Brevard County -- Voters rejected a proposed 1-cent local option sales tax that supporters said would have raised $1.3 billion over 20 years to pay for building and renovating schools and roads, as well as developing new parks. The money would have been split among county government, the school district and 15 municipalities. Supported by local government officials, chambers of commerce, builders and developers, the measure failed 65% to 35%.
Daytona Beach -- The Trike Shop, a Minnesota-based company that converts motorcycles into custom three-wheelers, will move its headquarters and manufacturing operations from White Bear Lake. The company plans to hire about 40 people to build the $30,000 to $40,000 machines. It received about $120,000 in state and local economic development incentives.
Kissimmee -- A thrill ride billing itself as the most extreme acceleration ride in the country opened near Old Town. G-Force Top Fuel Drag Race accelerates riders to 115 mph in less than 2 seconds.
Lake Mary -- Veteran real estate broker Charles Barley and a group of south Florida investors announced plans to build an office condominium project targeted to small businesses with five to 20 employees that need 1,500 to 1,600 square feet of space. The investors plan to develop about 123,000 square feet of space on a 10.5-acre tract.
Faro Technologies (Nasdaq-FARO) has landed $40.4 million in private investment in exchange for nearly 1.9 million shares. The unnamed investors will buy their shares for $21.50 each. The manufacturing equipment company says the money will help pay for manufacturing expansion in Europe and additional marketing efforts in Asia.
Melbourne -- Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) has been named one of two finalists for a Navy satellite-communications terminal contract that could be worth up to $1.4 billion. Raytheon Co. has the contract now, and Harris has underbid Raytheon by about $200 million. The contract will not be awarded until June 2006.
DRS Optronics, a division of Parsippany, N.J.-based DRS Technologies, has won a $16.8-million contract from Raytheon Co. to provide long-range optical systems for the Army. The production work will be done in the company's Palm Bay plant.
FLORIDA TRENDLINE?Multifamily Housing
INVESTMENT PROPERTYInvestors bought almost twice as many Orlando multifamily properties in 1999 as they did in 2002, but unit prices were substantially higher in 2002, reflecting the limited number of properties available.YearPropertiesUnitsTotal Sales
$ Per Unit2002194,853$250.5$51,6152001204,812$288.0$59,8542000246,277$308.2$49,0931999389,481$393.4$41,490Source: CB Richard Ellis
Orlando -- Developer Cameron Kuhn plans a $140-million mixed-use project at Church Street and Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Kuhn and a group of investors paid $10.8 million for the block. The development will include two office towers; a 53,000-sq.-ft., 12-screen theater; 53,000 square feet of retail space; a 26-story, 242-unit residential condo tower; and a parking garage.
Osecola County -- Walt Disney World has named Jim Lewis senior vice president and general manager of the Disney Vacation Club timeshare division, which has seven resorts and more than 70,000 timeshare members, with another resort under construction. Previously, Lewis was senior vice president of government relations.
Walt Disney World Resort has been in talks with one of its unions to cut 140 full- and part-time serving and bartender positions. The company employs 1,400 workers who are members of the United Food & Commercial Workers union.
Palm Coast -- Alabama National BanCorp. plans to buy 5-year-old Cypress Bank for $28 million in cash and stock.
Titusville -- Knight Enterprises has bought the former McDonnell-Douglas Tomahawk missile plant and plans to move its military-weapons manufacturing operations into the facility. Employment will more than double to 250, with up to 450 employees when production gets into full swing. The company received state and county incentives worth $1.7 million. Knight will keep its plant in Vero Beach open, but employment there will drop to about 20.
ORLANDO -- Lou Pearlman's troubled model scouting enterprise took another hit when Options Talent Inc., formerly known as Trans Continental Talent and Wilhelmina Scouting Network, filed for bankruptcy liquidation in Nevada, where the company is legally headquartered, though its operations are based in Orlando. The filing lists assets of $500,000 and liabilities of $5.7 million, but court papers also show Pearlman transferred much of the company's assets to a new enterprise, Fashion Rock LLC, shortly before the bankruptcy filing. Pearlman also filed a $100-million lawsuit against 10 individuals he said "duped" him into taking control of the company in September 2002.