January 21, 2020

Southwest Florida Roundup

Sarasota Memorial Hospital uses robot to find lung cancer nodules

Art Levy | 4/26/2019

GOVERNMENT

  • After 12 years as Manatee County’s administrator — which culminated a 50-year career in local government — Ed Hunze- ker retired earlier this year. Cheri Coryea, the county’s former neighborhood services director, replaces him.

HEALTH CARE

  • The Laser Spine Institute, a Tampa-based chain of clinics with locations in Florida, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri, has shut down. The institute, which touted minimally invasive spinal procedures to combat back pain, employed 500. Three years ago, it spent $56 million to open a 176,000-sq.-ft. headquarters near Tampa International Airport. Financial problems, including losing various lawsuits filed by competing doctors and former patients, dogged the chain.
  • TouchPoint Medical, which makes medical-dispensing equipment for hospitals, broke ground on a 142,000-sq.-ft. facility in Pasco County. The location will have room for nearly 300 employees.

REAL ESTATE

  • Construction is underway on Stone Lofts, a 251-unit apartment complex in St. Petersburg’s Historic Kenwood neighborhood.
  • Pending home sales in the Bonita Springs-Estero market were down 19% in January (263) compared to January 2018’s 325.

TOURISM

  • Wendie Vestfall, former president of the tourism department in Dover, Del., has been named tourist development director of the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau.

TRANSPORTATION

  • The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority was awarded $1 million from the state Department of Transportation’s resilience program to pay for repairs at the authority’s operations facility, which was flooded during 2018’s hurricane season.
  • Port Tampa Bay hired Mark Clayton Hollis III as chief of staff. His predecessor, Jamal Sowell, left the port to become CEO of Enterprise Florida.

WORKFORCE

  • Non-agricultural employment rose less than 1% last year, from 721,500 in 2017 to 726,100 in 2018, according to the Tampa- Hillsborough Economic Development Corp.

Read more in Florida Trend's May issue.

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Tags: Southwest, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Technology/Innovation, Feature

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