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…

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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…

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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

As prices rise in most of the U.S., Tampa sees 9% dip

By Salem Solomon

Tampa home prices experienced one of the biggest drops in value of any metropolitan area in the country in the third quarter.

According to new data from the National Association of Realtors, single family homes in Tampa dropped by 9.3 percent during that time compared to the previous year, according to Bloomberg News. The only cities with bigger drops were Cumberland, Md. at 15 percent and Norwich, Conn. at 11 percent.

Nationwide, the news was brighter for homeowners. The median home price rose…

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Rob Brady: Humanizing design, from Superbikes to floating tools (Video)

By Alexis Muellner

Rob Brady

Title, company: CEO and design director of Robrady Design

As a kid: Decorated lampshades and walls and built things like go-karts. “I didn’t know it was industrial design at the time. I just liked to make things that solved issues.”

Born: Fort Walton Beach

Education: Auburn University; Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles

Air Force brat: Family stops on base included Elmendorf in Anchorage, Alaska, and Wright-Patterson in Dayton, Ohio

TV: Practically none other than CNBC in the…

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Richard Gonzmart finds himself on the top of the food chain

By Eric Snider

Sunrise has begun to suffuse Ulele with an ethereal glow as Richard Gonzmart ambles into his new restaurant just before 7 a.m. He’s trailed by his regular companions, brawny German Shepherds Rusty and Rex, who calmly settle near the front door.

Gonzmart, the fourth generation owner of the fabled Columbia Restaurant who spun off the native-Florida-inspired Ulele this summer, gets going early — usually rising, sans alarm, between three and four in the morning.

“I like the solitude,” he says. “No…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate