5:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

With Vinik Plan Unveiled, Buckhorn Waits on Rays

Credit Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's a "big week," according to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn - an understatement for a man who may get all of his gifts well before the holidays this year.

Now that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has unveiled his billion dollar "vision plan" for redeveloping the southern portion of downtown Tampa, Buckhorn is turning his focus to the possibility that the Tampa Bay Rays could be part of his city's new look.

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3:02 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Vinik's Billion Dollar Plan By the Numbers (video)

A "Tampa Live" retail corridor will connect the Amalie Arena to a new hotel and the Tampa Convention Center
Strategic Property Partners LLC

Tampa Bay Lighting owner Jeff Vinik admitted that he formed his group "Strategic Property Partners" so he could slowly and quietly buy up property surrounding the Amelie Arena in downtown Tampa.

That silence was shattered Wednesday when he finally unveiled his "vision plan" for the Channelside District.

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12:22 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Vinik Unveils Billion-Dollar Vision for Downtown Tampa

Jeff Vinik on Wednesday unveiled plans to build nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space on the 25 acres between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway that he has assembled over the last several years. The development plans, which total $1.07 billion, are backed by Microsoft Founder Bill Gates' Cascade Investment LLC. Vinik's team estimates the project will generate $35 million in annual tax revenue for Hillsborough County.
Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik's billion-dollar development plan is one that could transform a desolate corner of downtown Tampa into a thriving urban neighborhood anchored by a major corporate campus. Vinik on Wednesday unveiled plans to build nearly 3 million square feet of commercial space on the 25 acres between Amalie Arena and the Selmon Expressway that he has assembled over the last several years.
8:23 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Citizens Insurance Introduces Plans To Clarify Depopulation

Citizens Insurance VP of Consumer and Agent Services speaking December 9 at the insurance company's quarterly meeting.

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:20 pm

Citizens insurance is touting its efforts to move policies into the private market—a process known as depopulation.  Florida’s insurer of last resort is introducing new plans to make the move more transparent.

The state-backed insurer concluded its final meeting of the year Wednesday, highlighting its ability to shift 300,000 policies to the private sector since January.  Citizens official Steve Bitar says the company is making changes to improve the depopulation process for consumers.

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2:15 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Florida Sees Increase in "Ultra-Wealthy" Millionaries

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 12:06 pm

Florida saw an increase in the number of “ultra-wealthy” millionaires in 2014.

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8:13 am
Tue December 9, 2014

St. Pete Allows Rays to Look Elsewhere (in Bay Area) for New Home

Ball Park

By the end of the week, the Tampa Bay Rays may be able to look for a new stadium site in Hillsborough County, thanks to a tentative deal reached with the city of St. Petersburg.

Mayor Rick Kriseman will talk about the agreement (which you can read through the slideshow above) he reached with the team at a 10 a.m. news conference today at Tropicana Field. The issue will likely be taken up by the St. Pete City Council at its meeting Thursday.

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11:14 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

On His Birthday, Gov. Scott Kicks Off 'Jobs Jamboree' Tour

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 6:03 pm

Governor Rick Scott kicked off his “Jobs Jamboree” tour in Miami Monday, in lieu of traditional inaugural events.

Instead of an inaugural ball or parade, Scott decided to hold a series of informal barbecues and prayer breakfasts across the state, and he launched the tour Monday—also his 62nd birthday. In a video posted by the Florida GOP, Scott talks, of course, about jobs—a premiere point in his campaign.

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1:39 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Florida's Jobless Mark at Lowest Rate Since 2008

It's not the 1930s around here anymore...

The state's jobless mark dipped slightly from 6.1 percent in September to a six-year-low of 6.0 percent in October, with the strongest growth found in education, health care and service-related fields.

The state Department of Economic Opportunity announced Friday that the number of people listed as unemployed in Florida fell by 13,000 from month to month and stood at 578,000 jobless out of a labor force of 9.6 million.

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1:11 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Historic Kress Building in Tampa to be Redeveloped

The Tampa Bay Business Journal is reporting a group of Tampa real estate veterans has teamed up with an Atlanta hotel developer to redevelop the five-story Kress, which was the home of five-and-dime store S.H. Kress & Co. The Tampa team includes father-and-son construction executives Sam and Casey Ellison; Anthony Italiano, a partner with the Ellisons in EWI Construction; and Tampa developer Alex Walter.
The historic Kress building in downtown Tampa is on the verge of a transformation from vacant to vibrant, with plans under way to redevelop the building into a hotel, possibly with residential components. A group of Tampa real estate veterans has teamed up with an Atlanta hotel developer to redevelop the five-story Kress, which was the home of five-and-dime store S.H. Kress & Co.
5:59 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Billionaire Who Remade Retirement Living On A Massive Scale

Gary Morse, with wife Sharon, in 1999. Morse transformed a mobile home park in Florida into The Villages, a retirement community of more than 100,000 residents.
Stephen M. Dowell Orlando Sentinel

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:41 pm

Gary Morse, a visionary property developer, transformed a Florida mobile home park into the nation's largest retirement community. The billionaire died Wednesday at the age of 77.

Under Morse's direction, The Villages, northwest of Orlando, redefined retirement living. It's a community that is remarkable most of all for its size — home to nearly 100,000 residents living in dozens of communities, spread over an area the size of Manhattan.

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10:37 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Lawsuit Filed In Federal Court Against Florida's Beer Growler Ban

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 3:50 pm

 A craft brewery on the Treasure Coast is fighting Florida's growler ban in federal court. The owners, along with a national legal group, filed a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce.

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1:50 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

The $137 Million Sarasota Deal That Got Away

Since its inception, Sarasota County's business growth plan — like many around the state — has had mixed success luring employers like this. But in the competitive world of economic development, where job-starved communities use promises of cash incentives and tax breaks to reel in corporate spending, this was kind of prey that local officials could not help but chase. This was one that got away.
SARASOTA COUNTY - It was a quiet Monday in September 2013 when the phone rang in Mark Huey's office. It was the start of something called "Project Yellow." And in the end, the deal hit a dead-end.
9:39 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Florida Regulators Approve New Electric Rates


Florida regulators are signing off on new rates for three of the state's biggest power companies that will result in some customers paying less.

The Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved cost recovery charges for Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power Company, and Tampa Electric Company. The new rates will take effect in January 2015.

These charges include the amount of money that utilities are expected to pay for fuel in the coming year.

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11:07 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Where's Wyllie? Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Fights For A Spot In Debates

Wyllie is Florida's Libertarian candidate for Governor

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 5:55 pm

Last Friday, Spanish language TV station Telemundo aired the first of Florida’s gubernatorial debates.  But Telemundo chose not to include Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie. 

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5:59 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Florida's Shrinking Workforce

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 10:09 am

This is a three-part radio series produced in partnership with The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

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