Southwest Florida Business Briefs - Feb. 2007
CITRUS COUNTY —
» The owner of a limestone mine near Inglis is seeking to expand the mine over the city’s objections that it could pollute the city’s water.
» A condo-style RV resort with 130 sites has broken ground on 50 acres adjacent to the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.
» Tech Data (Nasdaq-TECD) signed a deal to distribute products for Raritan Computer of New Jersey and also has teamed up with Samsonite to sell an array of laptop cases, bags and women’s designer totes.
COLLIER COUNTY —
» The average annual wage in Collier County grew to $37,686 in 2005 — 10.2% higher than in 2004 and eighth-highest in the state, according to the Agency for Workforce Innovation. The state average is $37,625.
FORT MYERS —
» SunStream is developing a luxury condo community, Retreat del Sol at Port of the Islands, that overlooks the Everglades, with prices starting at $379,000.
» FineMark National Bank & Trust will open this year with Joseph Catti, a former Northern Trust executive, as president and CEO.
HERNANDO COUNTY —
» Duratek Precast Structures in Brooksville, which manufactures wall panels, is building an $11-million, 90-employee facility in the Hernando County Airport RailPark.
HENDRY COUNTY —
» The Bonita Bay Group has purchased Flora & Ella’s restaurant in LaBelle, where the developer is building several communities. The Trask family will continue to operate the eatery.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY —
» Tourist development tax revenue eclipsed the $20-million mark for the year ending last August thanks to a steady rise in average hotel room rates. In October, room rates increased 12% to an average of $96.21 while occupancy held steady at 65.2%.
» Publix Super Markets has bought two former Bi-Lo stores in Tennessee, giving it 14 grocery stores in that state.
PINELLAS COUNTY —
» Employers with fewer than 50 full-time workers and annual gross revenue of less than $2 million are now eligible to compete to be vendors for county purchases valued at between $2,000 and $10,000.
POLK COUNTY —
» Lakeland-based ASC Geosciences, a geotechnical engineering firm, has opened offices in New Delhi and Jaipur, India, under its affiliate ASC Geosciences Consultancy Group.
» A 25-year-old bird-rescue operation, Pelican Man Sanctuary, has closed.
» New College has received a $2.7-million donation from Ulla Searing, 94, the widow of financier Arthur Searing.
ST. PETERSBURG —
» Discount airline Allegiant Air begins flying twice weekly this month from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport to Fort Wayne, Ind.
» The Arts, a residential art-themed community planned for downtown St. Petersburg, has changed its floor plans and lowered condo prices to the low $200,000s.
» The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and drug maker Merck are launching a for-profit research group called M2GEN that will focus on creating individually tailored cancer treatments. The new venture will create 165 jobs with an average salary of $80,000.
» SimDag has sold its stake in the planned Trump Tower Tampa project in downtown Tampa and Antigua Bay Yacht Club in Clearwater to Mirabilis Ventures, an Orlando-based private equity firm.
» Les and Pam Muma have donated $6 million to the University of South Florida and Tampa General Hospital for a state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit.