Exclusive: Historic Kress in downtown Tampa to be redeveloped into hotel

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

The historic Kress building in downtown Tampa is on the verge of a transformation from vacant to vibrant, with plans under way to redevelop the building into a hotel, possibly with residential components.

A group of Tampa real estate veterans has teamed up with an Atlanta hotel developer to redevelop the five-story Kress, which was the home of five-and-dime store S.H. Kress & Co. The Tampa team includes father-and-son construction executives Sam and Casey Ellison; Anthony Italiano, a partner with…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

How to use the media to grow your brand as an expert in your field

By Dana Manciagli

I had no idea there are so many great resources available to make a small business — even micro businesses — look big to the rest of the world. After 30 years with Fortune 500 companies and one startup that grew bigger fast, I saw how pricey public relations, social media, and other marketing resources could be. Completely unaffordable for the average entrepreneur, I thought.

Then I jumped ship. Yes, 18 months ago I became a full-fledged solopreneur, investing in — and promoting — my own…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

FedEx confirms new Polk County distribution center

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

FedEx Ground Shipping Services has confirmed its new 300,000-square-foot distribution center in Polk County.

The facility will serve the Orlando area, spokesman Jesse Bull wrote in an email Friday. The Tampa Bay Business Journal was first to report that FedEx was the unnamed company seeking public incentives for a new warehouse in Davenport, north of Interstate 4, on Waverly Barn Road. Completion is slated for May 2016.

“The site was chosen because of its ease of access to major highways, proximity…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

As prices rise in most of the U.S., Tampa sees 9% dip

By Salem Solomon

Tampa home prices experienced one of the biggest drops in value of any metropolitan area in the country in the third quarter.

According to new data from the National Association of Realtors, single family homes in Tampa dropped by 9.3 percent during that time compared to the previous year, according to Bloomberg News. The only cities with bigger drops were Cumberland, Md. at 15 percent and Norwich, Conn. at 11 percent.

Nationwide, the news was brighter for homeowners. The median home price rose…

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Rob Brady: Humanizing design, from Superbikes to floating tools (Video)

By Alexis Muellner

Rob Brady

Title, company: CEO and design director of Robrady Design

As a kid: Decorated lampshades and walls and built things like go-karts. “I didn’t know it was industrial design at the time. I just liked to make things that solved issues.”

Born: Fort Walton Beach

Education: Auburn University; Art Center College of Design, Los Angeles

Air Force brat: Family stops on base included Elmendorf in Anchorage, Alaska, and Wright-Patterson in Dayton, Ohio

TV: Practically none other than CNBC in the…

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Richard Gonzmart finds himself on the top of the food chain

By Eric Snider

Sunrise has begun to suffuse Ulele with an ethereal glow as Richard Gonzmart ambles into his new restaurant just before 7 a.m. He’s trailed by his regular companions, brawny German Shepherds Rusty and Rex, who calmly settle near the front door.

Gonzmart, the fourth generation owner of the fabled Columbia Restaurant who spun off the native-Florida-inspired Ulele this summer, gets going early — usually rising, sans alarm, between three and four in the morning.

“I like the solitude,” he says. “No…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

Business lessons from Tom James’ museum plans

By Margie Manning

After leading a 10-year effort to build a new home for the Dali Museum, Tom James has turned his focus to another cultural asset for downtown St. Petersburg. James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial Inc., is planning a museum that would house part of his and his wife, Mary’s, extensive collection of western and wildlife art.

In talking to James, I realized there was much to be learned about his business philosophy.

Learn from others. James has visited lots of museums featuring western…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate

Putting the ‘work’ in live work play: Tampa office deals boost revitalization efforts

By Ashley Gurbal Kritzer

By now, it seems trite to sum up one’s approach to the commercial real estate market as “cautious optimism.” But cliche or not, it’s still true, especially for Tampa Bay’s office market, said KC Tenukas, senior vice president with Cassidy Turley in Tampa.

“I’m leaning on the optimism side,” he said. “I think Tampa’s got a tremendous amount of upside.”

Tenukas represented Total Quality Logistics in its lease of 36,000 square feet of office space in Knights Point, a commercial waterfront complex…

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Report: Sales of small businesses rise as sellers earn higher prices

By Bob House

Sales of small businesses in the United States remained at historically high levels in the third quarter, according to a BizBuySell.com report.

A total of 1,987 closed transactions were reported in the third quarter this year, representing both a 17.9 percent increase from last year and the highest number of small business sales recorded in a third quarter since BizBuySell began tracking data in 2007.

This quarter’s numbers slipped just 2.1 percent from the second quarter of 2014, which remains…

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From the financial crisis to the Sandusky scandal, this one trait gave success to Karen Peetz of BNY Mellon

By Hilary Burns

It’s hard to fluster Karen Peetz. A 32-year banking vet, Peetz helped BNY Mellon recover from 9/11, led the bank through the 2008 financial crisis and also chaired Penn State’s Board of Trustees through the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

She is now the president of BNY Mellon, overseeing the company’s global client management, regional management and treasury services business — plus all 50,000 employees.

Before BNY Mellon, Peetz worked for JPMorgan Chase for 16 years in sales and business-management…

Source:: BizJournal Real Estate