

A condominium building with units that start at almost $3 million is under construction on Longboat Key.

Georgia-based Crossgate Partners LLC — which developed Madeira Bay Resort in Madeira Beach — has already sold five of the 11 units at 4765 Gulf of Mexico Drive, on the Manatee County side of the barrier island. The units are large for condos, ranging in size from 3,380 square feet to 6,370 square feet.

The 5-acre site includes the main residence building, a pool, clubhouse and fitness center…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

Hillsborough County Appraiser uses new software to improve efficiency, accuracy

By Salem Solomon

The Hillsborough County Property Appraiser is using a new software system to view and appraise homes.

Property Appraiser Bob Henriquez said the program will allow employees to more efficiently and accurately update tax rolls, according to the Tampa Tribune. The office is obliged to review each of the county’s 420,000 residential properties every five years.

“There were technologies out there that were investments we thought would pay dividends to the taxpayers as well as to our office,” Henriquez…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

Exclusive: Historic Kress in downtown Tampa to be redeveloped into hotel

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

The historic Kress building in downtown Tampa is on the verge of a transformation from vacant to vibrant, with plans under way to redevelop the building into a hotel, possibly with residential components.

A group of Tampa real estate veterans has teamed up with an Atlanta hotel developer to redevelop the five-story Kress, which was the home of five-and-dime store S.H. Kress & Co. The Tampa team includes father-and-son construction executives Sam and Casey Ellison; Anthony Italiano, a partner with…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

How to use the media to grow your brand as an expert in your field

By Dana Manciagli

I had no idea there are so many great resources available to make a small business — even micro businesses — look big to the rest of the world. After 30 years with Fortune 500 companies and one startup that grew bigger fast, I saw how pricey public relations, social media, and other marketing resources could be. Completely unaffordable for the average entrepreneur, I thought.

Then I jumped ship. Yes, 18 months ago I became a full-fledged solopreneur, investing in — and promoting — my own…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

FedEx confirms new Polk County distribution center

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

FedEx Ground Shipping Services has confirmed its new 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Polk County.

The facility will serve the Orlando area, spokesman Jesse Bull wrote in an email Friday. The Tampa Bay Business Journal was first to report that FedEx was the unnamed company seeking public incentives for a new warehouse in Davenport, north of Interstate 4, on Waverly Barn Road. Completion is slated for May 2016.

“The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate