OC TO B E R 18 - OC TO B E R 2 4 , 2013 | T H R E E D O L L A R S
FLOR IDA’S NE WSPAPER FOR T HE C - SUI T E
At Your Service | As real estate returns, so too will service industries. PG.10 P A S C O • H I L L S B O R O U G H • P I N E L L A S • M A N AT E E • S A R A S O TA • C H A R L O T T E • L E E • C O L L I E R
SPECIAL ISSUE: PAGES 7 T0 17
Bridge to RECOVERY Sandy Stilwell owns seven restaurants on Captiva Island. She’s so optimistic about the economy, she’s spending $2.5 million to open an eighth. PAGE 13
Sandy Stilwell CEO AND OWNER, STILWELL ENTERPRISES & RESTAURANT GROUP INDICATORS
Ask the Experts
The Gulf Coast posted strong numbers for business investment in July. All but one area beat the statewide average. PAGE 6
Hospitality will lean on international tourists for growth in 2014, while bankers expect slow and steady to be the course for the region. PAGE 8
Advertising sales continue to rebound, and land development increases. Both are among the indicators pointing to future economic growth. PAGE 12
Two economists expound on their visions for the economy in 2014, both on the regional and state and national levels. PAGE 14
By the Numbers
Explore data for past years and projections for the future regarding industries, population, jobs and more. PAGES 15-17
Five Aston Gardens properties on Gulf Coast sell for $245.16 million. 19 New academy purchases former Bradenton Prep site for $3.6 million. 21 Port Charlotte hotel bought by North Dakota farm equipment dealer. 22
23 Business leaders show support for STEM education. 116578
Construction still has a ways to go to build confidence, but service-related businesses predict gains for next year. PAGE 10
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“The road is cleared,” said Galt. “We are going back to the world.” He raised his hand and over the desolate earth he traced in space the sign of the dollar. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged 117964
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
Rays fans celebrate Flag Day The Tampa Bay Rays baseball season might be over, but local business owners Dean and Janet Mixon were still able to snag one last memory. The Mixons, owners of Bradentonbased Mixon Fruit Farms, were chosen in a drawing of Rays season ticket holders to hold a section of the American flag during a pre-game ceremony Oct. 7. The Rays played the Boston Red Sox in a playoff game that night, a contest the team won 5-4 on a walk-off home run. While the game was a blast, so was flag duty, says Janet Mixon. The Mixons have been Rays season ticket holders for seven seasons, but have never been on the field for a playoff event. “It was an awesome experience,” says Mixon. “It was a neat thing to be part of.” Fitting, too, because the Mixons are unabashedly patriotic entrepreneurs. Mixon Fruit Farms holds several pa-
JANET and DEAN MIXON
triotic events at the facility every year, including free ice cream on holidays for kids who recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Plus, Janet Mixon’s father and brother both served in the military. “We try to do things that are patriotic,” Mixon tells Coffee Talk. “To have a chance to hold a flag was huge.”
Developer benefits from good timing When Brian Stock started developing land and building homes again in Collier County in 2010, it wasn’t clear yet that the housing market was on track for recovery. Now, three years later, Stock is benefiting from that prescience. The Naples-based privately held company controlled by Stock and his family has sold 465 homes valued at $276 million this year through September. STOCK That’s an 85% sales increase compared with 2012. Stock says buyers contracted to buy 54 homes in September worth $30.5 mil-
lion. That’s a 130% increase compared with September 2012 and it’s surprising because it’s typically a slow month for home sales in the region. As a result, Stock is boosting its inventory of new homes available for sale in nine communities in Lee and Collier counties. It has built or is nearing completion of 150 such homes and it has 40 furnished models. Prices range from $160,000 to more than $7 million. Good timing has always been Stock’s hallmark. In 2007, the company was among the first to recognize the severity of the economic downturn and it slashed prices of new homes by 35%. Now, prices are rising again, and Stock says it has boosted the price of its new homes by 27% so far this year.
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Lee commission race heats up Half a dozen candidates have already lined up for Tammy Hall’s seat on the Lee County Commission. Hall resigned last month after she agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud for embezzling money from her campaign account. Lee County Commission Chairman Cecil
Pendergrass says he’s asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott to appoint an interim commissioner until the voters choose a replacement in next year’s elections. According to the Lee County Super-
See COFFEE TALK page 5
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Longboat Key Bay Isles house offers within days of the listing, many from out-of-town buyers who had only seen the house online. A sale on the house closed Sept. 9 for $1.09 million — a $610,00 drop from the previous sale price. Funk says the low price isn’t a true representation of the market, but a reflection of how desperate some lenders are to unload nonperforming assets. “The banks are really aggressive when they have high-end properties,” Funk tells Coffee Talk. “They can’t hold on to multimillion dollar properties. So they list low.” The trend, projects Funk, will stick around, at least in the short-term. For example, one waterfront property he’s currently showing, in south Sarasota, is in dumpy condition, admits Funk. The roof, he says, is literally caving in. But he has already fielded 20 offers for the $450,000 listing.
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Rats, debris and a two-year build up of filth aren’t normally synonymous with million-dollar waterfront homes, but this isn’t exactly a typical time in real estate. And Sarasota-Bradenton area real estate agent Troy Funk recently found himself in those colliding worlds. The upshot, says Funk, with Allison James Estates & Homes, is megadeals for waterfront properties are at the taking for buyers who will suspend disbelief — and step over the occasional mousetrap. “If you want waterfront value,” says Funk, “this is the best time.” In August, for instance, Funk listed a bank-owned home in Bay Isles, a tony Longboat Key neighborhood where former U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris owns a property. The 3,667-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom home, with a dock and direct access to the bay, sold for $1.7 million in 2004. But when Funk got the listing the house was in total disarray, with rats gnawing through almost every room. “The house had been abandoned for an extended period of time,” Funk says in a statement, “and had serious deferred maintenance issues.” Funk nonetheless had multiple
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
topstories from BusinessObserverFL.com CHARLOTTE-LEE-COLLIER
Chico’s expands to Canada Chico’s FAS plans to open three White House | Black Market stores in Canada, its first international expansion. The Fort Myers-based women’s retailer says it plans to open the first White House | Black Market branded boutique Oct. 24 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto. Two additional stores will open Oct. 29 and Nov. 12 in Mississauga and Newmarket. In addition to White House | Black Market, the company operates the brands Chico’s, Soma Intimates and Boston Proper.
First National Bank to buy Naples rival Naples-based First National Bank of the Gulf Coast says it plans to acquire crosstown rival Shamrock Bank of Florida. The deal could be valued as much as $9 million, or 1.15 times Shamrock’s book value, says Colleen Kvetko, Shamrock’s president and CEO. Community banks in the Southeast with assets of less than $500 million have been
quote of theweek
I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm in five years. The storm has passed. We’re all pessimistically optimistic. Richard Peck | Owner, QTM Inc., on his outlook for the economy SEE PAGE 8
what do you think?
trading below book value at an average price-to-book multiple of 0.85, Kvetko noted. Shamrock currently has $101 million in assets and First National has $669 million in assets. The combined company will have six locations in Collier County. First National recently filed an application with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to open its first branch office outside of Collier County, to be located in Tampa. SARASOTA-MANATEE
Local biopharm firm will consider merger Lakewood-Amedex, a University Park-based biopharmaceutical company that develops anti-bacterial compounds to treat acute diseases and conditions, signed a strategic advisory deal with New York investment bank H.C. Wainwright & Co. Wainwright, according to a release, will assist LakewoodAmedex with merger and acquisition opportunities, in addition to potential licensing. The agreement includes both existing pipeline products and the company’s platform technology.
What’s your forecast for the economy in 2014? Vote at BusinessObserverFL.com
Local CRE firm boasts top 10 ranking The Sarasota-Bradenton office of Sperry Van Ness Commercial Advisory Group has had a banner year in the first nine months of 2013. The firm is ranked eighth in sales volume out of 175 Sperry Van Ness offices nationwide through the first three quarters of 2013, according to a release. The firm also recently announced three of its agents were ranked among the top 20 in Florida and the top 100 of Sperry Van Ness agents nationwide in 2013 sales volume. Those agents are: Gail Bowden, third in Florida; Mike Migone, 14th in Florida; and Diane Lawson, 16th in Florida. TAMPA BAY
Amazon, and sales tax, on its way Online retail giant Amazon is entering the Florida business market with a warehouse in Ruskin. USAA Real Estate Co., the San Antonio-based real estate investment arm of USAA, purchased 79.5 acres of pasture land north of College Avenue just east of Interstate 75 for Last week’s question:
Has the government shutdown slowed your sales?
$14.63 million. On Oct. 9, USAA Real Estate signed a 15-year lease agreement with the Amazon entity, Amazon.com.dedc LLC. Construction of the 1.1 million-square-foot fulfillment center is expected to start soon. It is ultimately expected to create more than 1,000 jobs. Once Amazon has a physical presence in the state, it will be legally required to collect sales tax from its Florida customers.
Stearns Bank appoints president Stearns Bank named local banking executive Thomas Zernick Florida market president. Zernick, according to a release, has more than 30 years’ experience in banking and was most recently a senior vice president in charge of SBA lending at HomeBanc in Tampa. He will be based out of the bank’s St. Petersburg office. St. Cloud, Minn.-based Stearns Bank NA is a $1.6 billion employee-owned institution with offices in Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Minnesota. In addition to St. Petersburg, the bank has Florida offices in Sarasota and Venice.
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cerned about those issues abroad. Just about three-fourths of the respondents, 74%, worry about potential tax increases, while 70% profess anxiety over compliance with the Affordable Care Act and 66% worry about onerous government regulations. More than half, 54%, believe rising interest rates would negatively impact their business. The executives polled by CIT for the survey are in leadership roles at firms nationwide with annual revenues between $25 million and $1 billion. “As one of the leading job creators in the United States and the economic backbone of America, middle market companies are looking to grow their businesses but feel greater attention needs to be paid to the policies that directly affect their companies and their concerns on Capitol Hill,” CIT Chairman and CEO John Thain says in statement.
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By contrast, during the depth of the real estate collapse in September 2009, there were 23,475 foreclosure cases making their way through the courts in Lee County. By September 2012, that number had declined to 9,612. “More and more it’s evident that this part of the correction is over and we’re now just mopping up,” says Jeff Tumbarello, director of the association.
EXECS UPBEAT ON ECONOMY Middle market executives are clearly an upbeat bunch of business leaders — even in the face of an onslaught of potential problems. How else to explain the results of a new survey from CIT Group, a financing and advisory firm for small businesses and middle market companies? The survey, for one, finds a majority of middle market executives, 55%, say their companies are better off today compared with a year ago. There’s also these nuggets: Nearly six out of 10 respondents, 59%, say they expect to increase the range of products and services they offer, while 55% anticipate an expansion into adjacent markets. Finally, almost half the respondents, 46%, expect to increase the size of their workforce. Threats, of course, linger. On that front, 81% reported worries about economic uncertainty in the U.S., and another 70% say they are con-
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Do you remember September? Here’s some interesting perspective on the real estate market from Lee County, one of the hardest-hit areas during the bust: Foreclosure cases there are down to 2007 levels. As of Sept. 30, there were 7,262 foreclosures winding their way through the Lee County court system, according to the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association.
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lead in fundraising for Hall’s District 4 commission seat, according to campaign finance records. He’s raised just more than $13,000 from 60 donors. The second-highest fundraiser for the district seat so far is former Lee County Manager Don Stilwell with $2,250.
Florida nears $2B in commercial projects This might surprise some in the beleaguered commercial real estate industry, but Florida is a top 10 state for new projects, according to the NAIOP Research Foundation, an industry trade group. The Sunshine State, in fact, ranked sixth in the foundation’s 2012 survey of construction values for office, industrial, warehouse and retail commercial real estate projects, with $1.97 billion. That led to 78,274 jobs, the survey reports. The foundation, formerly the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, further reports the value of new projects nationwide posted an uptick in 2012 — only the second increase since 2007. The projects, the report says, contributed $303.4 billion to the U.S. economy, up nearly 16% from $261.6 billion in 2011. The projects supported 2.3 million jobs. Of course, this is commercial real estate, post-recession, so there is a “but.” In this case it’s that tried-and-true antagonist: uncertainty. “The commercial real estate industry is improving, yet is being hindered from reaching its full potential,” NAIOP President and CEO Thomas Bisacquino says in a statement. “Developers and investors have to be able to anticipate levels of demand three-to-five years ahead, but their vision is clouded because of uncertainty in Washington and in state capitals, which explains the slow pace of recovery. If we don’t get clarity on budget policy, tax reform or the renewal of terrorism risk insurance, it will hold us back from our true potential to really drive greater job creation and economic growth in America.”
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CoffeeTalk visor of Elections, the six candidates running for Hall’s seat in the 2014 election include five Republicans and one Democrat. Two of them, Republicans Josh McGrail and Larry Murphy, filed within days of Hall’s resignation. Meanwhile, another Republican candidate, Brian Hamman, has the
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OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
BY THE NUMBERS
9.1 Business investment The state’s year-over-year percentage increase in business investment in July.
$5.0 billion (Florida statewide) 4.8
Punta Gorda posted the best increase statewide for business investment in July, compared with July 2012, with a 16.9% increase. Fort Myers and Orlando tied for second place, with 14.4% increases.
