April 19, 2024

Southwest

Sustainable Boating

Blue Innovations Group, an electric boat startup in Pinellas Park, has unveiled its first EV boat — the R30. The 30-foot vessel can accommodate up to 12 people, has a run time of up to eight hours on a 221-kWh battery pack and can reach a maximum speed of 45 mph. Amenities include a kitchenette, a bathroom with a bidet, an expandable solar canopy and air conditioning. Read more »
Published on 3/14/2024

Fine Arts

An international center for the arts is coming to Naples. Theater in the Garden, a multipurpose space featuring a 900-seat indoor theater and outside amphitheater in a landscaped setting, will be the first location of the Luciano Pavarotti Foundation outside of Italy. Read more »
Published on 2/21/2024

Shells for Shorelines

Tampa Bay Watch, a non-profit focused on marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary, is launching Shells for Shorelines, a recycling program that turns discarded oyster shells from restaurants into reefs. Read more »
Published on 12/31/2023

Office Space

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. Read more »
Published on 11/30/2023

Soaring Demand

Mike Sutton has never been so busy. The president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties says his non-profit built 73 homes during fiscal year 2022-23. During fiscal year 2021-22, the nonprofit built 67 homes, up from the 60 it built the year before. But that's still not nearly enough. Read more »
Published on 10/19/2023

Making Progress

As Florida focuses on growing its economy, experts say one of the most productive places to expand is in manufacturing. The sector pays about 117% of average annual wages in Florida, creates both blue and white-collar jobs and has one of the highest multiplier effects for return on investment. Every $1 in manufactured goods produces $3.60 across all other sectors. Read more »
Published on 10/17/2023

Developmental Pitch

Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies spent $22.5 million to buy a strip mall just south of BayCare Ballpark, the 8,500-seat stadium where the team hosts spring training games and the Phillies-affiliated Clearwater Threshers play single-A Florida State League games. Now, after holding private meetings with Clearwater city officials, the Phillies' plans for the 13-acre shopping center site are coming into focus. Read more »
Published on 9/30/2023

Big Deal

The Horse Creek Ranch conservation easement deal, costing $51 million and spanning more than 16,000 acres across DeSoto and Hardee counties, ranks as one of Florida's biggest single conservation agreements in 20 years. As part of the easement, the Carlton family-owned ranch will continue to be used to raise cattle while the land will be permanently protected from development. Read more »
Published on 8/22/2023

Floating Solar Farm

Duke Energy Florida is building its first floating solar array project in Bartow. The almost 1-megawatt solar array will feature more than 1,800 floating solar modules installed on a 1,200-acre cooling pond, which was once a phosphate mining pit. At peak output, the array could power nearly 100 local homes when it begins to operate as early as this month. Read more »
Published on 7/26/2023

Net Gains

Eight months after Hurricane Ian's storm surge pushed 34 commercial shrimping boats aground along the Lee County shore — and in doing so put more than 300 shrimp industry workers out of a job — the shrimpers are slowly getting back out on the Gulf of Mexico. Read more »
Published on 6/22/2023

Robot Training

Tom Mudano, president and CEO of Pasco County-based AmSkills, is aiming for his workforce-education non-profit “to become a destination point for robotics training in the state of Florida.” Read more »
Published on 5/26/2023

Field Day

St. Petersburg is moving forward with its latest effort to redevelop the city's 86-acre Tropicana Field site — this time with the direct involvement of the Tampa Bay Rays. Read more »
Published on 4/30/2023

School of Fish

Fort Lauderdale-based Guy Harvey Foundation has opened the Guy Harvey Academy of Arts & Science within Anna Maria Elementary School near Bradenton. Read more »
Published on 3/21/2023

Power Walk

In the event of a power failure, only about half of Tampa's traffic lights are equipped with backup batteries that can keep the signals operating without a generator for about eight hours. Read more »
Published on 2/28/2023

