by Mike Vogel
Updated 2 yearss ago
Since 2006, Goodyear's Spirit of Innovation blimp has flown from its giant hangar in Pompano Beach. Late last year, it was joined by an older sister airship, the Spirit of Goodyear, which moved from its Ohio base. "It retired to the South, like many people do," says Goodyear spokesman Doug Grassian.
A Goodyear blimp has been part of Broward life since 1979, when one relocated from Miami, and is a common sight in Broward as it departs for or returns from football games and other sporting events and sightseeing trips for charity.
But now, the days are numbered for the two airships as Goodyear builds next-generation replacements in cooperation with Germany's Zeppelin company. Indeed, the Spirit of Goodyear was relocated from its base in Akron to make way for a larger blimp being built there. That blimp will fly this summer while the Spirit of Goodyear began to be dismantled in February.
Construction of a new ship, slated to be based in Pompano, commences. Delivery is scheduled in 2015. The Spirit of Innovation, christened in 2006, likely will be shifted to California to replace an older blimp there.
Next-generation blimps are larger, faster and quieter — important at golfing events — and will mean Goodyear can get blimps to more events. The new generation also will carry more people, perhaps up to 12 compared to the current generation's four. That's good news for the charities that use a blimp ride as a fundraiser or donor reward.
Blimps have a crew of about a dozen, counting ground support.
"We're still working through the naming process at this point," Grassian says.
Watch a time-lapse video of a blimp being built.
BOCA RATON — Rosemurgy Properties, Giles Capital Group and Lewis Rental Properties will build a 598-bed, 159- unit student off-campus housing project called University Park. > Gold Coast Venture Capital Association held its inaugural expo in Boca Raton with 40 companies exhibiting, 22 startups and 18 corporate sponsors.
DAVIE — Nova Southeastern University broke ground on an $80-million, 215,000-sq. -ft. Center for Collaborative Research facility that will house an IBM supercomputer donated by Centaurus Energy in Houston and one of the stateÕs largest wet labs. It is scheduled for completion in 2016.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Q Fort Lauderdale, part of the Qvale Automotive Group, which owns Audi dealers in Coral Springs and Lighthouse Point and 12 other dealerships in California and Texas, will develop an Audi dealership on the 5. 65- acre site of a former Fuddruckers it purchased for $7. 85 million.
FORT PIERCE — Mueller Plastics laid off 50.
HOLLYWOOD — Software company Magic Leap raised more than $50 million in venture capital to develop its "Cinematic Reality" wearable technology.
JUPITER — Marriott opened a 128-room Courtyard Marriott at Abacoa. > Scripps Florida researchers won a $2. 3-million National Institute of Mental Health grant to study long-term memory and how defcits in memory processes contribute to brain diseases.
LAKE WORTH — Real estate company Housing Trust Group of Miami completed construction of Pine Run Villas, a $13-million, 63-unit housing development for low-income families fnanced by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Citi Community Capital with tax credit funds through Raymond James.
MIRAMAR — Broward College and Florida International University will open a joint facility this fall. FIU will close its Pines Center location nearby.
PALM BEACH GARDENS— Hedge fund manager Lighthouse Partners will expand following the signing of a lease for 24,000 square feet at the Financial Center at the Gardens.
PLANTATION — Plantationbased U. S. Capital Holdings, a vehicle for Chinese investment in the U. S. , began a renovation of the 160,000-sq. -ft. offce building at the old Fashion Mall into a Class A tower, the frst phase of a $300-million renovation that will add a hotel, conference facility, rental units and retail and entertainment to the old mall site. The offce renovation is scheduled for completion in 2015 with the rest to follow.
SUNRISE — General Dynamics C4 Systems laid off 56 as it closed a facility amid military budget cuts. > National group practice company Mednax continues to scoop up physician groups as the impact of health care industry changes becomes apparent, acquiring an anesthesia practice in Grand Blanc, Mich. , with 14 anesthesiologists and 42 anesthetists and a sixdoctor neonatology practice in Greensboro, N. C. Terms weren't disclosed.
VERO BEACH — The city approved developer Keith Kite's plan to build a Hampton Inn & Suites.
WEST PALM BEACH — McCraney Property will develop a 100,000-sq. -ft. warehouse-distribution project on 7. 2 acres in the Vista Business Park, the frst new construction at the park in fve years. Investment banker Farlie Turner & Co. Sold Texas-based wirelineservices company Wildcat Wireline to West Palm Beach-based BE Aerospace on undisclosed terms.
The Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades hired Florida House Rep. Mark S. Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, as its frst CEO.
Boca Raton-based commercial real estate frm CRE Florida Partners appointed principal and senior partner Michael Rauch as president.
Radio-Active Records in Fort Lauderdale has been around for 14 years under owners Sean Kayes and Michael Ramirez, but it hasn't seen anything like the last few years as vinyl enjoys a resurgence. "It's getting better and better," says assistant manager Natalie Martinez. The store sells some Cds, tapes by local artists, earphones, posters, T-shirts and other goods but it primarily sells used and new vinyl records. Inventory comes via aging owners and heirs.
Assistant manager Natalie Martinez and part-owner Michael Ramirez