In The News
Central Florida Business Briefs - Aug. 2005
In the News
DAYTONA BEACH -- The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has ordered Davlar Inc. to contact the buyers of 91 undeveloped lots it sold on eBay and offer their money back. The company made more than $300,000 in the auctions last year. Davlar was supposed to register its plans with the state and provide buyers with written statements disclosing any restrictions to improving or developing the sites. Company President David McCutcheon agreed to make the refunds as well as reimburse the state $6,000 for the cost of the investigation.
International Speedway Corp. (Nasdaq-ISCA) plans to sell Nazareth (Pennsylvania) Speedway's 158-acre site for $19 million. The racetrack suspended motorsports operations at the end of the 2004 season, and Nazareth's races were transferred to International Speedway's Watkins Glen International track in New York.
DELAND -- TAB Express International abruptly closed its 5-year-old flight school due to what it called a financing dispute with Key Bank of Cleveland, locking out 49 employees and at least 80 students, some of whom had paid as much as $100,000 in advance for pilot training. The school also closed a small airline it operated to provide flight experience to students.
MAITLAND -- The Hotel Orlando North, a 400-room hotel once popular among business travelers, was scheduled to close July 25 for a 10-month renovation at the hands of an undisclosed buyer. The hotel held a Sheraton franchise until February 2003 and had been for sale for more than a year.
ORLANDO -- JetBlue Airways opened a training center at Orlando International Airport and announced plans to build a 300-room, $20-million lodge to house crew members in training. The Orlando center replaces a similar operation in Miami in training the 4,500 pilots and 9,000 flight attendants the New York-based company expects to hire in the next seven years.
Dynetech Corp. plans to build a $50-million headquarters downtown as part of a 30-story mixed-use property planned by Lincoln Property Co. The development is planned to include 146,000 square feet of office space, 160 apartments, 10,000 square feet of retail space and a garage. Construction is planned to begin in September.
Darrell Kelley is retiring this month as chief executive of Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development organization. Kelley, 63, cited minor health problems for his decision.
Fort Lauderdale-based Sunair Electronics has acquired Middleton Lawn and Pest Control for $50 million in cash, stock and debt. Middleton President and CEO Greg Clendenin will become CEO of a new Sunair division, Sunair Southeast Pest Holdings.
Dale P. Bennett has been named president of Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support. He replaced Daniel Crowley, who became executive vice president of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at Lockheed Martin's aeronautics division in Dallas. Bennett relocates from Virginia, where he was vice president and general manager of Coast Guard Systems for Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors division.
Sequiam Corp. bought Constellation Biometrics, a hardware and software company whose clients include Pitney Bowes, Ford UK and Siemens Business Solutions. Sequiam issued more than 1.6 million shares in exchange for all outstanding shares of Constellation. Sequiam also announced it had signed a deal with the National Rifle Association to create and operate a travel and reservations system for NRA members under the brand name NRA-Travel.com.
Call center operator Connextions.net plans to hire about 300 people by the end of the year for a new pharmacy help desk, bringing employment to about 1,000.
ORMOND BEACH -- Beer distributor S.R. Perrott has purchased 13.5 acres for $1.9 million and plans to build a $10-million, 130,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility there. The company says it may be three to four years before the new facility is built.
PALM BAY -- DRS Technologies has received two military contracts worth a total of $55.8 million. The company, based in Parsippany, N.J., will farm out the work to its DRS Optronics division in Palm Bay.
PORT ORANGE -- Wayne Gove, Sheriff Guindi and David Hood have teamed up to form Halifax River Partners and plan to build six 17-story condo towers at Port Orange Riverwalk. Gove and Guindi also bought Sweetwater's Restaurant and plan a land swap with the city that will make room for a riverfront park.
ROCKLEDGE -- Mercedes Homes has introduced two hurricane-resistant home prototypes. The houses, built in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing, include cast-in-place concrete walls, baffled roof vents, redesigned soffit vents, removable hurricane shutters and other enhancements.