Developer closes on land for townhouses in heart of Westshore

A developer is moving forward with plans to build townhouses on the southernmost portion of the former Without Walls church property in Westshore.

Icon Residential, based in Largo, paid $6.4 million for the 5-acre site in a deal that closed Thursday. Chris Bowers and Ryan Sampson of Eshenbaugh Land Co. represented the seller, Richman Group, in the transaction.

Richman Group acquired 13 acres on West Columbus Drive in fall 2014, paying $14.3 million. It has since sold off 2.2 acres fronting West… …read more

Except for housing, business isn’t booming and GDP is barely growing

The U.S. economy ended 2015 like it began, with weak economic growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates GDP grew by only 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. For the year as a whole GDP grew 2.4 percent, the same rate as the economy grew in 2014.

The problem isn’t consumers — they’re spending money. Businesses aren’t, however. Business investment declined in the fourth quarter, as companies spent less money on structures and equipment. Low oil prices continued to depress investments… …read more

Tampa Bay’s custom homebuilders (Photos)

Tampa Bay’s custom home market is hot. Driven by rising land prices, the majority of custom homes are on the smaller side — but not without their touches of luxury.

One builder reported a request for a gold toilet; others have built ice rinks and theaters within custom homes. As the region’s business base grows, so does demand for custom home sites.

Those on the older side of the millennial spectrum who delayed buying a first home due to the recession are now considering home ownership, perhaps… …read more

Highest-priced homes on the market in Sarasota County

View the interactive map below to see the highest-priced homes on the market in Sarasota County. …read more

Highest-priced homes on the market in Manatee County

View the interactive map below for details on the highest-priced homes on the market in Manatee County. …read more

Builder profile: ‘Britt’ Williams, president & CEO, Bruce Williams Homes

How long have you been building in the Tampa Bay area? Bruce Williams Homes has been building in the Tampa Bay Area since 1969. Britt has been with the Company full time since 1991.

How did you get into the industry? Britt grew up in the Business hanging around his father & founder of Bruce Williams Homes, Lloyd Williams. After graduating from Auburn in 1991 Britt came back to help with the family business for a “short time” before going back to Alabama. Britt ended up loving the business, staying… …read more

How CenterState’s loans are being put to use

Loan growth helped power a nearly 200 percent earnings gains at CenterState Banks Inc. in 2015.

CenterState (NASDAQ: CSFL) reported 2015 earnings of 85 cents a share, compared to 31 cents a share in 2014. Net income for the full year of 2015 was $39.3 million, compared to $13 million in 2014.

The Davenport-based banking company also hit a new asset benchmark in 2015, ending the year with $4.022 billion in total assets.

As one of the largest banks in Florida — and the No. 2 bank headquartered… …read more

Failed project lands Trump in Florida appeals court

While Donald Trump banks on his brand to boost him into the White House, a Florida appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday in lawsuits accusing the Republican presidential front runner of misrepresenting his role in a failed beachfront project in Fort Lauderdale.

The 4th District Court of Appeal will hear arguments in two lawsuits related to what was pitched as a swanky, Trump-branded hotel/condominium. Investors have battled in court for years to get back hundreds of thousands of dollars in deposits… …read more

Accardi brothers buy historic Ybor building

The Accardi brothers have added a historic building in Ybor City to their portfolio of downtown Tampa real estate.

They purchased the Larmon Furniture building at 1324 E. 7th Ave. for $1.375 million in a deal that closed Friday, Jason Accardi said. They also picked up an adjacent, 45-spot surface parking lot for $250,000.

The 20,000-square-foot, two-story building was used as a furniture showroom for more than 40 years, until Larmon vacated the building in 2013.

It is across the street from where… …read more

Kevin Harrington made a CEO cry — and it was good for business

Kevin Harrington, one of the original celebrity investors on ABC TV’s “Shark Tank,” spends much of his time these days helping companies and their workers uncover their inner entrepreneur.

Harrington has worked with about 40 corporations, including Pfizer, AT&T and Microsoft, to create “Shark Tank”-type competitions that tap employees’ ideas for new products and process improvements that can be game-changers.

At one such event, the CEO of a company he won’t identify was in tears after… …read more