FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

Around the State


BRADENTON - Cortez Plaza, a 289,686-square-foot strip shopping center, was sold by Connecticut's Resurgence Properties for $18.5 million to Ocwen Asset Investment Corp. Florida Partnership Ltd. of West Palm Beach.

Manatee County has a new locally owned bank, First Bradenton Bank. It was financed by 33 investors who bought $4.5 million in stock, $1.4 million more than required by regulators.

BRANDON - Crescent Resources, a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp., has bought the 260-acre Crosstown Center, formerly known as the Great Mallof Tampa Bay. The Charlotte, N.C.-based real estate development firm plans to use the Brandon site for mixed-use office, distribution, hotel and retail development.

FORT MYERS - Diagnostic Services Inc. plans to relocate about 150 employees and consolidate most of its testing laboratories at a new 45,000-square-foot headquarters. The medical lab service is now spread among four labs in Lee and Collier counties.

ODESSA - Fishing tackle distributor Folsom of Florida will relocate from Tampa to a new 64,000-square-foot distribution facility in Odessa this summer.

PlANT CITY - Union Station, a railroad depot, will be renovated and restored as a welcome center.

TAMPA - Salomon Inc., acquired in late 1997 by Travelers Group, will close its Tampa Processing Center. About 650 Tampa employees will either lose their jobs or relocate to New York City.

Intermedia Communications (Nasdaq-ICIX) agreed to merge with Shared Technologies Fairchild (Nasdaq-STCH), Connecticut, in a transaction valued at $640 million. Intermedia will remain in Tampa. Unrelated to the merger, Intermedia plans to add about 500 jobs over the next four years.

University of South Florida ranks first in the nation in the number of students with master's degrees who passed the CPA exam between 1987 and 1996. University of Florida and University of Central Florida are in the top 10.

Quest Diagnostics will convert its regional laboratories in Tampa and Atlanta to local customer centers. Much of Tampa's testing operations will be shifted to Quest's Deerfield Beach lab. The company expects to eliminate up to 200 jobs in Florida, mostly in Tampa. Companywide about 1,000 jobs will be cut, nearly 6% of Quest's work force.

SARASOTA - Key Florida Bancorp Inc. agreed to merge with Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, Ala. Key is the fifth largest independent bank on the west coast of Florida with seven offices in Sarasota and Manatee counties.