2 The number of areas out of 22 statewide that posted losses in business investment in July compared with July 2012. They were Gainesville and Palm Bay/ Melbourne.
WHAT THE DATA SHOW Taxable sales in the business-investment category include office equipment, computers, hotel and restaurant supplies, transportation equipment, paper and packaging, medical supplies and industrial machinery. The latest data are for July.
JULY BUSINESS INVESTMENT AREA TampaSt. Petersburg
WHAT IT MEANS Business investment grew substantially on an annual-percentage basis in most regions of the Gulf Coast, exceeding or matching the 9.1% statewide increase. By this measure, Punta Gorda showed the strongest gain of any area of the state. Cape Coral and Naples also showed strong annual-percentage gains, boosted by growth in businesses related to real estate and hospitality.
SarasotaBradenton Punta Gorda Cape CoralFort Myers
FORECAST Recent surveys of business executives in the region continue to reveal confidence to make further business investments. Real estate sales should continue to grow and hotel bookings are rising. However, uncertainties such as the federal government shutdown may give some business owners pause.
BUSINESS INVESTMENT ($ in millions)
% ANNUAL CHANGE
$584.4 7.2% $137.4 9.1% $21.4 16.9% $122.8 14.4% $67.6 12.9% Source: Florida Legislature Office of Economic & Demographic Research
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OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
economic forecast LISTEN TO THE RAINMAKERS In our minds, it’s one thing for economists and experts to pontificate and predict the state of the economy in the region — but it’s another to listen to those who have skin in the game. The Business Observer’s economic forecast features a couple of the former (see page 14 for two economists’ views on 2014), but the bulk of this issue focuses the words and thoughts of those who have put their time, talent, effort and, most importantly, money on the line. We think hearing what business owners in different Gulf Coast industries have to say is more enlightening than the pundits. Business owners have data that’s easy to discern, such as whether they’re hiring, what they’re doing about ObamaCare, and what their fellow business owners are seeing and doing. Overall, the tone of this year’s forecast is positive, with an acknowledgment of how bad the recession was and how far we have to go to fully recover from it. Although major stalwarts of the economy — construction, housing and tourism — have indeed improved the outlook for
It’s not as rosy as some people say. I don’t see it looking up immediately. Lee-En Chung | engineer and general contractor with Ivy Ventures
This whole political thing has everyone spooked. Ed Gurry |
Sarasota Fun Machines
I like the fact that banks are no longer just real estate focused. That’s huge. Art Lambert | LexJet printing
There are so many rules, taxes imposed on me that it’s almost oppressive. It feels like extortion.
the coming year, it’s dampened by a healthy dose of government uncertainty. In particular, the federal government’s bungling of the budget and debt limit remain a point of contention, as does the implementation of ObamaCare and other potential threats from governments both local and nationwide. As you can see by the sampling of them on this page, many of the business owners’ comments seemed polarized, either good or bad. But when you read the following pages, you’ll see that’s because they oscillated between positive and negative points. Who could blame them for hedging their bets in such a hesitant market? The biggest lesson we gleaned from listening is that patience has started to pay off, but more will be needed. Most agree that 2014 will be a better year, but only incrementally so. However, several point out that might not be such a bad thing. It could be that although painfully slow, the recovery is more sustainable than current peaks proved to be. Now that’s something worthy of some optimism. — Kat Hughes
I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm in five years. The storm has passed. We’re all pessimistically optimistic. Richard Peck | QTM, manufacturing
Patty Durell | Rock Solid Fitness
People are doing really well. Everyone is crazy busy right now. Jill Gould | Sarasota’s
The economy has been climbing out of the hole. I think the economy will be strong. Steve
Traves | AMI Outfitters Coastal Gear and Apparel
Whatever prosperity we had in our economy was mainly driven by the housing market. We were too one dimensional … We’ve done a good job of diversifying our economic base. John Zettel | AVI-SPL
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less bureaucratic interference with supply E! elcome to the second edi- and demand, the betSE! EAS LEA R RL tion of the Ian Black Real ter chance the market O FO F Estate Property Guide! has to return to some Encouraged by the reception that our degree of stability. The increasing sucfirst edition received, we have made the commitment to publish the guide on a cess of Ian Black Real Front row: Debbie Anglin, Joni-Elizabeth Hoehn, regular basis and have given it a new pro- Estate can be attribMichele Fuller, Ian Black, Bob Granicz. Second Row: Dottie Rutledge, Steve Horn, Marci Marsh, fessional layout with advertising support uted to diverse market Nick DeVito II, David Greenberg, Jag Grewal, Alia Wallace. knowledge combined from many of our business partners. 1819 MAIN STREET - SARASOTA 2716 FRUITVILLE ROAD - SARASOTA 7201 15TH STREET E - SARASOTA 2025 CASS WAY - SARASOTA 5,062 SFunyield| Sarasotaone Citythat Center 750 SF | $1,295 PSF Modified Gross I am| 10th asked floor nearly every day, Corporate headquarters campus near SRQThe airport | 19,650 SF excellent team work with and an positive response to 24 ourunits first publiSublease:“How’s $22 PSF Sublease 2nd floor executive office 50,169 SF | For Sale $2,750,000cation vindicated our initialFor Sale: $2,050,000 theGross market?” From our perspecthoughts that ing commitment to serve the best interests Contact Nick Devito | Debbie Anglin Contact Jag Grewal Contact Jag Grewal Contact Ian Black | Steve Horn tive the improved movement we have in today’s fast moving world of electronic of our clients. It is both exciting and humcommunication a more tangible presen- bling that our efforts have been recognized experienced since the beginning of the year CELEBRATING tation would be appealing to those inter- by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Com- is promising but the market is still strugmerce and we have been named as one of gling to deal with the new paradigms. ested in commercial real estate. As always our team is at your serI am also pleased to report that in the the three finalists for the 2011 Frank G. vice and we look forward to our ninth first five months of 2011, our results have Berlin Sr. Small Business of the Year. YEARS 2003-2013 In closing I will again answer the ques- year serving all of your commercial real been more than encouraging and reflect significant increased activity. The com- tion that I posed in our last edition and estate needs. n
Ian Black Real Estate firstname.lastname@example.org
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BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
MARYANN FERENC CEO, Mise en Place, Mise en Scene (event catering) First Flight and Sono Café at the Tampa Museum of Art Tampa | Hospitality
economic forecast TAMPA BAY
BY JANET LEISER | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COMPANY: The year was successful for Mise en Place, an upscale restaurant, even if the business didn’t see a spike in sales as it did the prior year when the Republican National Convention converged on Tampa. “We’d do a convention like that every summer if we could,” says Maryann Ferenc, who founded Mise En Place 27 years ago. Business has been steadily improving at the restaurant and its related businesses, including First Flight, a wine bar at Tampa International Airport, she says. Ferenc expects sales to continue to grow in 2014. She declined to provide specific figures on revenue other than to say it’s upward of $3 million and the business employs 75 to 100 people. INDUSTRY: She expects the Tampa Bay-area hospitality industry to fare well in 2014, thanks in part to expected growth in international tourism with increased flights between Tampa International Airport and Central and South America. “International travel is on a huge growth path,” she says. “There’s a big focus on the state level and we are going to benefit from that. I think we can expect better things for 2014.” Challenges for the industry include escalating costs related to insurance and energy, plus the continued cost of credit card transactional fees. Marketing requires more focus and energy than in the past, with an increased emphasis on an online presence and a continued focus on building strong relationships and loyalty with clientele. “That’s still one of the most important things I do,” Ferenc says of relationship building. REGION: The local economy should prosper with increased tourism and the investment of international funds into the purchase of commercial real estate in the Bay area. “Over the last three years we’ve become a much stronger entity as a region,” Ferenc says. “I think the second half of 2014 could be markedly better if we pay close attention and do the things we need to do. The international business — we have no idea what a big deal that will be for us.”
JERRY DIVERS Chairman, Tampa Banking Co. Tampa | Financial BUSINESS: Jerry Divers expects The Bank of Tampa’s earnings to improve in 2014 as the finances of the bank’s clients, primarily professionals such as lawyers, doctors and CPAs, also improves. “We are optimistic, not wildly so, that we’ll have a nice increase in our asset base and in our earnings,” Divers says. “If you talked to our clients a year ago, most wouldn’t have been optimistic,” he adds. “This year there has been more optimism, but it’s greatly tempered by uncertainty over the Federal Reserve and climate in Washington. It makes people feel uneasy.” Loan demand is improving but not yet strong, he says. On the flip side, deposits are up. “People have money in the bank because they don’t know what to do with it,” he says. If interest rates continue to rise as some expect, the bank’s earnings could markedly improve. The bank, with $1.3 billion in as-
MARYANN FERENC, CEO of Mise en Place, expects international tourism to boost the business climate in the Tampa Bay area. MARK WEMPLE
JERRY DIVERS, chairman of Bank of Tampa, says optimism seems to be growing among business owners. sets, is growing its trust and investment services. It’s also acquiring land in Pinellas County for expansion. While it’s possible the bank could acquire a competitor, there are no immediate plans to do so. “We look at acquiring, we just don’t find any [banks] oriented at building relationships the way we are.” INDUSTRY: Look for continued consolidation as community banks struggle to comply with the rising costs of regulations, namely the Dodd-Frank Act, he says. He expects the number of community banks in the region to drop in half within six years. And banks, organized for the sole purpose of eventually being sold, aren’t likely to fetch the high valuation expected prior to the recession, he says. The Bank of Tampa isn’t among those likely to be acquired, he adds. “I am not aware of any shareholder in this bank that wants to see it sold.” REGION: While the bank’s clients seem to be having a better year financially than expected, Divers says many still aren’t expanding or investing in new facilities or capital purchases. “They’re apprehensive about what the economy will look like in the future,” Divers says. “Until we get a feel for the Federal Reserve’s plans and a better resolution of economic policy from the White House, people are going to try to make the most out of a gradually improving economy.” He is also concerned the area is experiencing a housing bubble and
"The attitude has changed: Everything is not gloom and doom," says QTM Inc. owner RICHARD PECK of the mood among manufacturers. mortgage interest rates will damper home sales. Looking forward, he says: “We expect continued moderate improvement next year despite the foolishness in Washington. I am really concerned about the deficit. I don’t think they’re going to get it under control, and the implications to this country are severe.”
RICHARD PECK Owner, QTM Inc. | Oldsmar Manufacturing, defense BUSINESS: Sales at Richard Peck’s manufacturing business turned around this year following what will go down in the books as one of QTM’s worst years, in 2012. Peck is understandably looking forward to the next few years. “We see nothing but a good year for next year,” says Peck, whose 30-person company fabricates precisionmachined metal products for industrial use, including for the U.S. military. “What’s pushing our change is the business atmosphere,” he says. “It starts with the governor on down. The state has gotten behind manu-
facturing.” Sales at QTM are up 50% in 2013 from the prior year, and 2014 should be a record year for his company. QTM, like other companies that survived the recession, has streamlined to operate more efficiently. “As we go forward, we plan to keep costs down,” he says. INDUSTRY: Florida’s manufacturers are more upbeat. “The attitude has changed: Everything is not gloom and doom,” Peck says. The industry appears to have more political support in Tallahassee, both from Gov. Rick Scott and legislators. Of the governor, Peck says: “He’s asking us what we need, not telling us what we need.” Good news for the industry is that beginning in April, the purchase of manufacturing machinery is exempt from sales tax. The exemption is intended to spur expansion. The state is also using more resources to address another industry problem — Florida’s inadequate skilled workforce. Community colleges are adding manufacturing classes to the curriculum, Peck says. Peck says he’s also heartened to see manufacturing leaders becoming more active in Florida’s educational system and in economic development in representing the industry.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
REGION: In Peck’s view, Florida’s Gulf Coast is recovering faster than other parts of Florida. “I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm in five years,” he says. “The storm has passed. We’re all pessimistically optimistic.” There’s a pick up in request for bids, while manufacturing orders are more plentiful, albeit for smaller amounts. “I’m excited about what I see happening,” he says. “It has made us meaner, leaner and better managers of companies.”
