April 13, 2024
ATS SW Nov 2023

The mixed-use project - Orange Station - in downtown St. Petersburg will begin construction by the end of 2023.

Photo: Smith & Associates

ATS SW Nov 2023

Alico, a landowner and citrus growers based in Fort Myers, announced it harvested 2.7 million boxes of citrus during the 2022-2023 citrus season, a decrease of 51% from the 2021-2022 season. Hurricane Ian destroyed crops as it moved over Southwest Florida's citrus-growing region in September 2022.

Photo: Alico

ATS SW Nov 2023

Publix Super Market Charities is donating $6 million to 36 Feeding America partner food back and more than 300 other non-profit organizations this year.

Photo: Publix Super Market Charities

Southwest Florida Roundup

Office Space

Art Levy | 11/30/2023


In St. Petersburg, the overall 6.7% office vacancy rate is low enough that the developers of Orange Station, a mixed-use project planned for the site of St. Petersburg’s former police headquarters west of downtown, have more than doubled the project’s office component from 50,000 square feet to 115,000 square feet. The offices will be contained in an 11-story building fronting Central Avenue. According to the developers, which include St. Petersburg-based J Square Developers and Backstreet Capital, the change stems from an “acute shortage” of newer Class A office space in St. Petersburg’s downtown and surrounding districts. Orange Station’s construction is set to start by the end of this year. The project will also include hotel, residential, retail and restaurant space. Tampa’s office vacancy rate is 9.5%. Nationally, the rate is 17.1%.


  • U.S. Sugar has named Kenneth W. McDuffie as the successor to Robert H. Buker Jr., the longest tenured CEO in the company’s 92-year history. McDuffie, a Clewiston native who joined U.S. Sugar in 1992, most recently served as executive vice president.


  • Moises Agami, a Clearwater-based developer, has announced plans to build a pair of 35-story condominium buildings overlooking Clearwater Harbor south of downtown. As initially proposed, the towers would include a total of 223 units.


  • AMPLIFY Clearwater, an economic development group promoting north Pinellas County, and Economic Impact Catalyst, a marketing research firm, are teaming up to open a business incubator focused on supporting tourism-oriented businesses. The incubator will be located in AMPLIFY Clearwater’s offices.


  • Construction is underway on TGH Behavioral Health Hospital, an 83,000-sq.-ft. academic medical behavioral health facility being built in downtown Tampa’s medical and research district. The 120-bed hospital, expected to open in 2024, is a joint venture between Tampa General Hospital and Lifepoint Behavioral Health, a business unit of Lifepoint Health.
  • ArchWell Health, a Tennessee-based health care group that focuses on patients 60 years old or older, announced plans to open 10 health clinics in Florida, including facilities in Venice, Sarasota, Bradenton, New Port Richey, Holiday, St. Petersburg, Dunedin and Clearwater.


  • The under-construction Great Wolf Lodge South Florida, expected to open by the fall of 2024, has started taking reservations. Located in eastern Collier County, near the Paradise Coast Sports Complex, the $250-million, 20-acre development is expected to include 500 rooms, 8,000 square feet of conference space, a 60,000-sq.-ft. entertainment center and a 90,000-sq.-ft. indoor water park.
  • Blaming construction delays caused by last year’s Hurricane Ian, developers of the Sunseeker Resort in Port Charlotte say the $695-million development will open by the end of the year. Featuring 785 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space, the Sunseeker, which is being developed by Allegiant Travel, was supposed to open in October.


  • The 774-unit Lansbrook Village apartment complex in Palm Harbor has a new owner. Bell Partners, based in North Carolina, purchased the 85-acre property for $203.9 million from Osso Capital, a New York real estate investment firm. The complex has been renamed Bell Lansbrook Village.
  • A South Carolina developer named Bradenton Project LLC announced plans to build a 96-unit apartment complex on 6.5 acres in the southern Manatee County community of Oneco.


  • The Motorcoach Store, a recreational vehicle retailer in Bradenton, spent $18.3 million to buy another parcel in Bradenton, where it plans to open a 139,904-sq.-ft. facility to house retail space, as well as administrative offices, service areas and storage facilities for RVs.


  • Kep Sweeney is the new CEO of PDQ restaurants, replacing Nick Reader, one of the chicken sandwich chain’s co-founders. Sweeney has been PDQ’s president since 2020. Founded in 2011 in Tampa, PDQ has more than 60 locations in Florida and other states including New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.


  • The Tampa Bay Rays, along with the city of St. Petersburg, have announced plans to replace the team’s Tropicana Field digs in downtown St. Pete with a $1.3-billion ballpark to open in 2028. The stadium will serve as an anchor of a $6.5-billion redevelopment led by Houston-based developer Hines that will include several thousand residential units, office and retail space, and the Woodson African American Museum of Florida. At 8 million square feet, it will be the largest mixed-use project in Tampa Bay history. The Rays say they will pay more than half the cost of the 30,000-seat, fixed-roof stadium. Pending public approval, Pinellas County and the city of St. Petersburg will contribute a combined $600 million.

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