Southeast Florida Roundup
Shopping Route: VuPulse Speeds Online Shopping
Boca Raton-based VuPulse built a first-of-its kind marketing platform that analyzes consumer preferences and speeds consumers via “intelligent customer routing” to their preferred place online to shop.
CEO Kevin Hill says such routing makes VuPulse more effective for closing sales. “We dramatically increase the ad effectiveness,” says Hill, a former Comcast executive and co-founder of Vu- Pulse with business partner Jeff Kreger.
VuPulse earlier this year raised $537,500 from Boca- based angel investment group New World Angels. The company has tripled monthly recurring revenue since the beginning of the year.
Business Briefs from Southeast Florida
- Tri-Rail chose a site off Military Trail between Glades and Palmetto roads for a second Boca train station. Boca’s Yamato Road station is among the busiest in the 72-mile, tri-county system.
- Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing received $2.8 million from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration to recruit and educate bachelor’s in nursing students to serve veterans and patients in rural and underserved communities.
- Developers Giles Capital Group, Rosemurgy Properties and Schmier Property Group in partnership with Wheelock Street Capital acquired 38 acres at Glades and 95th Avenue South to build their $200-million Uptown Boca Raton, a retail, apartment and theater development to be anchored by a Lucky’s Market and Silverspot Cinema. The developers expect to open the retail portion in summer 2019 and 456 apartments in 2020.
- The Blackstone Group sold Broward’s third-largest hotel, the 589-room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina on 17th Street, for $171 million to Toronto- based Brookfield Asset Management. A Brookfield affiliate purchased Broward’s largest hotel, the 1,000-room Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, in 2014.
- Developer Bridge Development Partners paid the Broward schools system $5.65 million to acquire 10 acres north of Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport to build a 173,129-sq.-ft. industrial park.
- Yacht show organizer Informa Exhibitions opened an office as its southeast U.S. base. Informa last year acquired Yachting Promotions and its Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Miami Yacht Show and Palm Beach International Boat show. Informa’s portfolio also includes the St. Petersburg Boat Show and Suncoast Boat Show in Sarasota.
- Elit Development broke ground on its $15-million Grove at Miramar, scheduled for completion in summer 2019.
PALM BEACH GARDENS
- Area planning officials and private investors are planning on transit-oriented development around a proposed new Tri-Rail station, which would be the line’s first major expansion northward in years.
- Encore Capital Management signed Aetna to a lease for 85,000 square feet at Plantation Walk, the first lease at the $350-million office, retail, residential and hotel redevelopment project. Aetna is relocating from neighboring Sunrise.
PORT ST. LUCIE
- Coral Gables investor RER Ventures, an affiliate of Herndon, Va.-based RER Financial Group, agreed to buy the former home of the defunct Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute for $14.5 million. VGTI was lured to the city in 2008 with $60 million in state and local support. The building opened in 2013, and VGTI shut down in 2015. RER plans to subdivide the building for use by several prospective life-science tenants. The city took over responsibility for repaying the $64-mil-lion loan used to finance construction of the 107,000-sq.-ft. building.
- Martin County commissioners approved iStar Financial’s first phase of the proposed Rio Town Center, a small rental, condo, retail and marina project on the north side of the St. Lucie River.
- Minto Communities, developer of this new western Palm Beach County municipality, sold 400 acres to FPL for $10 million for development of a solar plant. FPL separately purchased 1,300 acres for $19.3 million in the Acreage area in western Palm Beach County for a solar plant.
WEST PALM BEACH
- The city began work on the Clematis Streetscape project to make the area more pedestrian friendly. The first phase is scheduled for an October completion; the second phase begins in summer 2019.
The Lake Worthbased Cultural Council of Palm Beach County hired David Lawrence, former president and CEO of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, as its president and CEO.