Southwest Florida Business Briefs - Oct. 2006
? GE Infrastructure Security is moving its headquarters from Austin, Texas, to Bradenton. The move will add 70 employees with an average salary of $125,000 to the 150 at the company's newly acquired Edwards System Technology unit.
CITRUS COUNTY --
? Progress Energy's Crystal River power plant was named among the dirtiest in the nation, according to the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Environmental Integrity Project.
? JMC Communities has closed on its $80-million financing deal to build Marquesas, a two-tower beachfront condo on Clearwater Beach.
? The Clearwater Marina has acquired a $41,000 "pump-out" boat to provide free sewage collection for boat residents in Clearwater Harbor.
FORT MYERS --
? Colonial Bank is building a regional corporate and training facility in Lee County at Daniels Parkway just east of Interstate 75. The bank's Bonita Springs banking center will be relocated to the new center.
? Publix Super Markets reported $5.3 billion in sales during the second quarter, an 11% increase over the same period in 2005. In metro Atlanta, the grocer is testing a new "TV Kart," a car-shaped shopping cart that keeps kids entertained with TV shows such as "Barney" and "The Wiggles." The carts cost shoppers $1 to use.
? Basik Development is planning an 87,000-sq.-ft. upscale flea market four miles east of Collier Boulevard on U.S. 41. The Market Place will house up to 300 vendors and offer one-year leases at $350 to $600 a month.
PASCO COUNTY --
? The Florida Department of Environmental Protection fined the county $1.8 million for continuous violations at 10 county-owned wastewater treatment facilities. The county will have to make construction improvements to prevent sewer overflows and unauthorized discharges.
? Home Depot subsidiary Williams Bros. Lumber Co. has acquired Sarasota-based lumber supplier Forest Products Supply, one of the top 20 employers in Sarasota County. ? Innovative Development Group, a developer of homes engineered to resist Category 5 hurricanes, has opened a sales office in Port Charlotte.
ST. PETERSBURG --
? GreenbergFarrow, an Atlanta-based architecture and engineering firm specializing in mixed-use, business briefs retail and residential developments, has opened an office in St. Petersburg headed by regional manager Daniel Sharpe.
? Anchor Blue, a popular California-based teen fashion outlet, will open its first St. Petersburg location at the end of the month at Tyrone Square mall. In December, the retailer will open a Fort Myers location at Edison Mall as part of a launch of 12 new locations around the state.
? The city may consider razing Progress Energy Park/Al Lang Field, the longtime minor league and spring training stadium on the waterfront, if it can't find a team that needs a spring training facility. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who used the facility, plan to move spring training to Charlotte County beginning in 2009.
? Zim American Integrated Shipping Services' new weekly cargo container shipments from China directly to the Port of Tampa will double the port's container cargo business in the next year. Cargo shipping by Zim, an Israeli company, includes Chinese-manufactured furniture for retailers like Rooms to Go and Kane's Furniture, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
? Hillsborough County commissioners approved $70.5 million in tourist taxes to renovate three professional sports facilities, including the St. Pete Times Forum, home to the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, Raymond James Stadium, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play, and Legends Field, where the Yankees have their spring training.
? Building materials distributor Parksite will lease 210,000 square feet of bulk distribution space on Tampa's east side in the Madison Industrial Park to house its surfaces business unit.
? The Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission this month is launching Vision Hillsborough, a smart-growth planning process to stimulate a public conversation about economic development and quality of life issues in the region.
? The University of South Florida announced it had raised some $310.2 million in research dollars during its 2005-06 fiscal year, an 8% increase over the previous year.