JOHN ZETTEL CEO, AVI-SPL Tampa | Technology BUSINESS: Revenue at the audiovisual IT provider has been growing year-over-year. The 1,850-employee company had revenue of $580.7 million in 2012 and expects to end this year with growth of about 5%. Business was slow the first few months of the year, says CEO John Zettel, but in the third quarter, business picked up significantly. AVISPL saw its best September in the company’s history, with $89 million in sales. To more aggressively grow revenue in 2014 and beyond, the company has expanded its service division and international help desk. “We have a more robust break-fix serving offering,” he says. The company projects double-digit growth in 2014, with a profitability goal between 4%-7%. The company remains conservative in its acquisitions and mergers and will continue to focus on teleconferencing, which continues to change with technology. INDUSTRY: There’s a growing divide between top-tier providers, of
JOHN ZETTEL, CEO of AVI-SPL, expects double-digit growth at the audio visual IT company in 2014. which AVI-SPL includes itself, and the middle and lower tiers. Top-tier companies are becoming more adept at complex, changing technology, while others are focusing on less sophisticated audiovisual installations. Larger IT product providers are showing more interest in selling and serving audiovisual products. To compete, they’re acquiring companies with the know-how. “Our traditional competition is getting smaller in number,” Zettel says. “But we’re seeing new competition come in.” REGION: Look for more good things to come. “I really do believe this region is on a strong path to recovery after being hit fairly hard,” Zettel says. “Whatever prosperity we had in our economy was mainly driven by the housing market. We were too one-dimensional. … We’ve done a good job of diversifying our economic base.”
PATTY DURELL, a personal trainer and owner of Rock Solid Fitness, says business has been steadily growing for several years.
PATTY DURELL Owner, Rock Solid Fitness Clearwater | Fitness, health BUSINESS: Rock Solid Fitness, cofounded by Patty and Dave Durell, doubled in size over the past two years. “Maybe we could have grown more if the economy was stronger. Who’s to say?” Patty Durell says. Today, the business has eight personal fitness trainers, including the Durells. Prior to 2011, the owners were content to serve a small number of clients and not employ other trainers. When the economy faltered in 2008, business dipped and quickly rebounded. A few years ago, they began hiring trainers to grow. “The people who can afford to pay for personal training can usually still afford it in a bad economy,” she says. “That protects us a little bit when the economy falters.”
INDUSTRY: Durell is concerned with how the federal Affordable Health Care Act will affect Rock Solid and other small businesses. “I don’t think any of us knows what it really means for our business and how it’s going to affect us. Some of my staff, if forced to buy insurance, it would be a big strain on them as it would be on me. I couldn’t afford to pay for it, and I couldn’t have a business without them. I’m just a middle-class business owner. There are so many rules, taxes imposed on me that it’s almost oppressive. It feels like extortion.” REGION: If sandwich sales are a good indicator, Durell says the economy seems to have rebounded. The deli next to Rock Solid Fitness has seen a surge in business, she says. Durell expects her business to continue to grow in 2014 — if federally mandated health insurance doesn’t stop expansion. The company’s weekly goal for 2014 is 300 training sessions, up from 200 this year.
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40 South Pineapple Avenue, Suite 101 Sarasota, FL 34236 941.894.6888
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
economic forecast SARASOTA-MANATEE BY MARK GORDON | DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR
Sarasota-based construction industry consultant LEE-EN CHUNG has worked for clients behind several large projects, including a $31 million renovation of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
LEE-EN CHUNG Engineer and General Contractor, Ivy Ventures Sarasota | Construction COMPANY: An engineer and general contractor, Lee-En Chung consults with building owners and developers on projects, many times complicated ones. She was the consulting engineer on the $31 million renovation of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota in 2010 and 2011, for example. Her firm now, though, is in somewhat of a holding pattern. There’s some work out there, but clients, she says, are hesitant to move ahead on major developments. The ones who do seek to minimize expenses on the consulting side of the project. “Some clients,” says Chung, “are still going for the cheapest bid.” INDUSTRY: Chung says the local construction industry needs to continue, and even enhance, how it promotes itself. That’s not just self-serving, but a boon to the overall economic climate. “When the construction industry in Sarasota County is thriving,” she says, “people are more likely to spend money.” A forthcoming industry trend is partnerships, projects Chung, who recently attended a seminar in Miami hosted by the Florida Council for Public Private Partnerships. The buzz there, she says, was about both partnerships between public and private entities, and cooperation between companies that vie for work. REGION: Chung reads and hears about a recovery in the economy, but she’s unsure how legitimate the rebound reFILE
Onetime telecommunications executive ED GURRY bought a Suzuki motorcycle dealership in Sarasota in late 2011. He renamed the business Sarasota Fun Machines.
ally is. In addition to low bids, banks remain hesitant to back projects. “It’s not as rosy as some people say,” says Chung. “I don’t see it looking up immediately.” Still, one positive aspect of the Sarasota-Bradenton economy, says Chung, is the activity generated by The Mall at University Town Center. That’s a $315 million project in north Sarasota County currently under construction. It’s scheduled to open in October 2014.
ED GURRY Owner, Sarasota Fun Machines Sarasota | Motorcycle sales BUSINESS: Sales at Sarasota Fun Machines were flat in 2013 over 2012, mostly because a sizable chunk of customers couldn’t get financing for motorcycle or ATV purchases. In fact, Ed Gurry, who owns the dealership, says 80% of potential customers who applied for financing this year were
rejected. “This economy has hurt people more than we thought,” says Gurry. Sales were around $2.5 million in 2012, and Gurry aimed for 10% to 15% growth in 2013. He’s optimistic business will be better in 2014, though it’s somewhat of a wary confidence. The federal government shutdown, for one, hasn’t helped matters. Says Gurry: “This whole political thing has everyone spooked.” INDUSTRY: Most of the motorcycle and ATV industry, says Gurry, is at a standstill — much like his business. He says manufacturers and vendors have held back on incentives and delayed new products and orders. “It costs a lot to roll out new products,” Gurry says. The business challenge now, says Gurry, is to balance cash flow with inventory and flat sales. He says other dealers he knows grapple with the same challenges. REGION: Despite the ho-hum year at Sarasota Fun Machines, Gurry believes the local economy is actually on an upswing. He says service and tourism industries are doing well, and growth in new construction in housing is another good sign. Gurry hopes some of those vibes rub off on his business. “Since the economy is bouncing back,” he says, “I should be able to grow a little.” LORI SAX
JILL GOULD founded her business, Sarasota’s Custom Concierge, in 2011.
JILL GOULD Sarasota’s Custom Concierge Sarasota | Real estate, housing BUSINESS: Jill Gould’s firm provides contracted to-do-list services for a host of clients, from offices to fulltime local homeowners to snowbirds. Services include everything from running errands to pet sitting and house sitting to helping someone downsize and move to another home, even an assisted-living facility. “I bring piece of mind to people,” says Gould, a Sarasota native. The business, meanwhile, has brought Gould some growth since she founded it in 2011. Her client list has since grown fourfold, and she now has 10 contract employees who perform cleaning and other services for the firm’s clients. “We come in,” Gould says, “and we help you organize your life.” INDUSTRY: Gould hears the chatter that the housing industry comeback, what her Realtor friends and industry contacts call a “revival,” is more like a bubble. But she thinks price appreciation levels are more reasonable this time around, which should alleviate some of those fears. The buzz in the Sarasota real estate industry going into 2014, further, is all about condos. Several projects are in the works, the first time in about eight years there’s multiple new condo towers forthcoming in downtown Sarasota. Gould, finally, projects the trend of foreign buyers acquiring local properties is one that will continue to grow next year. Clients are coming everywhere from Europe to Canada. REGION: If the activity among Gould’s peers in home services — from pest control to pool cleaning — is a guide, then the 2014 economy is in solid shape. She says the summer was active, and the early fall, normally a dead period, has been humming, too. Gould projects the upcoming winter season will be the busiest in years. “People are doing really well,” she says, “Everyone is crazy busy right now.”
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER Of course, the pain of the economic downturn, when Gould knew several people who lost jobs and homes, is still somewhat fresh. That slightly tempers her enthusiasm. “A lot of people,” says Gould, “got really hurt in the recession.”
outdoor products store last year. It sells kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and fishing equipment, in addition to gear from Patagonia, Simms and other brands. Traves spent about $100,000 to open the 1,000-square-foot store, a renovated Sears & Roebuck mail-order-kit home from the 1930s. The first year in business, says Traves, exceeded his projections, and he doubled the inventory for 2014. He also plans to move ahead with a small business staple of growth: hiring employees. He intends to hire at least one clerk, probably in January. Says Traves: “We are expecting to have a real solid year.”
STEVE TRAVES AMI Outfitters Coastal Gear and Apparel Anna Maria Island Hospitality/retail
INDUSTRY: Like several other Anna Maria Island entrepreneurs and business leaders, Traves says the hospitality sector is booming. “Anna Maria Island continues to get more and more visitors,” he says. “Real estate on this island has been fantastic for the last two years.” Traves says tourism officials have done a great job promoting the region, both in Florida, to places like Tampa and Orlando, and abroad, to Canada and Europe. The result has been an influx of customers. “Anna Maria was one of the best kept secrets for a long time,” says Traves. “But secrets don’t always stay that way.”
BUSINESS: A former commercial photographer and software developer, Steve Traves opened the
REGION: In Traves’ retail/hospitality world, he sees the regional economy doing much better. That’s what he hears from other business owners and customers. He has no regrets in opening his own business, though he says he did it based on how the economy was in 2012, which was somewhat on a wing and a prayer. “The economy has been climbing out of the hole,” he says. “I think the economy will be strong.”
STEVE TRAVES turned a 1930s Sears & Roebuck mail-order-kit home on Anna Maria Island into an outdoor gear store.
ART LAMBERT Co-Owner, LexJet, Brand Management Group | Sarasota Technology, digital printing BUSINESS: LexJet, with about $70 million in 2012 sales, is up 15% so far in 2013, says co-owner Art Lambert. But that’s puny compared to what Lambert says LexJet, which markets and sells inkjet printing equipment and supplies, is poised to do in 2014: He projects the firm could double sales, to at least $140 million. Says Lambert: “Business has been awesome.” That’s why Lambert has spent most of 2013 looking ahead to 2014. LexJet has invested $4.5 million in technology upgrades, new hardware and more staff. The company plans to add about 30 employees, which would bring the total local payroll to 150 people. “When you know you are going to double your size,” Lambert says, “you have to pay for it.” A separate firm launched in 2011 by Lambert and other LexJet executives, Brand Management Group, is also primed for a growth spurt. Run out of the same downtown Sarasota building as LexJet, BMG recently opened an office in Barcelona. The firm licenses technology and products for Kodak and Hewlett-Packard. INDUSTRY: The need for inkjet printing products and services isn’t going away, says Lambert, though he recognizes the industry is amid a shift to a focus on everything digital. “We see a model change happening,” says Lambert. The model, he says, is to have more options for customers who seek to turn digital images into new products, from canvas prints used in advertising to custom home décor.
ART LAMBERT and RON SIMKINS cofounded LexJet in Sarasota in 1994. Lambert projects sales at the $70 million inkjet printing equipment and supply firm will double in 2014. REGION: Lambert believes local and state officials are succeeding on a mission of helping Florida, and the Sarasota-Bradenton region, to diversify its businesses so there’s not an over-reliance on tourism and real estate. He says that will help the economy improve in 2014. Economic gardening efforts, for example, are a big boost for small business, says Lambert. Another regional economy boost, he says, comes from banks that have begun to loan money again to businesses that aren’t in real estate. “I like the fact that banks are no longer just real estate focused,” Lambert says. “That’s huge.”
EDUCATION • NETWORKING • PROFESSIONALISM CID Golf Tournament & Reception October 28, 2013 at
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BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
RICHARD LEWIS Principal Engineer, CRA Fort Myers | Engineering COMPANY: Richard Lewis, principal engineer with CRA in Fort Myers, says developers are hiring his firm to review land in preparation for future development. “We do a lot of the work on the front end of land deals, and that’s up dramatically,” he says. To accommodate the anticipated growth, Lewis plans to add another three highly skilled engineers to his staff of 20 people in Fort Myers. Such engineering work fueled a 60% increase in revenues in Florida this year and Lewis says there are no signs of that slowing down next year. Lewis sold a controlling interest in HSA Engineers & Scientists recently to Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and the combined firm has been renamed CRA Inc.
economic forecast CHARLOTTE-LEE-COLLIER BY JEAN GRUSS | EDITOR/LEE-COLLIER
INDUSTRY: Lewis says only certain areas of engineering are likely to benefit from the recovery next year, such as investigations of land for future development and water-quality issues driven by new laws. “It’s only parts of the market that are heating up,” he says. “You’ll see continued growth, but maybe not as much hiring or the purchase of capital goods.” Lewis says the industry’s growth in 2014 will be slow and steady in part because of unknown risks. “People understand how tenuous things are,” he says. “Everybody knows what’s happening with the federal government.” REGION: Much of the growth next year will come from residential development that’s now on the drawing boards. Developers are scouting large parcels of agricultural land in the region. “We’re seeing some big master-planned communities,” Lewis says. “There will be more of a push for land, and some of it isn’t pristine.” Meanwhile, Lewis says commercial development will continue to lag. “Commercial development is still a year or more out,” Lewis says.
RICHARD LEWIS, principal engineer with CRA, says water-related projects such as the one where he’s standing at Lakes Park in Fort Myers, will continue to increase.
