Southwest Florida & Tampa Bay Business Briefs - March 2008
» Ohio-based development company Equity Inc. has completed its $49.6-million acquisition of 128 acres at I-75 and Big Bend Road near Apollo Beach. It plans to build a 1-million-sq.-ft. open-air mall — the largest retail and office project in southeast Hillsborough County.
» Ave Maria University is looking to sell naming rights for its law school for $20 million.
POLK COUNTY —
» Crosland, a Charlotte, N.C.-based developer, is planning to build an 11.23-acre shopping center at U.S. 27 and County Road 547 in Davenport.
» The Naples Children and Education Foundation — founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, which generated $14 million in January — announced grants totaling $10.8 million for three initiatives to aid children in the most impoverished area of Collier County: $6.5 million to support expansion of the Boys and Girls Club program to Immokalee, $2.3 million to develop an in-home early learning network and $2 million to support a pediatric and maternal/infant health clinic in Immokalee.
POLK COUNTY —
» Atlantic Blue Group, a Lake Wales-based real estate management, acquisition and land development company and the majority shareholder of Alico, has acquired Phoenix Industries, a Winter Haven-based food storage and distribution business.
» Isaac Group Holdings, developer of the $200-million downtown condo/retail project known as Pineapple Square, signed a deal with the First United Methodist Church to build a parking garage for the project on property that the church owns on State Street.
» Genmar Holdings, a Minnesota based-company and the parent company of Wellcraft Marine and Hydro-Sport boats, plans to move its Sarasota manufacturing facility out of state. Executives say the closing was prompted by an adverse environment for manufacturing in the state. It will affect 225 employees.
» Eric Mower and Associates, a Syracuse, N.Y., advertising agency, finalized a deal to buy Clarke Advertising and Public Relations, a Sarasota advertising agency with $20 million in annual billings.
ST. PETERSBURG —
» First Advantage (Nasdaq-FADV), a St. Petersburg company that provides consumer and business credit information, has acquired the assets of CredStar, the mortgage credit reporting business unit of Fiserv, for an undisclosed amount.
» HSN, the St. Petersburg-based home shopping company and division of IAC/InterActive, will pay $875,000 to settle allegations that it failed to report in a timely manner, as required by federal law, serious injuries and hazards associated with the Welbilt Electronic Pressure Cookers. HSN denied the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s allegations that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act.
» FelCor Lodging Trust, a Texas-based real estate investment trust, purchased the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club for $112.5 million.
» Maggio’s First Dartmouth Homes, a custom-home builder, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
» The Grand Bohemian Hotel and Residences, a $100-million luxury hotel and condo project spearheaded by Orlando hotelier Richard Kessler, has moved its target opening date to early 2010. Kessler has also decreased the number of condos from 52 to 22 and added 32 hotel rooms for a total of 292.
» Progress Energy Florida will purchase power from Biomass Gas & Electric via a proposed biomass plant in north or central Florida that will come online in 2011. The plant would generate 75 megawatts, enough to power 46,000 homes, and would replace the need to burn nearly 5 million tons of coal over a 29-year period.
» Tampa-based CapTrust Advisors bought Schott Group Investment Consulting to create the largest private investment consulting firm in Florida with $10 billion in assets.
» SimDag, developer of the long-delayed Trump Tower Tampa, is countersuing Donald Trump for breaching a confidentiality agreement by going public with a lawsuit against the company last May that disclosed his licensing agreement with SimDag. Trump is suing SimDag for more than $1 million in unpaid licensing fees. The trial is set to begin in February 2009.
» City officials are considering selling excess water to the drought-stricken Peace River-Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, which serves about 250,000 customers in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and De Soto counties and in North Port. Venice has the capacity to produce an extra 1 million gallons of water a day, in addition to the 2.1 million gallons it already produces.
» Tervis Tumbler will add 200 to 250 employees as part of an expansion of its plant in Venice.