ST. PETERSBURG — Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting (VATC), a Tampa-based defense security firm plans to hire more than 50 additional employees amid opening a new "tech incubator" in downtown St. Petersburg.
VATC, which already employs more than 200 people in Tampa and in satellite offices around the world, is basing the incubator in the newly renovated First Central Tower, the former Florida Federal headquarters....
11/07/16 Real Estate
TAMPA — Tampa-based apartment management firm Robbins Property Associates has completed a merger with multifamily investor Electra America of North Palm Beach to create a company with a $2 billion real estate portfolio.
The new company, called Robbins Electra, owns and operates a combined 20,000 apartment units in 66 properties in Florida, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland....
The buying and selling of small businesses is heating up, reaching levels not seen since before the Great Recession struck.
Nationally, 2,090 small businesses changed hands in the third quarter, the highest number since BizBuySell started tracking such data in 2007.
The Tampa Bay area accounted for 72 of those closed transactions, with a median sales price of $150,000, according to BizBuySell, an online marketplace which facilitates sales of small businesses. ...
Corporate site seekers who scour the country for the best places to locate or expand businesses think of Florida as a top 10 state.
But the state does not measure up in economic competitiveness in other areas, according to Site Selection magazine's annual ranking of states with the top business climates.
Florida ranked ninth among site selectors themselves — based on their personal experience of establishing or expanding facilities here. ...
11/01/16 Real Estate
First, Constantine "Chuck" Kalogianis was facing potential disbarment. Now, the well-known Pasco County attorney and onetime congressional candidate is battling criminal charges for allegedly doctoring foreclosure documents.
Kalogianis, 53, was arrested over the weekend on nine felony counts: eight of them related to forgery and one count for a scheme to defraud.
State Attorney Bernie McCabe charged that Kalogianis had engaged in a "systematic, ongoing course of conduct with intent to defraud" multiple lenders between November of 2013 and March 16 of this year. ...
What's the biggest challenge facing Florida small business owners?
Health care costs, rising interest rates and hiring concerns all loom large.
But nothing tops their anxiety over where the local economy is headed and the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
About 27 percent of business owners surveyed by TD Bank said the national election and ushering in a new presidential administration will be their biggest operational challenge over the next 12 months. An identical percentage cited local/regional economic uncertainty as their No. 1 issue. ...
Heading into the elections — and the gradual ramp-up of the holiday spending season — consumer confidence among Floridians has taken a dip.
Consumer sentiment fell 1.5 points in October to a reading of 90, according to the monthly University of Florida survey released Friday.
The reading, the last one before the presidential election, is 1.5 points lower than the current year's average, said Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF's Bureau of Economic and Business Research....
Stock in Raymond James Financial jumped nearly 5 percent Thursday after the St. Petersburg-based brokerage and financial services firm reported closing its fiscal year with record profits and revenues.
Raymond James reported net revenues of $1.46 billion for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, up 9 percent from a year ago and up 7 percent from the latest quarter. Net income for the period rose to $171.7 million, or $1.19 per share, a 33 percent surge from a year earlier. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — Less than two years after moving its international headquarters to downtown St. Petersburg, tech call center and repair company iQor US is shrinking its operation here.
The company plans to close its Telmar Network repair facility at 9700 18th St. N, idling 76 workers, according to a WARN layoff notice filed with the state this week.
The layoffs are expected to occur between Dec. 16 and the shutdown of the facility on Feb. 28. Sandra Gobbo, iQor vice president of human resources, wrote state officials and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman with a breakdown of affected job classifications, many of them directly involved with equipment repair. ...
Florida can't move the needle to lower its unemployment rate, which remained stuck at 4.7 percent in September for the fifth straight month.
But that's not entirely a bad thing.
In fact, the jobs report released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows the state continues to make headway in its agonizingly long jobs recovery:
• Florida added a healthy 23,000 jobs over the month, third-best in the country behind Texas and California and down slightly from 24,500 in August. ...
Donald Trump talks about returning to a time when America was great — a superpower that didn't worry about Mexico or China stealing its jobs. Hillary Clinton yearns for those years of economic prosperity when her husband was in the White House and, at least early on, there was a semblance of bipartisanship.
The high degree of base insults and accusations flying during the first two presidential debates may have put some voters in a throwback mood as well. As we head into the third and final presidential debate Wednesday night, here's a look back at how the vernacular has changed compared to those presidential (and vice presidential) showdowns of yester-election year:...
Platinum Bank of Brandon, one of the largest community banks based in Tampa Bay, is being bought by CenterState Banks Inc. of Winter Haven for $83.9 million in cash and stock.
The deal announced Tuesday morning will create the third-largest community bank in Tampa Bay.
CenterState said the acquisition complements its existing footprint with five out of seven Platinum branches within 1.25 miles of existing CenterState locations....
Call it the Hurricane Matthew effect.
Until the market showed signs of stabilizing on Sunday, gas prices had risen 16 consecutive days in Florida for a total jump of 11 cents, in large part due to supply chains disrupted by the storm, AAA reported. That's in sharp contrast to elsewhere in much of the country where gas prices have been heading down the past couple weeks.
Price-tracker GasBuddy.com reported a similar trend: Average retail gas prices in Tampa have risen 8.2 cents per gallon over the past week, averaging $2.19 a gallon on Sunday based on GasBuddy's daily survey of 1,260 gas outlets in Tampa. ...
10/14/16 Real Estate
GIBSONTON — During the boom years of the early 2000s, the dream of home ownership lured hundreds of buyers to a new community called Kings Lake.
For less than $135,000, they could get a two-story house with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. They could get mortgages with little or nothing down. No worry — prices were quickly heading up, doubling in a couple of years.
Until the market crashed....
10/14/16 Real Estate
GIBSONTON — As the first houses started going up in the Kings Lake community 15 years ago, there wasn't much else in Hillsborough County south of the Alafia River.
No Amazon distribution center. No St. Joseph's Hospital. No Publix within 10 miles.
Now there's all that and more, including a huge master-planned community, Waterset, directly across Big Bend Road from Kings Lake....