ROBYN BONAQUIST Founder and President, B-Squared Advertising Naples | Advertising BUSINESS: Builders and developers are coming back to Bonaquist’s advertising firm as the housing recovery takes off. “In 2007, when the real estate market tanked, we made a concerted effort to diversify,” says Bonaquist, founder and president of the firm. “Now that real estate is coming on so strong, that’s where the majority of our growth has been.” By the third quarter of this year, Bonaquist says revenues surpassed last year’s total. “I had projected a modest 10% increase and we’re going to be way over that. Our profit margin is up, too,” she says. Bonaquist has hired an employee this year and plans to add another next year in anticipation of continued growth. “We’re not back to the levels that we were in 2007 in terms of revenues or staff, but we’re continuing on an upward trend,” she says. “We’re representing builders and developers from all over the state.”
making a wholesale shift to online advertising, spending about 15% to 30% of their budgets to Internetrelated efforts. “The media mix is still pretty diverse,” she says. “Our clients are still spending money on print.”
INDUSTRY: “A lot of my competitors are doing much better,” says Bonaquist. Of course, there are fewer of them. “We lost a lot of competition when things got really bad. When things get tough the last thing you should cut is advertising, but it’s the first thing that gets cut.” Still, advertising clients are cautious about spending. “It’s not like the heyday of 2004 and 2005,” Bonaquist says. And clients aren’t
REGION: Bonaquist is active in the sales and marketing council for the Florida Home Builders Association and she says builders are positive because the inventory of existing homes has been depleted. The forecast is also good for the hospitality industry. “I just heard from someone that the Ritz on the beach has reported it’s fully booked for the season,” Bonaquist says. “Everybody is anticipating a great season.”
ROBYN BONAQUIST, founder and president of B-Squared Advertising, says builders are spending more.
JOHN KRAUS, the chief operating officer of Kraus Foods, expects 5% to 6% increase in sales at his Dairy Queen restaurants next year.
JOHN KRAUS COO, Kraus Foods Fort Myers | Restaurants COMPANY: Kraus Foods owns and operates five Dairy Queen restaurants, including three in Lee County and two in Tuscaloosa, Ala. “It’s all about slow and steady growth,” says John Kraus, the company’s chief operating officer. Kraus expects sales next year will increase 5% to 6%. “It’s all about value right now,” says Kraus. For example, Dairy Queen sells a hamburger, fries, a drink and ice cream for $5.
INDUSTRY: The buzzword is “QSR,” which stands for quick-service restaurants. That segment of the restaurant industry is growing faster because people are still cautious about their spending, Kraus says. He expects restaurants will do better next year because seasonal residents are returning to Florida earlier than usual. These so-called snowbirds are coming back to Florida from northern states in October, several months ahead of when they usually return. “We’re up for a good 2014 season,” he says. REGION: Kraus says residential areas are seeing population growth be-
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER very optimistic about next year,” says Stilwell, who plans to spend $2.5 million to build an eighth restaurant at the foot of the Sanibel bridge called SS Hookers that will be open in time for the winter tourism season. “I already have 175 employees and this is going to put me over the 200 mark,” she says. Stilwell is moving ahead despite the challenges of the new health care law. “I’m optimistic about the business, but I have done projections of worst-case scenarios with Obamacare,” she says. “When I hire this whole new group, there will be lots of part-time.”
cause prices of homes have fallen to the point that housing is affordable again. Homes in foreclosure that once stood empty are filling up with new residents. For example, Kraus recently opened a new Dairy Queen on Skyline Drive near Veterans Parkway and says the Home Depot across the street is one of the busiest in the region. People are ignoring predictions of economic calamity and are tuning out problems like the government shutdown. “People are just sick of it,” Kraus shrugs.
SANDY STILWELL Owner and Operator, Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group Captiva Island | Hospitality COMPANY: Sandy Stilwell owns and operates seven restaurants and a small inn on Captiva Island. “I’m
REGION: “I think we’re going to have a better year,” says Stilwell. There’s pent-up demand from people who have forgone vacations during the recession and they’re going to want to take a break. “I think people feel more comfortable with the economy,” she says. Evidence of increased spending include rising home sales on Sanibel and Captiva. “Building has started to pick up,” Stilwell says. One concern: spiking flood-insurance rates that could slow property sales and impact profits at companies that benefit from tourism.
Harness Your Home’s
DENNIE HAMILTON CEO, Lee County Electric Cooperative | North Fort Myers | Electric utilities COMPANY: Lee County Electric Cooperative provides power to nearly 200,000 customers from Cape Coral to Marco Island. Dennie Hamilton, the CEO, is projecting a 1% increase in the number of customers in 2014. “The recovery never took root to the extent that we’d hoped,” he says. During the boom years, customer growth ranged from 7% to 9% annually. “Our business is predominantly residential,” says Hamilton, whose territory includes Cape Coral, the barrier islands and rural areas in Lee and Collier counties. “I hear the new construction activity that’s going on in the area, but we’re not seeing that type of activity in our territory out there right now,” says Hamilton. Commercial growth is slightly stronger than residential, with new customers such as Arthrex near Ave Maria and new hotels being built. One challenge is that residential customers are using less power because they’re more conscientious about their spending and they own more energy efficient homes and appliances. Hamilton says he expects less than 1% increase in sales in 2014 as a result. Still, Hamilton says
his projections may be conservative. “I’m an optimist at heart,” he says. “I’m always hoping for the best.” INDUSTRY: Electric utilities aren’t seeing rapid growth except in pockets of new development. “The recovery that is going on is not nearly as broad-based as I’d like to see it,” Hamilton says. In addition, the economic downturn continues to impact residential customers who need help paying their utility bills because some of them have been unemployed for long stretches of time. “We’re seeing some of the longer-term effects of financial stress,” he says. Half of the daily callers to LCEC have questions about their bill, Hamilton says. REGION: “I’m more optimistic about our region than our [company’s] territory,” says Hamilton. For example, Hertz is relocating its headquarters to south Lee County from New Jersey, bringing 700 jobs and corporate prestige to the area. “I’m also involved in a regional economic development initiative,” says Hamilton. The initiative seeks to promote Lee and Collier counties to corporate site selectors, presenting a united message welcoming company relocations. In 2014, Hamilton will chair the Horizon Council, an economic development organization in Lee County. BRIAN TIETZ
DENNIE HAMILTON, the CEO of Lee County Electric Cooperative, projects a 1% increase in the number of customers in 2014.
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SANDY STILWELL, the CEO and owner of Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group, plans to open a new restaurant near the foot of the Sanibel bridge called SS Hookers.
INDUSTRY: Stilwell expects the hospitality industry will fare well this coming season, but she waits to gauge it by the week between Christmas and New Year’s to make her own forecast. Stilwell says that week is a good indicator of how the rest of the spring tourism season will turn out. However, Stilwell says she is concerned that the excessive water discharges from Lake Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee River during this summer’s heavy rains might have damaged the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva that sit at the mouth of the river. “The water quality issue does concern me,” she says. “If we don’t get this under control, the tourists won’t come.”
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
economic forecast: ECONOMIST CORNER
BY JEAN GRUSS | EDITOR/LEE-COLLIER
Recovery on Track
ation of the trend we’ve seen where distressed sales become less and less. It’s going back to a more normal market.
Gary Jackson has his finger on the economic pulse of the region, and he’s optimistic about 2014.
ary Jackson is the director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Each month, he tallies the region’s housing data, unemployment, retail sales and other gauges. In addition, he polls business owners and executives about current and future economic conditions in the region. Jackson recently discussed his positive outlook for next year with the Business Observer.
We still have a ways to go, but it’s improving.
Gary Jackson | Florida Gulf Coast University’s Regional Economic Research Institute
Compared with 2013, do you expect the regional economy to improve, stay the same or slow? I think it’s going to improve. We still have a ways to go, but it’s improving. We’re seeing a lot more activity in housing than before. There are even dump trucks now all over the roads. I expect continued recovery and a better year next year. What could derail your forecast? There are a couple of things that could derail it. One is if we run into problems with being able to agree on what the debt ceiling should be and Congress is unable to make a decision about what the budget should be. Right now I expect they will eventually reach some sort of agreement, but if they don’t and it’s prolonged, that’s going to create problems with business and consumer confidence. Just as a note, it’s really important that we have a plan to eventually balance the budget. And as the economy improves, the Federal Reserve is going to react to that and raise interest rates. There’s a fear we might end up with inflationary expectations rising. And so the Fed is looking at inflation and the unemployment rate.
GARY JACKSON, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute, says a recent survey of business executives in Southwest Florida shows they expect growth in 2014. What is the most important economic gauge business owners in our region should pay attention to when they’re planning for next year? I would look at what’s happening with retail sales to understand what consumers are doing. The Horizon Council FGCU business climate survey is designed to give us an economic indicator that is forward looking. We get a response from approximately 100 executives who provide their sense of the economy over the next year. The latest index was at 69, so that indicates expected future growth. If you were advising a business expanding in our region, what risks should a CEO consider?
STATE AND NATIONAL OUTLOOK
They’d have to consider the area’s seasonality, depending on the business. What is your outlook for job creation for the area? I think it’s going to be improving, but it’s not going to be a huge jump. I think people are feeling better about the economy. We’re starting to see more investment, which is a big factor in terms of the ability to hire. Will homebuilding activity continue at the same pace or faster? I think things are picking up, I really do. People are feeling better about their positions. I think we’re going to see more new starts and the continu-
The national economy has a chance to grow at least 3% in 2014, one analyst says. The potential hurdle is a common business foe: the federal government.
What is your outlook for the winter and spring tourist season? One thing that’s really important for our region is: How is the rest of the world doing? Their feeling about the economy and housing is very important. People are feeling better relative to where they were a year ago and so people are taking vacations and visiting the area. Overall, I would put next year as a better year than this year. It’s still a recovery year, but still improving relative to where we’ve been. What is one thing local government officials could do to help business in our region? I think we’ve seen some of it already. They’ve looked at the costs of building and the cost of impact fees. They’ve lowered them to create investments and jobs. This area needs to continue to have a businessfriendly climate, not only for existing businesses but also for us to attract companies. One of the things we’re working on is workforce. There’s a group called Workforce Now that is doing research to understand what companies need. The idea is to make a better alignment between business and education. Do you foresee more issues from the federal government having an impact on the uncertainty among local business owners and entrepreneurs? I think it has a big impact on the economy. Congress and the president are leading the country. They have to decide on priorities. Do we need more education? More technology? If consumer confidence or business confidence falls, then that’s a real problem.
BY MARK GORDON | DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR
‘Fine Fundamentals’ ernard Baumohl has tracked global and U.S. economic trends for several decades. Now the chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group, a Princeton, N.J.-based forecasting and economic seminar firm, Baumohl was initially an economics reporter for magazines and newspapers. He covered the White House, Federal Reserve and Wall Street for Time magazine. He later shifted to analysis, and worked at the European American Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations. Baumohl is also the author of a book, “The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities.” Baumohl recently spoke at an event hosted by the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Business. He talked about economic conditions in the country, and how there are almost two different worlds to study: One is the D.C. Beltway, and the other is everywhere else. “If it would not be for Washington, this economy is poised to grow for another three or four years,” says Baumohl.
Is commercial development going to rebound? I think it will be slow, but it will pick up some.
“There is no recession threat on the horizon and there are no imbalances. All the fundamentals are fine.” Baumohl spoke with the Business Observer prior to his presentation. Edited excerpts: Do you expect the national economy to improve, stay the same or slow in 2014? My forecast for 2014 is that we will experience 3% to 3.5% growth. The private sector of the economy is actually in pretty good shape. Consumers are relatively upbeat. They see the job market improving, although at an agonizingly slow pace. But as long as companies are ramping up hiring, it gives consumers a sense of job and income security. We’ve seen the most number of cars being purchased in six years. Consumers are also buying appliances. What do you project or foresee in the economy for Florida in 2014? We don’t do regional economics, but it does appear that the Florida economy is improving at a faster rate than the national economy. That’s because
BERNARD BAUMOHL is the chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group in Princeton, N.J. of the recovery in real estate and international trade and people still take vacations down here. One great anecdote about Florida that shows its fortunes will continue to improve is the fact that one really large American company just moved down to Fort Myers, Hertz. There must be a reason that they moved.
What could derail your forecast? There is still a bit of uncertainty about what the outlook is and whether the follies in Washington will somewhat jeopardize the recovery. If you are talking about a prolonged government shutdown, who in their right mind would commit themselves to hiring workers or to expanding operations if you are that uncertain about the outlook? Right now a lot of companies are just putting their spending and hiring plans on hold until there’s greater clarity as to what will emerge from Washington. We are also facing a lot more geopolitical risks. That’s different from the past. It was only in August that all of a sudden people got nervous that the U.S. was going to get involved in the Syrian conflict. What is your outlook for job creation? I think the unemployment rate will continue to go down. We are looking at the end of next year to have 6.6% [national] unemployment. But the job market has the potential of doing so much better. I think companies really do want to accelerate their hiring, but there are a number of factors at work. First of all, the economy is growing way too slowly. When you are growing less than 2%, there’s no incentive for companies to go out and start hiring. Secondly, right now, given the uncertain costs of the Affordable Care Act, I think many companies may be reluctant take on workers.
