TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.
The authority borrowed $152 million from the bond market at lower interest rates than it had been paying on existing debt. Officials said the refinancing is expected to save $15 million, or about 11 percent, over the long term. The authority also borrowed $36 million while rates are low to help pay for two projects that it expects to do in 2021....
12/08/17 Economic Development
Times Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure St. Peterburg's urban renaissance doesn't leave anyone behind.
"Grow Smarter" is the mantra adopted by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and organizers said it's built on a commitment to bring many people and groups into the conversation....
Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa's new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions12/08/17 Economic Development
TAMPA — JW Marriott, a luxury hotel brand new to Tampa, will run the new 519-room hotel that the Water Street Tampa project is building next to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, developers announced Friday.
Construction on the 26-story hotel is expected to start in early 2018. It is expected to open in 2020, before Super Bowl LV in February 2021....
TAMPA — With the congressional tax bill poised to increase its debt costs, Tampa International Airport might go out sooner than planned for some of the financing needed for its planned $2.3 billion expansion project.
That's because the U.S. House of Representatives' version of the Republican tax bill would do away with the tax exemption for what are known as "private activity bonds," which are issued by or on behalf of local or state governments for some projects....
12/05/17 Economic Development
TAMPA — Jeff Vinik says the Tampa Bay area needs a bigger, stronger ecosystem for startup companies, and on Tuesday he announced three major initiatives to nurture them.
First, Vinik said he will, with other investors, create a venture capital fund with as much as $50 million or more to support startup entrepreneurs, some with direct grants. That, he believes, would make it the largest fund of its kind in Florida....
12/05/17 Real Estate
TAMPA — Exotic and even rakish in its charms, the Tampa Jai Alai fronton is long gone, closed and torn down nearly 20 years ago.
But soon part of the storied South Tampa property could be reborn with a new purpose and a new Mediterranean-inspired name.
John Lum of List Developers is looking to build 140 townhomes and 160 apartments on the back 13 acres of the old jai alai site, behind the Home Depot and Sam's Club already on the front part of the property....
TAMPA — With ventures in pro sports and real estate development, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik remains one of the bay area's busiest business executives, and his money seems to be working on even more fronts.
A New Jersey-based bioelectronic medicine company, electroCore, has announced that two groups associated with Vinik — American Investment Holdings and the Vinik Family Foundation — were among the investors that participated in a round of fundraising that brought in a little more than $70 million for the company. The lead investor was Core Ventures II. Merck's Global Health Innovation Fund also was a significant participant....
12/04/17 Real Estate
TAMPA — For what's billed as a $3 billion project, Water Street Tampa now is still largely just a bunch of sandy parking lots cross-hatched by roads under construction.
But the vision is becoming more clear, and late Monday developers at Strategic Property Partners released one of their most detailed renderings yet for what they want the project to look like....
12/04/17 Working Life
With construction booming and Hurricane Irma repair work abundant, the Tampa Bay area's crunch for skilled labor is getting crunchier.
The latest sign of the shortage of available construction workers comes via a poll of Florida construction firms by the 21,000-member Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a national construction industry trade association.
Done in the third quarter, the poll found contractors optimistic that over the next six months their sales would grow, as well as that their companies would increase hiring and expand investment in training....
American Airlines CEO: We expect to fly normal holiday schedule with no cancelled flights despite pilot scheduling glitch w/ video12/01/17Airlines
TAMPA — American Airlines hasn't "cancelled a single flight and doesn't expect to cancel a single flight" as the result of a scheduling glitch that allowed an unusually large number of pilots to take time off during the Christmas holiday, company CEO Doug Parker said Friday.
"The company had a clerical mistake that has resulted in us not having enough of our pilots scheduled for flights that are coming in later December," Parker said at Tampa International Airport, where he was awarded the 2017 Tony Jannus Award for excellence in commercial aviation. "But our pilots have been stepping up. We offered them a premium. They're stepping up and picking up trips....
TAMPA — Jeff Vinik made his name as a far-thinking investor — first as the whiz-kid manager of Fidelity's Magellan mutual fund, then as the proprietor of his own hedge fund and these days as the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning and a developer of a $3 billion real estate project called Water Street Tampa.
But his latest investment isn't about winning a championship, or redesigning a downtown or building pretty buildings....
TAMPA — In an investigation that drew a blizzard of tips and for seven weeks seemed to revolve around grainy video showing a man in a hoodie, police knew one thing for sure.
Four shootings. One gun.
Police didn't release that fact publicly until this week, but they knew it before Tuesday, thanks to lab analysis of shell casings from four different fatal shootings in southeast Seminole Heights....
TAMPA — Spirit Airlines is launching daily, nonstop flights from Tampa International Airport to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the airport announced Wednesday.
The routes will begin operating April 12 on Airbus A319s, which have 145 seats, and will continue year-round.
"This additional traffic not only adds more available capacity between TPA and LAX, but it also encourages competition in the market," said Kenneth Strickland, TIA's director of research and air service development. "This traditionally results in better fares for consumers."...
11/28/17 Economic Development
TAMPA — In a time of high growth but rising inequality, the Florida Chamber Foundation gathered business executives and community leaders Tuesday to pose a few big questions:
How deep is poverty in Florida? How broad? How can business create prosperity that reduces generational poverty?
The answers, organizers suggested, could have a lot to do with children and making sure that every family, especially the poorest, can find child care and early-education programs that enable their kids to enter school ready to learn and succeed....
CLEARWATER — Planning for the future at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport traditionally is an exercise in guarding against over-optimism, and this year is no different.
That's because the airport, which is owned by Pinellas County, doesn't place big bets by going into debt on expansion or improvement projects.
"We've got to be very cautious," Airport Director Thomas Jewsbury says. "We have a pay-as-you-go philosophy."...