Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Thursday's Daily Pulse

Florida tax collections beat October expectations

Despite the effects of deadly Hurricane Ian, Florida’s general-revenue tax collections in October came in 4.6 percent higher than projected by state economists. A report issued Tuesday by the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research said the state had $3.23 billion in net general revenue in October. That was $141.4 million over a projection for October that economists issued in August. The total would have been higher if not for Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm that made landfall Sept. 28 in Southwest Florida and crossed the state, according to the report. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Citizens Insurance wants rate hikes enacted during next week’s special legislative session

Getting insurance coverage from state-owned Citizens Property Insurance Corp. could become more expensive if state lawmakers agree that the company’s artificially low rates are hurting Florida’s private insurance market. Citizens wants to be the insurer of last resort, and not the insurer with the lowest premiums. Homeowners have turned to Citizens over the past three years as spiraling losses have forced private market companies to fold, raise rates, and stop writing new business in the state. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida homebuilders ramp up buyer incentives as sales slip

Florida homebuilders are increasingly open to giving more concessions to buyers amid slowing sales and increasing contract cancellations this year. That’s mostly in reaction to mortgage rate increases, with the average 30-year-fixed rate of 6.49% more than double what it was a year ago, according to Freddie Mac. That’s mostly in reaction to mortgage rate increases, with the average 30-year-fixed rate of 6.49% more than double what it was a year ago, according to Freddie Mac. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Supreme Court ruling sought in redistricting fight

House and Senate lawyers want to go quickly to the Florida Supreme Court in a legal battle about whether key lawmakers and staff members should be required to give depositions about a congressional redistricting plan. The lawyers filed a document late Monday at the 1st District Court of Appeal requesting that the dispute be passed through to the Supreme Court, rather than first receiving a ruling from the appellate court. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Relativity Space’s 3D-printed rocket gets set for Space Coast launch

Relativity Space has its mostly 3D-printed Terran 1 rocket on the pad as it looks to complete final tests and get the OK to go for its first launch ever. “Everything that needs to fly with that rocket right now is on that rocket,” said Patrick Svatek, Relativity’s Cape operations and launch site director. He was at Launch Complex 16 on Tuesday with the white fuselage over his shoulder preparing to go vertical for the first time. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]


› Orlando’s plans to score biz from 2026 World Cup aren’t over
Nearly six months have passed since Orlando went unnamed as a host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. However, not every opportunity to get a piece of that pie was lost. That's because Orlando sports leaders are seeking additional ways to capitalize on the global soccer event that will host games in nearby cities including Atlanta and Miami.

› Stadiums, hotels, multifamily and museums: St. Pete releases proposals for Trop redevelopment
Just days after announcing four development groups had submitted proposals for the redevelopment of the 86-acre Tropicana Field site in the heart of St. Petersburg’s historic Gas Plant district, the city made the reports public. The proposals, which are available on the city’s website, each address the key requirements the city laid out when it issued a RFP in August: a 17.3-acre carve-out for a baseball stadium; specific requirements for affordable and workforce housing; and new details that respond to current economic and societal conditions and community sentiment.

› Jacksonville permits almost $15 million for JIA checkpoint renovations
The city approved the start of renovations to the security checkpoints at Jacksonville International Airport at a project cost of $14.71 million. Balfour Beatty Construction LLC is the contractor for the project at the airport at 2400 Yankee Clipper Drive. Jacobs Engineering Group is the civil engineer. The city issued a permit Dec. 5.

› ‘State of the art’: Take a look at UM’s proposal for a $100 million football facility
Plans are in the works for the University of Miami to construct a seven-story, multimillion-dollar football facility. While the mega structure isn’t coming anytime soon, building plans will be reviewed Friday. The university is currently looking to build the facility, dubbed as the “Football Operations Center and Garage” project, on a roughly two-acre plot of land at 1255 Dickinson Drive, according to UM’s planning application.

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› Lawmakers break Florida’s improvement streak in latest ‘Judicial Hellholes’ report
For the first time in four years, Florida failed to improve its “judicial hellhole” standing. The holdup? The Florida Legislature. In the latest edition of its annual Judicial Hellhole Report, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) says the Legislature has done little to mitigate lawsuit abuse in the Sunshine State even after Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Supreme Court have made strides in improving the state’s litigious environment.

› Holiday in Berlin? Norse Atlantic starting flights from Fort Lauderdale
South Florida holiday travelers with appetites for reveling in Europe will get their first chance to fly nonstop Wednesday to Berlin from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport aboard the new discount carrier Norse Atlantic Airways. The airline’s inaugural flight to the capital of Germany is scheduled to take off about 11 p.m. for a 9-hour 40-minute journey. Transatlantic flights are a rarity for the Broward County airport, which usually is the scene of U.S. domestic flights as well as north-south international trips to and from the Caribbean, Latin America and Canada.

› Fancier breakfast spots rise and shine across Orlando
The business of breakfast and brunch that goes beyond bacon and eggs is wide awake in Orlando. First Watch is on track to open more than 40 restaurants this year, including three in the Orlando area. Another is in the works to open at 3150 N. Orange Blossom Trail in Kissimmee in early next year. Denny’s scooped up Orlando-founded Keke’s Breakfast Cafe earlier this year for $82.5 million and plans to speed up opening more of those restaurants. And now, North Carolina’s Famous Toastery has its eyes on expansion in Florida.

› Miami-Dade Courthouse opening target January 2024
Completion of the new Miami-Dade County Courthouse, in theory at least, is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2024, according to Alex A. Alfonso, acting assistant director of the Miami-Dade Internal Services Department. The exact project completion date continues to be negotiated, Mr. Alfonso said, “and has not been finalized.”