OCTOBER 18 â€“ OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
economic forecast: BY THE NUMBERS FLORIDA JOB PROJECTIONS BY INDUSTRY
The two sets of charts show estimates of jobs produced by industry. The set on the lower half of the page show industry job creation, sorted highest to lowest. Mining and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting were the two industries predicted to lose the most jobs across all the areas. As a percentage, the construction industry was expected to be the biggest winner for future employment across every county with most regions predicated to see jumps of more than 4%. Looking at the total number of jobs created, the largest gains are expected in Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services.
CHARLOTTE, COLLIER, GLADES, HENDRY AND LEE COUNTIES MANATEE COUNTY Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
Employment 2012 2020 156,318 179,644 344 292 212 164 8,688 11,675 5,547 5,682 25,821 27,885 2,218 2,042 9,594 10,103 19,430 23,258 28,669 36,211 20,380 22,848 6,878 8,017 14,467 15,849
Annual Change Total Percentage 2,916 1.87 -6 -1.89 -6 -2.83 373 4.3 17 0.3 258 1 -22 -0.99 64 0.66 478 2.46 943 3.29 308 1.51 142 2.07 173 1.19
HERNANDO AND PASCO COUNTIES Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
Employment 2012 2020 152,564 175,318 743 924 148 122 8,214 11,051 4,537 4,668 31,808 35,068 1,059 1,058 5,454 6,221 13,192 16,576 28,933 32,819 16,942 20,661 6,085 7,258 23,801 26,042
Employment 2012 2020 119,713 136,346 5,139 4,698 8 5 6,482 8,708 8,363 8,902 20,339 22,992 1,076 1,168 4,677 5,139 12,636 15,797 17,265 19,490 13,981 17,106 4,297 4,972 12,419 13,419
Annual Change Total Percentage 2,079 1.74 -55 -1.07 0 -4.69 278 4.29 67 0.81 332 1.63 12 1.07 58 1.23 395 3.13 278 1.61 391 2.79 84 1.96 125 1.01
Employment 2012 2020 432,867 475,933 112 103 35 22 17,749 21,133 30,981 30,543 69,536 73,169 7,575 6,443 30,195 32,478 61,559 75,398 73,682 85,229 46,497 52,700 16,763 17,527 45,507 47,180
Annual Change Total Percentage 5,383 1.24 -1 -1 -2 -4.64 423 2.38 -55 -0.18 454 0.65 -142 -1.87 285 0.95 1,730 2.81 1,443 1.96 775 1.67 96 0.57 209 0.46
Employment 2012 2020 156,318 179,644 344 292 8,688 11,675 5,547 5,682 25,821 27,885 2,218 2,042 9,594 10,103 19,430 23,258 28,669 36,211 20,380 22,848 6,878 8,017 14,467 15,849
Annual Change Total Percentage 2,916 1.87 -6 -1.89 373 4.3 17 0.3 258 1 -22 -0.99 64 0.66 478 2.46 943 3.29 308 1.51 142 2.07 173 1.19
PINELLAS COUNTY Annual Change Total Percentage 2,844 1.86 23 3.05 -3 -2.2 355 4.32 16 0.36 408 1.28 0 -0.01 96 1.76 423 3.21 486 1.68 465 2.74 147 2.41 280 1.18
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
SARASOTA COUNTY Employment Annual Change 2012 2020 Total Percentage 666,680 753,870 10,899 1.63 10,920 11,035 14 0.13 277 287 1 0.45 26,754 33,432 835 3.12 23,203 24,249 131 0.56 114,160 122,371 1,026 0.9 16,667 14,735 -242 -1.45 56,070 61,375 663 1.18 115,368 145,873 3,813 3.31 81,732 100,612 2,360 2.89 59,745 68,840 1,137 1.9 21,569 24,587 377 1.75 84,568 87,154 323 0.38
Industry Total, All Industries Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Construction Manufacturing Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Information Financial Activities Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Other Services (Except Government) Government
SOURCE: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
INDUSTRIES GAINING THE MOST NEW JOBS CHARLOTTE, COLLIER, GLADES, HENDRY AND LEE COUNTIES MANATEE COUNTY Industry Education and Health Services Professional and Business Services Construction Leisure and Hospitality Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Government Other Services (Except Government) Financial Activities Manufacturing Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Information
Employment 2012 2020 28,669 36,211 19,430 23,258 8,688 11,675 20,380 22,848 25,821 27,885 14,467 15,849 6,878 8,017 9,594 10,103 5,547 5,682 344 292 212 164 2,218 2,042
Annual Change Total Percentage 943 3.29 478 2.46 373 4.3 308 1.51 258 1 173 1.19 142 2.07 64 0.66 17 0.3 -6 -1.89 -6 -2.83 -22 -0.99
HERNANDO AND PASCO COUNTIES Industry Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Professional and Business Services Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Construction Government Other Services (Except Government) Financial Activities Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Manufacturing Information Mining
Employment 2012 2020 28,933 32,819 16,942 20,661 13,192 16,576 31,808 35,068 8,214 11,051 23,801 26,042 6,085 7,258 5,454 6,221 743 924 4,537 4,668 1,059 1,058 148 122
Employment 2012 2020 12,636 15,797 13,981 17,106 20,339 22,992 6,482 8,708 17,265 19,490 12,419 13,419 4,297 4,972 8,363 8,902 4,677 5,139 1,076 1,168 8 5 5,139 4,698
Annual Change Total Percentage 395 3.13 391 2.79 332 1.63 278 4.29 278 1.61 125 1.01 84 1.96 67 0.81 58 1.23 12 1.07 0 -4.69 -55 -1.07
Employment 2012 2020 61,559 75,398 73,682 85,229 46,497 52,700 69,536 73,169 17,749 21,133 30,195 32,478 45,507 47,180 16,763 17,527 112 103 35 22 30,981 30,543 7,575 6,443
Annual Change Total Percentage 1,730 2.81 1,443 1.96 775 1.67 454 0.65 423 2.38 285 0.95 209 0.46 96 0.57 -1 -1 -2 -4.64 -55 -0.18 -142 -1.87
Employment 2012 2020 28,669 36,211 19,430 23,258 8,688 11,675 20,380 22,848 25,821 27,885 14,467 15,849 6,878 8,017 9,594 10,103 5,547 5,682 344 292 2,218 2,042
Annual Change Total Percentage 943 3.29 478 2.46 373 4.3 308 1.51 258 1 173 1.19 142 2.07 64 0.66 17 0.3 -6 -1.89 -22 -0.99
PINELLAS COUNTY Annual Change Total Percentage 486 1.68 465 2.74 423 3.21 408 1.28 355 4.32 280 1.18 147 2.41 96 1.76 23 3.05 16 0.36 0 -0.01 -3 -2.2
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Industry Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Construction Financial Activities Other Services (Except Government) Government Manufacturing Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Information
Industry Professional and Business Services Leisure and Hospitality Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Construction Education and Health Services Government Other Services (Except Government) Manufacturing Financial Activities Information Mining Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Industry Professional and Business Services Education and Health Services Leisure and Hospitality Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Construction Financial Activities Government Other Services (Except Government) Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Mining Manufacturing Information
SARASOTA COUNTY Employment 2012 2020 115,368 145,873 81,732 100,612 59,745 68,840 114,160 122,371 26,754 33,432 56,070 61,375 21,569 24,587 84,568 87,154 23,203 24,249 10,920 11,035 277 287 16,667 14,735
Annual Change Total Percentage 3,813 3.31 2,360 2.89 1,137 1.9 1,026 0.9 835 3.12 663 1.18 377 1.75 323 0.38 131 0.56 14 0.13 1 0.45 -242 -1.45
Industry Education and Health Services Professional and Business Services Construction Leisure and Hospitality Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Government Other Services (Except Government) Financial Activities Manufacturing Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting Information
SOURCE: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 â€“ OCTOBER 24, 2013
economic forecast: BY THE NUMBERS CONSTRUCTION PERMITS
The number of new construction permits improved nearly across the board in 2012. Two counties, Pasco and Hillsborough, had small declines in commercial and multifamily permitting. Pinellas County experienced the largest increase on the commercial/multifamily side with a 75.81% (47 permits) jump. Meanwhile, Collier County grew its residential construction by 64.58% (525 permits). Hillsborough County added the most new residential permits at 541 (23.61%). The biggest laggard of all seven counties is Charlotte, which add just five additional residential permits in 2012 and had no change in the commercial/multifamily side.
ANNUAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS County Hillsborough Pinellas Pasco Sarasota Manatee Charlotte Lee Collier
2012 2,832 251 1,182 994 1,588 297 1,455 1,338
2011 2,291 210 1,003 623 1,103 292 983 813
2010 2,069 170 1,048 535 1,161 291 850 756
2009 1,764 121 991 358 835 225 700 567
2008 2,068 165 1,280 498 952 277 982 766
2007 3,079 318 2,171 992 1,075 794 3,767 1,262
2009 147 72 61 46 35 22 71 51
2008 195 103 172 70 90 49 197 104
2007 281 138 237 88 106 1 479 150
ANNUAL COMMERCIAL AND MULTIFAMILY BUILDING PERMITS County Hillsborough Pinellas Pasco Sarasota Manatee Charlotte Lee Collier
2012 159 109 59 59 61 11 114 49
2011 165 62 64 52 40 11 80 49
2010 149 81 61 47 42 7 59 80
SOURCE: HBW (HBWEEKLY.COM), DEBARY
NEW COMPANIES New business entity filings grew in 2012 to 384,114 after gains in 2011 and 2010. This is still far lower than prior to the recession. The number of filings peaked with 432,313 in 2005. The biggest year-over-year growth in 2012 came in Domestic Limited Liability Co. filings, which added 16,439. Five of the other filings categories (Domestic Profit, Fictitious Names, Foreign Profit & NonProfit, Trademark and General Partnerships) declined in 2012.
ENTITY FILINGS STATEWIDE Domestic Limited Liability Co. Domestic Profit Fictitious Names Domestic NonProfit Foreign Profit & NonProfit Trademark General Partnerships Alien Business Organization/Designation of Agent Declarations of Trust TOTAL
2012 162,219 104,490 95,950 11,962 5,193 1,226 975 79 38 384,144
2011 145,780 109,022 97,619 11,777 5,212 1,251 1,254 79 23 374,028
2010 132,487 103,868 94,105 11,836 5,694 1,310 1,991 118 120 353,539
2009 123,458 103,113 98,159 12,227 5,264 1,359 2,135 82 22 347,828
2008 118,021 111,449 107,054 11,549 5,460 1,417 3,673 90 35 360,756
2007 128,350 135,240 116,775 12,249 6,334 1,775 3,047 57 2,806 408,640
2006 123,044 157,310 112,972 13,058 7,924 1,631 3,559 52 1,675 423,231
2005 123,445 168,182 111,355 12,918 7,516 1,270 5,377 57 188 432,313
2004 94,348 170,207 105,435 11,912 7,283 1,325 4,806 78 248 397,646
2003 58,026 161,559 99,786 11,170 6,521 1,540 3,925 91 248 344,869
SOURCE: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE DIVISION OF CORPS.
EMPLOYMENT Job growth continued in 2012, with every metro area experiencing a more than 2% jump from 2011. All the areas exeeded the statewide year-over-year growth rate of 2.4%, with the exception of Punta Gorda (2.3%). The biggest percentage increase last year occurred in Naples-Marco Island, which increased its private employment by 3.7%. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater had the largest number of jobs created between 2011 and 2012, adding 27,300.
AVERAGE NUMBER OF PRIVATE NON-AGRICULTURAL JOBS, IN THOUSANDS Cape Coral-Fort Myers Naples-Marco Island North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice Punta Gorda Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Florida (not seasonally adjusted)
2012 170.3 103.7 218.8 36.2 1,003.7 6,321.5
2011 165.8 100.0 212.8 35.4 976.4 6,173.0
2010 160.8 96.4 209.8 35.1 957.1 6,074.1
2009 164.0 96.4 213.5 34.4 968.6 6,130.6
2008 179.3 106.4 232.2 36.5 1,039.9 6,600.2
2007 194.3 114.8 244.7 38.5 1,082.8 6,887.3
2006 198.4 118.4 252.0 38.6 1,086.3 6,894.6
2005 188.7 112.1 246.6 36.4 1,062.1 6,710.2
2004 173.1 104.8 234.4 33.6 1,023.6 6,424.3
SOURCE: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
POPULATION Seven of the eight counties are expected to grow in 2014, with most expecting more than a 1% increase. Lee and Pasco counties are expected to add the most people as a percentage, gaining 2.25% and 2.01%, respectively. In pure numbers, Hillsborough County is estimated to add the most with 18,778 new people in 2014 followed by Lee County with 14,668. The only county projected to have a falling population is Pinellas County, estimated to lose 61 people (-0.01%) from 2013 to 2014. Charlotte Collier Hillsborough Lee Manatee Pasco Pinellas Sarasota
2014* 166,479 341,015 1,292,949 666,647 339,350 483,841 920,447 390,783
2013* 164,411 335,699 1,274,171 651,979 334,682 474,330 920,508 386,709
2012 163,357 329,849 1,256,118 638,029 330,302 468,562 920,381 383,664
2011 160,463 323,785 1,238,951 625,310 325,905 466,533 918,496 381,319
2010 166,746 331,405 1,203,245 613,546 319,293 440,628 927,994 388,268
2009 165,455 333,032 1,196,892 615,124 318,404 439,786 931,113 389,320
2008 165,781 332,854 1,200,541 623,725 317,699 438,668 938,461 393,608
2007 164,584 333,858 1,192,861 615,741 315,890 434,425 944,199 387,461
2006 160,315 326,658 1,164,425 585,608 308,325 424,355 948,102 379,386
2005 154,030 317,788 1,131,546 549,442 304,364 406,898 947,744 367,867
SOURCE: FLORIDA OFFICE OF ECONOMIC AND DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH * ESTIMATES
WAGES Average wages grew across all eight counties in 2012 and 2011, and all but Lee and Charlotte counties also grew in 2010. The biggest growth in 2012 came in Pinellas County, which jumped by 3.7% or $1,569 a year on top of a 3.14% ($1,290) increase in 2011. Manatee County had the smallest wage increase in 2012, adding just $47 extra a year or 0.13%.
AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE County Charlotte Collier Hillsborough Lee Manatee Pasco Pinellas Sarasota
2012 $33,215 $41,778 $46,893 $38,627 $36,999 $33,763 $43,957 $39,905
2011 $32,835 $40,974 $46,084 $38,193 $36,952 $33,345 $42,388 $39,167
2010 $32,382 $40,807 $45,111 $37,605 $35,965 $32,975 $41,098 $38,660
2009 $32,580 $39,813 $44,722 $37,638 $35,743 $32,349 $39,957 $38,456
2008 $32,935 $40,186 $43,334 $37,881 $34,930 $32,625 $39,264 $38,255
2007 $32,848 $41,280 $41,762 $37,677 $34,812 $31,862 $38,007 $37,762
2006 $32,387 $39,338 $40,392 $37,093 $33,801 $31,075 $36,981 $37,376
2005 $31,907 $38,175 $38,486 $35,647 $31,918 $29,434 $35,581 $35,453
2004 $30,025 $34,874 $37,501 $33,969 $30,565 $28,726 $34,315 $33,338
SOURCE: FLORIDA AGENCY FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION, LABOR MARKET STATISTICS CENTER
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
economic forecast: BY THE NUMBERS
Taxable sales continued their rise nearly across the board since hitting bottom in 2009. Naples-Marco Island was the only region to experience a decline in taxable sales from 2011 to 2012. It experienced a drop in Business Investment ($11 million) and Construction ($4 million). Three industries, Autos & Accessories, Tourism & Recreation and Consumer Non-durables saw the biggest year-over-year increase in 2012.
Taxable Sales by Major Category ($ Million) Cape Coral-Fort Myers Total Autos & Accessories Consumer Durables Tourism & Recreation Consumer Non-durables Construction Business Investment
2013 (Jan.-July) 6,612 1,229 430 1,584 2,095 433 842
2012 10,233 1,767 697 2,317 3,435 656 1,362
2011 9,647 1,564 681 2,175 3,327 600 1,301
2010 9,131 1,463 632 2,033 3,164 577 1,262
2009 8,947 1,339 621 2,002 3,155 541 1,289
2008 9,806 1,490 725 2,088 3,241 677 1,587
2007 11,434 1,929 917 2,214 3,437 955 1,981
Naples-Marco Island Total Autos & Accessories Consumer Durables Tourism & Recreation Consumer Non-durables Construction Business Investment
4,028 535 312 1,177 1,266 257 481
6,221 825 491 1,733 2,002 387 781
5,906 790 488 1,539 1,826 391 792
5,572 751 434 1,523 1,814 326 724
5,385 671 433 1,457 1,762 314 748
5,838 678 497 1,550 1,843 414 856
6,514 842 620 1,580 1,956 533 983
Punta Gorda Total Autos & Accessories Consumer Durables Tourism & Recreation Consumer Non-durables Construction Business Investment
1,268 217 96 240 457 107 152
1,996 336 151 375 738 164 232
1,898 309 149 353 707 164 216
1,860 296 146 342 696 160 220
1,776 222 135 341 695 139 245
1,917 251 170 338 707 160 291
2,286 321 232 356 737 338 301
Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice Total Autos & Accessories Consumer Durables Tourism & Recreation Consumer Non-durables Construction Business Investment
6,548 1,096 442 1,473 2,095 454 989
10,275 1,699 704 2,188 3,406 653 1,624
9,701 1,556 676 2,037 3,266 587 1,579
9,237 1,471 647 1,895 3,152 558 1,515
9,049 1,392 632 1,871 3,129 506 1,518
9,824 1,510 715 1,952 3,225 631 1,971
10,982 1,878 928 2,043 3,396 756 1,979
23,842 4,398 1,558 4,796 7,628 1,454 4,009
38,953 6,896 2,434 7,687 12,992 2,209 6,734
36,985 6,284 2,315 7,242 12,553 2,099 6,492
35,507 5,890 2,192 6,833 12,312 2,063 6,216
35,038 5,524 2,030 6,810 12,339 2,035 6,300
38,075 6,200 2,415 7,343 12,563 2,365 7,188
41,752 7,725 2,981 7,494 12,921 2,614 8,016
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Total Autos & Accessories Consumer Durables Tourism & Recreation Consumer Non-durables Construction Business Investment
SOURCE: OFFICE OF ECONOMIC & DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
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18 corporatereport |
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013
Cale America providing meters to Nashua, N.H., for downtown parking The city of Nashua, N.H., selected Tampa’s Cale America Inc., to improve its downtown parking program. Nashua has installed new pay stations that accept debit and credit cards along Main Street and new pay by space stations in a downtown garage. “Cale America scored very high in all parts of our evaluation process,” Mark Sousa, manager of transportation and parking for the city of Nashua, says in a press release. “Our objective was to find the best technology partner for the city that offered the most reliable and durable parking solution.” The 15 new terminals have already accepted more than 15,000 payments since installations began in mid-August. In addition to the Main Street units, the city has plans to purchase 16 more parking terminals from Cale America by the end of 2013.
The Colony Group hires two Naples executives As part of its planned further expansion into Florida, Boston-based The Colony Group has promoted Joseph Salvati of Naples to senior vice president in charge of its Florida offices. The company also hired Jack Clark, a lifelong Florida resident, to work with Salvati in its Naples office. Salvati, a graduate of Brandeis University has provided comprehensive wealth management services to high-net-worth clients for more than 10 years. He will oversee The Colony Group’s growing business in Florida primarily out of its
BY SEAN ROTH | RESEARCH EDITOR
offices in Naples and West Palm Beach. Clark, a graduate of the University of Florida, also earned an M.B.A. from the University of South Florida. The company reports that of the nearly $3 billion it manages for clients, roughly $300 million is managed for clients who reside in Florida. Founded in 1986, The Colony Group is a fee-only, wealth management company with offices in Massachusetts and Florida.
USAmeriBancorp’s Steans named to top 25 list Jennifer Steans, chairwoman and a founding director of Clearwater-based USAmeriBancorp Inc., has been named one of “The 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance” by American Banker magazine. Steans is CEO of Financial Investments Corp., a company with STEANS significant ownership stakes in USAmeriBancorp and Cole Taylor Bank, a Chicago-based institution with $5.9 billion in assets.
Tampa’s Oragenics, Intrexon form partnership Tampa-based Oragenics Inc. and Intrexon Corp. of Germantown, Md., have reached an agreement to collaborate on the development and commercialization of genetically modified probiotics (live bacteria) to treat diseases of the oral cavity, throat, sinus and esophagus. The companies expect to initially focus on therapies for canker sores and the autoimmune disorder Behcet’s disease, which causes inflammation in blood vessels and sores. As part of the agreement, Oragenics
General Dynamics receives munitions deals from U.S. valued at $113 million General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems, a St. Petersburg business unit of General Dynamics, recently was awarded several U.S. government contracts for a variety of ammunition products and systems with a total value of more than $113 million. The U.S. Marine Corps System Command awarded General Dynamics a $26.5 million engineering and manufacturing development contract for the Mission Payload Module Non-Lethal Weapon System. The new system is designed to be mounted on Marine Corps vehicles for crowd control, access or area denial, convoy operations or to engage a threat. The company’s Orlando operations were awarded the contract. The project is scheduled to be completed by May 2016. In addition, the U.S. Army Sustainment Command in Rock Island, Ill., awarded General Dynamics a $31
million, five-year contract for the production of 40mm L/60 HEI cartridges used by U.S. Air Force’s AC-130 gunship. Work will be performed by the company’s Canadian operations and is expected to be completed by September 2015. The Army Sustainment Command also awarded the company several 20mm and 30mm production contracts valued at more than $55 million. These ammunition contracts will provide both tactical and training ammunition used on a variety of Navy, Air Force and Army platforms. The work will be performed in Marion, Ill., and will be completed by December 2015.
paid Intrexon a technology access fee of 1.35 million shares of Oragenics’ common stock (valued at $6 million) and a promissory note for another $1.96 million. Oragenics will also pay Intrexon for program costs, developmental milestone fees and commercial royalties. In June 2012, Oragenics and Intrexon entered into a similar collaboration to develop and commercialize lantibiotics, a unique class of broad-spectrum antibiotics, for the treatment of infectious diseases.
Beer distributor building natural gas station Jupiter-based beer distributor J.J. Taylor Cos. Inc. is developing a com-
pressed natural gas station in Fort Myers. The new natural gas station, scheduled to open in February, will be open to the public and other fleets. TruStar Energy is constructing the station, which will help transition J.J. Taylor’s fleet to natural gas. It expects to have a total of 80 natural gas powered transportation vehicles, equal to 48% of its Florida transportation fleet, by January 2015. The company plans to have converted its entire Florida fleet by 2017. Earlier this year, the company opened a natural gas station in Tampa. J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida Inc. currently distributes beer brands in 17 Florida counties covering 13,575 square miles.
of OCTOBER 22
WOMEN’S FORUM: The St. PetersburgPinellas chapter of Business and Professional Women will highlight women’s success stories at the group’s fall forum. The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at The Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S., St. Petersburg. Cost is $15 for members in advance or $20 for others. For more information visit bpwstpetepinellas.org.
BUSINESS HALL OF FAME: Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida will induct John DeAngelis and David Diamond of DeAngelis Diamond Construction, and Mayela and Orlando Rosales of Media Vista Group, into the 2013 Business of Hall of Fame, Collier County. The meeting will start at 5 p.m. at the Waldorf Astoria Naples, 475 Seagate Drive, Naples. For more information visit jaswfl. org.
OCTOBER 30 WATER WORLD: Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker, Ron Hamel of Gulf Citrus Growers, Fla. Rep. Matt Caldwell and Rick Barber of the South Florida Water Management District will
discuss Southwest Florida’s water issues at a meeting hosted by The Chamber of Southwest Florida. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport-Town Center, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive, Fort Myers. Cost is $30 for members and $40 for others. For more information visit chamberswfl.com.
CHAMBER MEETS: The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual meeting at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. Cost is $55 for members and $65 for others. For more information visit sarasotachamber.com. FOOD INDUSTRY: MaryAnn Ferenc of Mise en Place, Lisa Schalk of Toffee to Go, Suzanne Perry of Datz and Jeannie Pierola of edison: food + drink lab will speak on a panel about women who have excelled in the food business at a Women’s Series Luncheon of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. The meeting will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. Cost is $50 for members and $60 for others. For more information visit tampachamber.com.
ECONOMIC FUTURE: Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania, will be the keynote speaker at a summit on the region’s economic future. The event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tampa Port Authority, Cruise Terminal 3, 815 Channelside Drive, Tampa. For more information visit BuildingFloridasFuture.org.
ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: John Jung Jr., an economist and senior managing director at BB&T Capital Markets, will offer a business update at a Trustee Forum for The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Francis Banquet Hall, 1262 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more information visit sarasotachamber.com.
GOOD PR: Public relations executive Thomas Hall will be the guest speaker at the November Florida Venture Forum. The event will start at 11:30 a.m. at the University Club, 201 N. Franklin St., Suite 3800, Tampa. Cost is $45 for members and $55 for others. For more information visit FLVenture.org.
DEALMAKER: James Heistand, president and CEO of Parkway, will be the featured speaker at a CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Tampa Bay meeting. The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel, 200 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa. Cost is $35 for members and $55 for others. For more information visit crewtampabay.org. SOCIAL NETWORKING: Sima Dahl, president of Parlay Communications, will discuss social networking and developing a personal brand at Emerge Tampa’s Emerging with Influence event. The event will start at 5:45 p.m. at the T. Pepin’s Hospitality Centre, 4121 N. 50th St., Tampa. For more information call Ashley Ehrman at 813-276-9448.
TOURISM CONFERENCE: Luc Mayrand, creative director and senior show producer with Walt Disney Imagineering, and Chris Risdon, design director for user experience design with Adaptive Path, will be the keynote speakers at the three-day International Service Design + Tourism Conference hosted by Ringling College of Art and Design on its campus. For more information visit servicedesigntourism.com.
