Southwest Florida Business Briefs - June 2006
? MarineMax has purchased Surfside-3 Marina, a major marina operator in New England, for $47.3 million in cash and stock.
? Tech Data has opened a 4,500-sq.-ft. demonstration center where clients and customers can test the computer products the company markets.
FORT MYERS --
? LTU International Airways flights from D?sseldorf and Munich, Germany, will fly directly to Southwest Florida International Airport without stopping in Miami.
LAKE WALES --
? MonierLifetile, which makes concrete roof tiles, is expanding its Lake Wales plant to increase production by 40%. The move will create 30 jobs.
? Orion Bancorp is moving into the former First National Bank headquarters to accommodate growth. The bank has added 100 employees and grown by $1 billion in assets in less than three years as it has expanded into Palm Beach and Broward counties. The bank's chairman and CEO, Jerry Williams, serves as chairman of the Florida Bankers Association this year.
? A partnership between the Barron Collier Cos. and the Lutgert Cos. is planning to build a 92-unit luxury condominium called The Strada at Mercato in the new mixed-use "Main Street" center under development in North Naples. Condos will start at $600,000 and top $1 million.
? A Pinellas County Circuit Court judge ordered Abray Construction to pay $1 million in civil penalties for operating a solid waste processing facility without the proper permits.
? In an effort to create affordable housing near downtown, the city commission is seeking state approval for a policy that would allow developers to build more homes per acre than the current zoning allows if they price 10% of the homes they build for middle-income households.
ST. PETERSBURG --
? Wikia Inc., which manages an online collection of communities and search engines, including online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has landed $4 million in venture capital from the California-based Bessemer Venture Partners.
? The waterfront Mahaffey Theater, home to the Florida Orchestra, reopened this spring after a $20-million renovation.
? Wild Oats Markets, the second-largest natural and organic foods supermarket in the country, is expanding in southwest Florida. The company, which has stores in Melbourne, Pinecrest and South Beach, opened a store in Tampa this spring -- the most successful grand opening in the company's history. It plans to open a store in Naples next year.
? Some 9,000 homes and scores of businesses are now planned for the rural area along Laurel Road near Interstate 75. The most recently announced project, Bella Venetia, is planned on 400 acres east of the interstate and is to include more than 700 condos, 2,000 homes and 40,000 square feet of retail space.