Southwest Florida's economic forecast for 2023

“PostcardMania has encountered and overcome many challenges in the past, and I feel 2023 will be no different. Even amidst inflation, where we have had to adjust our pricing and some business dealings due to the cost of essential materials, we are still growing.” Read more »
Published on 1/1/2023

All Children's Hospital's 2-day event helps boost morale of patients during the holidays

For the past 10 years, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg has staged All Kids' Wonderland, a two-day December event intended to brighten the holiday season for hospitalized children and their families. Read more »
Published on 12/21/2022

America's first solar-powered town relies on infrastructure after Hurricane Ian devastation

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, an estimated 2.7 million Florida homes and businesses lost power. For customers of LCEC, which provides electricity to more than 240,000 homes and businesses in hard-hit towns including North Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Marco Island, Pine Island and Sanibel, more than 90% of the utility's customers lost power. But about 20 miles west of where the storm came ashore, Babcock Ranch, which bills itself as “America's first solar-powered town,” has a different story to tell. None of its nearly 2,000 homes lost power. Read more »
Published on 12/14/2022

Ybor City's Gas Worx project plans to develop homes, retail and office space on former site of Peoples Gas

For the last several years, much of downtown Tampa's redevelopment focus has been on Water Street, the $3.5-billion, 70-acre mixed-use project from Strategic Property Partners, a partnership between Tampa's Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment. Read more »
Published on 11/23/2022

Lakeland's long-neglected railyards transformed into a recreational haven

In the 1880s, Lakeland's railyards were a busy hub of commerce, shipping Florida citrus and phosphate to cities and ports across the nation. By the 1980s, however, the railyards were mostly abandoned, the land cluttered by weeds and trash. Read more »
Published on 10/14/2022

Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation opens in Pasco County

Built on what used to be a Pasco County cow pasture, the $70-million Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation opened this school year, ushering in a new era of what used to be called a technical high school. Kirkland's curriculum still features all the traditional trades, such as automotive maintenance and welding, but it also includes classes in cybersecurity, computer science, biomedical sciences, digital media, engineering and robotics. Read more »
Published on 9/30/2022

Tampa entrepreneur creates “sleep pod” to combat employee burnout

By his early 40s, Scott Chester was well into a successful career in IT, having worked for organizations including the U.S. Air Force, Raymond James, Publix and L3 Communications. But Chester found that no matter where he worked, there was always an abundance of energy-sapping stress to deal with, sometimes so much stress that all he really wanted to do was take a nap and recharge. Read more »
Published on 8/23/2022

Tropicana creates Tropical Crunch Cereal for orange juice – not milk

INNOVATION O.J. Cereal Bradenton-based juice maker Tropicana doesn’t want you to just drink your orange juice with breakfast. It also wants you to pour your orange juice over a bowl... Read more »
Published on 7/31/2022

Red Apple Real Estate of New York plans to feature historic 1924 clock at Residences of 400 Central when condo tower opens by 2025

In 1924, First National Bank attached a four-sided, ornate clock to the outside of its downtown St. Petersburg building at the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue. Read more »
Published on 6/29/2022

Scripps Safe plans to boost its workforce and is exploring a move to go public

Scripps Safe, a Naples company that provides security for narcotics storage, transportation and dispensing, plans to boost its workforce from six to 40 this year and is exploring a move to go public. The company makes safes, vaults, smart locks, inventory tracking software and also offers consulting services for the health care industry... Read more »
Published on 5/31/2022

Pinellas County hoping new downtown-to-beach bus line will get more people hooked on mass transit

Six years ago, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority applied for a federal grant to help it create a rapid-transit bus route connecting downtown St. Petersburg with St. Pete Beach about 10 miles away... Read more »
Published on 5/31/2022

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Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive
Giant domino line of cereal boxes falls to celebrate Cereal for Summer Drive

About one thousand cereal boxes were lined up by Achieva Credit Union employees in honor of the donations.

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