REAL TRENDS: Randy Thibaut, president of Land Solutions, will discuss real estate market trends at 5:30 p.m. at the Miromar Design Center, 10800 Corkscrew Road, Estero. Cost is $25 for members and $50 for others. For more information visit bia.net or cbia.net. WOMEN IN HEALTH CARE: Women in Healthcare Leadership will hold an all-day health care leadership education summit for women at the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, 124 S. Franklin St., Tampa. For more information visit wihl.org.
ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: The Argus Foundation will honor Frederick Derr of Frederick Derr & Co. and C. Dana Rollings (posthumously) at the annual Lifetime Achievement Awards. The event will start at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota. For more information contact Sharlene at 941-365-4886 or shill9448@ aol.com.
OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 | BUSINESS OBSERVER
commercial real estate | TAMPA BAY |
BY SEAN ROTH | REAL ESTATE EDITOR
USAA Real Estate buys land to build Amazon warehouse BUYER: RELP Tampa LLC (USAA Real Estate Co.), San Antonio SELLER: South Shore Corporate Park LLC PROPERTY: 355 N.E. 30th St. and 2309 and 2313 Richwood Pike Drive, Ruskin PRICE: $14.63 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $27.92 million, May 2007
New Port Richey
Moon Lake Estates
MULTI-COUNTY TRANSACTION 589
Discovery Senior Living, Kayne Anderson buy out GE’s interest in Aston Gardens
BUYER: AG Tampa Senior Housing I LLC (AG JV Senior Housing I LLC), Boca Raton SELLER: Discovery AG Tampa Bay LLC PROPERTY: 11702 Lake Aston Court, Tampa PRICE: $63.51 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $57.16 million, September 2006
Online retail giant Amazon is entering the Florida business market with a warehouse in South Shore. USAA Real Estate Co., the San Antonio-based real estate investment arm of USAA, purchased 79.5 acres of pasture land north of College Avenue just east of Interstate 75 for $14.63 million. The price equated to $184,018 per acre. That figure is lower than the twoyear average price per acre for industrial land ($336,202) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group. On Oct. 9, USAA Real Estate signed a 15-year lease agreement with the Amazon entity, Amazon.com.dedc LLC. Construction of the 1.1 millionsquare-foot fulfillment center is expected to start soon. It is ultimately expected to create more than 1,000 jobs. Hillsborough County is offering the project incentives for the creation of jobs paying more than $47,518 and has waived the county’s portion of property taxes for the next seven years. Once Amazon has a physical presence in the state, it will be legally required to collect sales tax from its Florida customers.
2,000 rental units and now its Tampa Bay/Orlando portfolio has more than 6,000 units. Darron Kattan, Kevin Kelleher, Robert Goldfinger and Zach Ames of Franklin Street handled the transaction. The purchase entity, Seasons Property Holdings LLC, mortgaged the development to BankUnited NA for $10.4 million.
Blue Rock Partners and Konover South buy The Seasons apartments BUYER: Seasons Property Holdings LLC (Seasons Associates Holdings LLC), Tampa SELLER: Bayside Ventures IV LLC PROPERTY: 11311 and 11613 N. 51st St., Tampa PRICE: $13.13 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $5.7 million, June 2011 LAW FIRM ON DEED: Hill Ward & Henderson PA, Tampa PLANS, DESCRIPTION:
A joint venture of Tampa-based Blue Rock Partners LLC and Konover South LLC of Deerfield Beach purchased the 240-unit The Seasons apartments across Fowler Avenue from the University of South Florida for $13.13 million. The price equated to $54,688 per unit or $71 per square foot. Built in 1983 and 1986, The Seasons features a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment units. Its amenities include three swimming pools, a clubhouse and laundry room. The prior owner spent more than $1.2 million since 2012 on exterior construction improvements to the development. It was 93% occupied at the time of the sale. The new owner plans to invest $1.9 million in renovations and will re-brand it as The Park at Rialto. It expects to convert an old, largely unused racquetball court to a new fitness center, and renovate the unit interiors. The purchase marks the partners’ sixth purchase over the past year. The joint venture has acquired more than
Arizona investment group buys New Port Richey Starbucks BUYER: Roddimeyer III LLC (principals: 3-B & 3-B Corp., Andrew Roddick and Phillip Meyers), Paradise Valley, Ariz. SELLER: Little Road Café LLC PROPERTY: 5220 Little Road, New Port Richey PRICE: $2.07 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $1.81 million, August 2010 TITLE FIRM ON DEED: Skyline Title Agency LLC, Miami PLANS, DESCRIPTION:
The Paradise Valley, Ariz. investment company Roddimeyer III LLC purchased a freestanding Starbucks building for $2.07 million. The price equated to $1,180 per square foot. That figure is higher than the two-year average price per square foot for retail space ($146) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group. The 1,750-square-foot building, which features a drive-thru, sits on a 1.08acre outparcel to the Publix-anchored 62,000-square-foot River Crossing Centre. Starbucks has five-and-a-half years remaining on the initial term of its lease. The existing rental agreement calls for Starbucks to pay the property’s insurance and taxes and bills for any needed maintenance. Mark Shellabarger of CBRE’s Private Capital Group in Tampa and Todd Weintraub and David Donnellan in the group’s Fort Lauderdale office represented the seller. “Investors continue to aggressively pursue single-tenant, net-leased investments, even, in cases such as this, where the term of lease is relatively short,” Shellabarger says in a press release.
ETC… • Tampa-based Blue Rock Partners LLC and Konover South LLC purchased the 220-unit Madison at Lake Gibson apartments in Lakeland for $11.96 million. The price equated to $54,364 per unit. The purchase represents Blue Rock Partners’ fifth acquisition in the last 12 months covering more than 2,000 rental units. Blue Rock’s Tampa Bay/Lakeland/Orlando portfolio houses more than 6,000 units. The apartment complex will be rebranded and marketed as The Park at Cortona. • Shoot Straight purchased 1.91 acres of commercial land known as Triad Commons Lot 2 and 3 at the southeast corner of Ulmerton Road and Automobile Boulevard in Clearwater for $700,000. Nancy Surak of Eshenbaugh Land Co. in Tampa represented the seller. • Winkler, Treger and Associates LLC leased 3,689 square feet of office space in Amerilife Place at U.S. 19 and McCormick Drive, Clearwater. Judy Healey of Ciminelli Real Estate Services represented the landlord.
Synergy Health moving HQ to SunTrust Financial Centre
Synergy Health plc is relocating its corporate headquarters for the Americas from Race Track Road to the SunTrust Financial Centre at 401 E. Jackson St., Tampa, The phased relocation will include 100 existing employees and create 40 new jobs in Hillsborough County over the next 12 months. “This move to downtown Tampa is part of our plan to become more involved in the Tampa Bay community,” Dr. Richard Steeves, Group CEO and founder of Synergy Health, says in a press release. “The new location also makes business easier and more convenient for our international colleagues, with increased proximity to Tampa International Airport.” The U.K.-based Synergy Health provides sterilization services to hospitals in Europe, Asia and across America for surgical instruments and reusable operating room textiles. In 2012, the company acquired SRI Surgical, and in April, it announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters for the Americas from San Diego to Tampa Bay. Synergy Health currently employs 5,600 individuals worldwide. The company has retained Cassidy Turley of Tampa to sell the existing Synergy Health facility.
BUYER: AG Sun City Center Senior Housing I LLC (AG JV Senior Housing I LLC), Boca Raton SELLER: Discovery AG Sun City Center LLC PROPERTY: 1311 Aston Gardens Court, Ruskin PRICE: $32.26 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $40.83 million, September 2006 BUYER: AG Sun City Courtyards Senior Housing I LLC (AG JV Senior Housing I LLC), Boca Raton SELLER: Discovery AG Courtyards LLC PROPERTY: 231 Courtyard Blvd., Ruskin PRICE: $29.69 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $51.52 million, September 2006 BUYER: AG Venice Senior Housing I LLC (AG JV Senior Housing I LLC), Boca Raton SELLER: Discovery AG Pelican Pointe LLC PROPERTY: 1000 Ashton Gardens Drive and 749 Pinebrook Road, Venice PRICE: $54.52 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $71.99 million, September 2006 BUYER: AG Naples Senior Housing I LLC (AG JV Senior Housing I LLC), Boca Raton SELLER: Discovery AG Pelican Marsh LLC PROPERTY: 15211 Croix Way, Naples PRICE: $65.18 million PREVIOUS PRICE: $68.13 million, October 2006 LAW FIRM ON DEED: Meltz Purtill & Stelle LLC, Chicago, Ill. PLANS, DESCRIPTION:
A joint venture of Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors and Bonita Springs-based Discovery Senior Living purchased six Aston Gardens senior-housing developments in Florida from another partnership Discovery Senior Living had with GE. The new joint venture purchased the five communities on the Gulf Coast, with 1,688 total living units, for $245.16 million. The price equated to $145,237 per unit. The sale included the 326-unit Courtyards in Sun City, 375-unit Pelican Marsh in Naples, 252-unit Sun City North, 325-unit Parkland, 372-unit Tampa and the 363-unit Pelican Pointe in Venice. The properties feature a mixture of villas, independent- and assisted-living and memory care. The entire portfolio is 97% occupied. Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors, the real estate private equity arm of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP, is taking the majority ownership position in the new joint venture, according to Thomas Harrison, CEO of Discovery Senior Living. Discovery Management Group will continue to operate the properties. “We are delighted that we were able to partner with KAREA in order to negotiate a buyout and keep the Aston Gardens assets in our portfolio,” Harrison says in a press release. “These properties are located in attractive markets with favorable demographic trends, and are thus well positioned to be a continued great investment for us.”
20 commercial real estate | SARASOTA–MANATEE | BusinessObserverFL.com
BUSINESS OBSERVER | OCTOBER 18 – OCTOBER 24, 2013 BY SEAN ROTH | REAL ESTATE EDITOR
1 Bradenton land trust buys Rainbow Lakes Apartment BUYER: Matthew Plummer as trustee of the Rainbow Lakes Land Trust, Bradenton SELLER: Haney Developers Inc. PROPERTY: 1077, 1075, 1073, 1071, 1069, 1067, 1059, 1057, 1055, 1053, 1051, 1049, 1047, 1045, 1043, 1039, 1037, 1035, 1033, 1031, 1029, 1027, 1025, 1023, 1015, 1013, 1011, 1009, 1007 57th Ave W., Bradenton PRICE: $2 million LAW FIRM ON DEED: Blalock Walters PA, Bradenton
The Rainbow Lakes Land Trust of Bradenton purchased the 29-unit Rainbow Lakes Apartments for $2 million. The price equated to $68,966 per unit. Built in 2008, the 27,903-square-foot townhome community was converted to condos, but remained owned by a single owner. The four-building development features only two-bedroom and one-and-a-half bathroom units. It sits on a 9.44-acre parcel east of U.S. 41 near downtown Bradenton. The apartment community was fully leased at the time of the sale. “The buyer was attracted to the structure, its occupancy rate and the relative newness of the buildings,” says Stephen Perry, a principal with the law firm of Blalock Walters. “It’s hard to find inventory that’s relatively new. It also helped that there was seller financing.” Walter Realty has been retained to manage the property. The land trust mortgaged the property to the seller, Haney Developers Inc., for $1.5 million.
2 Coastal Care Nursing moving to Wingate Plaza BUYER: His Property Holdings LLC (principal: Victoria Pettograsso), Nokomis SELLER: R&J Wingate Plaza LLC PROPERTY: 300 S. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis PRICE: $925,000 PREVIOUS PRICE: $850,000, November 2002 LAW FIRM ON DEED: Fogel Law Group, Boca Raton PLANS, DESCRIPTION:
A company led by Victoria Petto-
commercial real estate | TRANSACTIONS | DEEDS/MORTGAGES The following real estate transactions more than $1,000,000 were filed in Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota county courthouses. The information lists the seller, buyer, amount of sale, mortgage and lender, if available, address and book and page of the document.
CHARLOTTE COUNTY Village Port LLC sold to Ralron Florida LLC, $4,399,115.41, hotel or motel, Microtel Inn & Suites, 4056 Tamiami Trail, 2214457.
