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Friday's Afternoon Update

Companies struggle to find workers to rebuild after Harvey and Irma

From late August to mid-September, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma destroyed property across Texas and Florida. Maria brought further devastation, setting Puerto Rico's economy back decades. The economic narrative going forward is likely to be: Where are all the workers necessary to rebuild? More from the Washington Post.

See also:
» Irma’s impact to last a year, say many South Florida businesses
» Roughly 1.5 million people were unable to work last month because of the weather — the most in 20 years

Via Mizner development closes $400 million in financing

Penn-Florida Companies just closed on nearly $400 million in financing for Via Mizner, a mixed-use project in Boca Raton. New York-based Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies is the lead lender, providing $318 million for the development, said Faisal Ashraf, founder and CEO of Lotus Capital Partners. Lotus arranged the financing package, a deal that took about six months. The remaining $80 million was provided by the U.S. Immigration Fund, an EB-5 lender. More in the news release, and read more at the Real Deal.

Feds grant endangered species protection to four Florida plants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will grant Endangered Species Act protection to four rare Florida plants found nowhere else. Two of the plants have been awaiting a decision from the agency since 1999 and the other two since 2004. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

The city that never drains

The way Irma’s waters surged into Jacksonville and sat in some neighborhoods for days was no fluke. It was proof of something local officials have known for years: The city is dangerously flood-prone, making a hit from even a weaker hurricane potentially catastrophic. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

Private-equity firm buys Sarasota’s Lumenier and GetFPV

A 5-year-old pair of local companies that make and sell drones, their parts and accessories has been bought out by a Chicago-based private-equity company. Tim Nilson said it’s a “life-changing” deal for him and his companies, Lumenier and GetFPV. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Florida Trend Exclusive
Pasture-ized

florida AgReserves, which operates one of the nation’s largest cow-calf operations at Deseret Cattle & Timber, has been steadily converting its Panhandle properties from timberland to pasture.

» Full story here.

Innovation
Hybrid Nanomaterial Photocatalyst

florida originalsPreviously, it has been cost-intensive, inefficient, and harmful to the environment to create hydrogen fuel. But a new technique developed at the University of Central Florida efficiently creates hydrogen fuel from seawater.

» Read more from Futurism and Phys.org.