Friday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida’s Space Coast is making a comeback thanks to private space flight
Florida’s Space Coast has been a focal point for human space flight since the 1950s. But when the US pulled the plug on the shuttle program in 2011, the Space Coast—and the residents and businesses of Brevard, who depend on the economic activity their local spaceport generates—fell on hard times. The loss of the local launch industry sank the region into a depression, until private space firms began setting up shop in the same facilities that used to house NASA operations in the Space Coast’s golden age. More from Quartz.
New study finds vacation rentals spur long-term housing construction
A major new study has found vacation rental homes spur long-term development of new housing in cities that do not have strict vacation rental regulation. The study concluded cities that restrict vacation rental properties stymie development, while those that have growing vacation rental markets see new and upgraded housing development grow faster. More from Florida Politics.
Justices reject punitive damages in tobacco case
Siding with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a $5 million punitive-damages award in a lawsuit involving the death of a smoker in 2007. The ruling came in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mary Sheffield after her husband, Valton, died of lung cancer. It was one of thousands of lawsuits known as “Engle progeny cases” filed against the tobacco industry. More from the News Service of Florida.
How did the DeSoto Square Mall fall so hard? The Great Recession and the internet
Before DeSoto Square Mall's official end in April 2021, it struggled for survival over nearly two decades. Malls and department stores, the portrait of retail success during the second half of the 20th century, got killed by big box stores, the Great Recession and the internet. DeSoto Square tried to adapt in the late 1990s and early 2000s, by establishing a food court and changing its tenant lineup to more family and discount-oriented stores. But the shifting retail environment, especially online, plus some strong competition from a new shopping development a few miles south finally killed it. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The inside story of the Firehouse Subs $1 billion deal
Firehouse Subs started with the sale of two hot dogs. It was opening day Oct. 10, 1994, at the Jacksonville-based sub shop’s San Jose Boulevard slice of strip-mall space in Mandarin. Firehouse Subs was the dream of firefighter brothers Robin and Chris Sorensen. Chris was 34 and Robin was 26. Sales for that store’s first 12 months totaled $347,000. What a difference 27 years can make. More from the Jacksonnville Daily Record.
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‘Super Good’ fried chicken and beer: This Little River spot is an instant local favorite
Steve Santana knows about making some of the best tacos in Miami and Adam Darnell about running one of its best bars. But on a recent afternoon, both were still figuring out the finer points of flawlessly stuffing a hot dog. “There’s still a lot of trial and error,” said Santana, founder of Miami Beach’s Taquiza taqueria, as he slowly turned the crank of a meat grinder.
» Read more from the Miami Herald.
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