COLLIER COUNTY Discovery AG Pelican Marsh LLC sold to AG Naples Senior Housing I LLC, $65,180,000, Assignment of Mortgage: $58,092,000, Keycorp Real Estate Capital Markets Inc., retirement home, 15211 Croix Way, Naples, 4896417. Passim LLC sold to City of Naples Airport Authority, $1,650,000, a portion of in SEC 35-49S25E, 4897659. TwinEagles Developments AGR LLC sold to Minto Communities LLC, $1,228,605.60, vacant residential, 12434, 12446 and 12438 Lockford Lane, 11946 and 11950 Heather Woods Court and 12384, 12388 and 12420 Wisteria Drive, 4898424. STBD LLC sold to Bayside Investments of Naples LLC, $1,077,090, vacant residential, 9684 Lipari Court, 4897183.
sold to Walton Acquisitions FL LLC (23.16% interest) and WUSF 3 Harvest Grove N LLC (76.84%), $13,132,350.45, in SEC 11-28S-22E, 2013379246. Bayside Ventures IV LLC sold to Seasons Property Holdings LLC, $13,125,000, Mortgage: $10,400,000, BankUnited NA, multifamily residential, 11311 and 11613 N. 51st St., Tampa, 2013365687. Property Reserve Inc. sold to Suburban Land Reserve Inc., $7,572,742.55, Wolf Creek Branch, 627.497 acres, in SEC 34-31S-19E, 405.903 acres, in SEC 27, 28, 33- 31S-19E and in SEC 27, 28 and 34-31S-19E, 2013372171. Robert G. Graham Family Limited Partnership and David J. Tozlosky Family Limited Partnership sold to Walton Acquisitions FL LLC (41.3% interest) and WUSF 3 Harvest Grove N LLC (58.7%), $5,064,404.03, in SEC 11-28S-22E, 2013379247. ALF-Metro DG Farms sold to GTIS Metro DG LLC, 3,500,000, pasture land, 276.69 acres, a portion of West Lake Drive north of State Road 674, 2013372063. Glendale Properties & Investments Inc. sold to SamJack Homestead LLC, $2,840,000, multifamily residential, 715 Palm Bay Drive, Tampa, 2013367012. Fifth Third Bank sold to Bermuda Bay Associates LLC, $2,425,000, Mortgage: $3,000,000, GF Bermuda Bay LLC, vacant industrial, 14.12 acres, a portion of West Prescott Street west of Commerce Street, 2013376661. 2208 W. Azeele St. LLC sold to Beer Partners LLC, $1,500,000, restaurant, 2208 W. Azeele St., Tampa, 2013375263.
STBD LLC sold to Van Zwol Properties II LLC, $1,054,215, vacant residential, 9688 Lipari Court, 4897194.
United Asset Holdings Commercial LLC sold to Rose Lake Plaza LLC, $1,500,000, retail strip center, 14404 and 14506 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 2013370568.
Williams Ryan Homes Florida Inc. sold to HDP Harvey Cattle LLC, $1,470,000, pastureland, 1418 Gabriel Place, Brandon and additional vacant land, 2013373737.
Discovery AG Tampa Bay LLC sold to AG Tampa Senior Housing I LLC, $63,510,000, independent living facility, 11702 Lake Aston Court, Tampa, 2013371388. MW Hyde Park LLC sold to WS CIP II Tampa Owner LLC, $45,000,000, community shopping center, 702 S. Village Drive, 800 S. Village Circle, 1601 and 1602 Snow Ave., 1510 and 1660 W. Swann Ave., office, 1601 Snow Ave., 1509 W. Swann Ave., mixeduse retail, 1510 and 1601 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, 2013365167. CRP/Pollack Audubon Village LLC sold to Memorial HWY FL Partners LLC, $41,956,250, Mortgage: $10,862,200, Parlex 1 Finance LLC, multifamily residential, 5830 Memorial Highway, Tampa, 2013371673. Shamrock-Hostmark Tampa Westshores Hotel LLC sold in lieu of foreclosure to Leeward Strategic Properties Inc., $35,176,952, in SEC 20-29S-18E, 2013364164. Discovery AG Sun City Center LLC sold to AG Sun City Center Senior Housing I LLC, $32,260,000, Assumption of Mortgage: $24,442,000, Keycorp Real Estate Capital Markets Inc., independent-living facility, 1311 Aston Gardens Court, Ruskin, 2013371813. Discovery AG Courtyards LLC sold to AG Sun City Courtyards Senior Housing I LLC, $29,690,000, Assumption of Mortgage: $21,693,000, Keycorp Real Estate Capital Markets Inc., assisted living facility, 231 Courtyard Blvd., Ruskin, 2013371400. Robert G. Graham Family Limited Partnership and David J. Tozlosky Family Limited Partnership
Branch Banking & Trust Co. sold to Fulwood Investments LLC, $1,400,000, Mortgage: $1,400,000, Sunshine State Federal Savings and Loan Association, Pine Oaks Mobile Home Park, a portion of Joe McIntosh Road and 101 acres on Sparkman Road, Plant City, 2013376868. Old Memorial Club Inc. sold to Weekley Homes LLC, $1,115,645.24, Mortgage: $50,000,000, Compass Bank, lots 1, 3 and 5 Old Memorial Subdivision, phase 1 and lots 56, 58 and 60, Old Memorial Subdivision, phase 2, 2013364128. Rick Anderson as trustee of the Jeanie Anderson Revocable Trust Agreement sold to Hideaway Hills MHP LLC, $1,100,000, Mortgage: $800,000, Rick Anderson as trustee of the Jeanie Anderson Revocable Trust Agreement, mobile-home or RV park, 11310 and 11344 U.S. Highway 41, Gibsonton, 2013373475.
LEE COUNTY AGBL Ft. Myers Owner LLC sold to Value Place Ft. Myers FL Southeast LLC, $6,038,761.36, Mortgage: $3,867,690.72, U.S. Bank National Association, hotel or motel, 4395 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, 2013000223336. Shottenkirk-Fort Myers LLC and Geagan-Fort Myers LLC sold to Germain Real Estate Co. LLC, $4,300,000, Mortgage: $4,300,000, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, auto sales or repair, 8900 Colonial Center Drive, Fort Myers, 2013000219659.
grasso purchased the 13,126-squarefoot The Wingate Plaza for $925,000. The price equated to $70 per square foot. That figure is lower than the twoyear average price per square foot for retail space ($146) in the Tampa Bay area, according to the CoStar Group. The two-story retail and office building features a number of small businesses, including a gun shop, chiropractor, hair stylist and an Allstate Insurance office. The entire second floor and less than 1,000 square feet on the first floor is vacant. The building was constructed in 1989 and occupies a 1.05-acre site. Pettograsso plans to renovate the top level and relocate her home health care business, Coastal Care Nursing, there. “It will be two-and-a-half times bigger,” says Frank Malatesta, vice president of operations for Coastal Care Nursing. “We’re in about 1,900 square feet now. We need that extra space just to keep up with the growth we’ve had over the years.” He says the 10-year-old business recently hired four new people. Steve Ross of Hembree & Associates
BY SEAN ROTH | REAL ESTATE EDITOR
Storage King LLC sold to Colonial Blvd. Self Storage LLC, $3,876,220.50, warehousing or distribution terminals, 2235 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers, 2013000225796. Renaissance Center of Bonita Springs LLC sold to Musca Properties LLC, $2,825,657.94, community shopping center, 3440 Renaissance Blvd., Bonita Springs, 2013000225859. Westlinks East Associates LLC sold to Eastlinks RSW International LLC, $2,767,300, office, 12550 Professional Park Drive and warehouse or distribution terminals, 12601 and 12621 Corporate Lakes Drive, Fort Myers, 2013000222281. Moorestown LLC sold in lieu of foreclosure to Central Bank, $2,074,051.26, lot 1 Plantation Corporate Park, 2013000218792. Henry B. Fonde Jr. as chief restructuring officer for Rowshan Enterprises Inc. sold to Daniels Parkway Hotel LLC, $1,825,000, Mortgage: $1,000,000, First State Bank of the Florida Keys, hotel or motel, 13651 Indian Paint Lane, Fort Myers, 2013000223916. Tropic Isle Park Ltd. sold to Tropic Isle Resort LLC, $1,655,000, Mortgage: $1,400,000, Riversource Life Insurance Co., parking lots or mobile home parks, 15175 Stringfellow Road and vacant residential, 7898 Raymary St., Bokeelia, 2013000220863. Mar-Mas sold to Scotlynn USA Division, $1,500,000, Mortgage: $1,125,000, The TorontoDominion Bank, office, 15671 San Carlos Blvd., Fort Myers, 2013000225227. W. Kirk Beck as trustee of the Colonial Extension-322 Land Trust sold to BJA Properties IV LLC, $1,500,000, parcel A, McDonald’s at Crossroads, 2013000227517. Synergy Property Holdings LLC sold to Boathouse of Cape Coral LLC, $1,430,000, airport terminal or piers, 1428 S.E. 46th St., Cape Coral, 2013000224573. OB Florida CRE Holdings LLC sold to Library Plaza Annex LLC, $1,100,000, Mortgage: $800,000, FineMark National Bank & Trust, office, 1610 Royal Palm Ave and vacant commercial, 1630 Royal Palm Ave. and 2431 Second St., Fort Myers, 2013000217720.
MANATEE COUNTY Country Club East Investors LLC sold to SLV II CCE Venture LP, $23,400,000, in SEC 25, 26, 27, 35 and 36-35S-19E and various lots, Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch, 02492-1003. Little Manatee Citrus LLC sold to T&T Environmental LLC (50%) and Manatee County Grove A LLC (50%), $4,400,000, orchard, groves or citrus, 28100 E. 45th Ave., Myakka City, 02492-1315. Memphis Road Industrial Park LLC sold in lieu of foreclosure to West Manatee Ave. Properties LLC, $2,711,711.50, in SEC 12-34S-17E on a portion of 21st Street East and units 1-10, Memphis Road Industrial Park, 02492-0897. Haney Developers Inc. sold to Matthew Plummer as trustee of the Rainbow Lakes Land Trust, $2,000,000, Mortgage: $1,500,000, Haney Developers Inc., 1077, 1075, 1073, 1071, 1069, 1067, 1059, 1057, 1055, 1053, 1051, 1049, 1047, 1045, 1043, 1039, 1037, 1035, 1033, 1031, 1029, 1027, 1025, 1023, 1015, 1013, 1011, 1009, 1007 57th Ave W., Bradenton also known as condominium, units 1-29, Rainbow Lakeside Condominium and in SEC 14-35S-17E, 02493-0635. Joyce and Kenneth Hunsader, individually and as co-
trustees of the Robert K. Hunsader Family Trust sold to Three D Farms LLC, $1,568,640, a portion of SEC 15-35S-20E, 02491-7249. Xponent Investment Group LLC sold to Three D Farms LLC, $1,189,620, grazing land, 197.9177 acres, a portion of Circle 675 also known as a portion of SEC 15-35S-20E, Myakka City, 02491-7240.
PASCO COUNTY Redus Florida Commercial LLC sold to Sweetwater Apartments LLC, $12,025,000, Mortgage: $9,200,000, GS Commercial Real Estate LP, multifamily, 12813 Ware Lane, 12,848 and 12730 Janke Drive and 35121, 35134, 35148, 35224 and 35341 Saraha Lynn Drive and additional addresses, various units, Dade City, 8938-3394. Capri Development FLA 54 LLC sold to Tampa Bay Corporate Square LLC, $10,375,000, Mortgage: $6,225,000, The Bank of Tampa, retail stores, 10829, 10933 and 0925 State Road 54, New Port Richey, 8937-2441. Little Road Café LLC sold to Roddimeyer III LLC, $2,065,000, drive-in restaurants, 5220 Little Road, New Port Richey, 8935-1000. Teramore Development LLC sold to Halfwassen Group Hudson LLC, $1,928,000, Mortgage: $1,000,000, Grand Bank, stores/office, 9130 State Road 52, New Port Richey, 8930-1807. Teramore Development LLC sold to HKCG Port Richey Realty, $1,650,000, vacant commercial, 7297 Ridge Road, Port Richey, 8939-2791. Cliff Investment Co. LLC sold to Ziad Hasan and Ribhi Hammad, $1,400,000, community shopping center, 14813 Seventh St., Dade City, 8937-1830.
PINELLAS COUNTY Metis Coachman I LLC sold to Liv at Coachman LLC, $4,225,000, Mortgage: $3,460,000, Branch Banking and Trust Co., apartments, 730 N. Old Coachman Road, Clearwater, 18179-2197. Retlaw-Hercules LLC sold to Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization Inc., $2,300,000, general office, 2005 Calumet St., Clearwater, 18170-1387. G&B LLC sold to Harbor Lake Holdings LLC, $2,240,000, condo industrial/warehouse, 13031 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater, 18154-0259. Huettig Properties LLC sold to Dunedin Future Vision LLC, $1,195,000, light manufacturing or small equipment manufacturing plant, 324 Monroe Ave., Dunedin, 18153-0404.
SARASOTA COUNTY Discovery AG Pelican Pointe LLC sold to AG Venice Senior Housing I LLC, $54,520,000, Assignment of Mortgage: $44,642,444.65, Fannie Mae, retirement home, 1000 Ashton Gardens Drive and planned unit development, 749 Pinebrook Road, Venice, 2013134487. Maraba LLC sold to Sarasota County Arthritis Center LLC, $1,425,000, Mortgage: $1,440,000, Bank of America NA, multistory office, 1945 Versailles St., Sarasota, 2013133854. Bank of America National Association sold to First Baptist Church of Sarasota Inc., $1,200,000, financial institutions, 1660 Second St., Sarasota, 2013133867. GCAG Whitehall LLC sold to Rebco Ventures LLC, $1,040,000, commercial-use, downtown core, 290 Cocoanut Ave., Sarasota, 2013131463.