Fed: Economic growth slowed due to ‘transitory factors’; rates stay near zero

As expected, the Federal Reserve decided to keep its interest rates near zero and acknowledged what was evident in Wednesday’s disappointing GDP report: “economic growth slowed during the winter months.”

But the Fed said this slowdown “in part reflected transitory factors,” so it doesn’t seem too worried about 0.2 percent economic growth in the first quarter.

Given the Fed’s dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability, however, it appears the Fed is in no hurry to end its… …read more

Don Vicente de Ybor to convert hotel rooms into apartments

The 16 quaint hotel rooms in the Don Vicente de Ybor Historic Inn are soon to become apartments.

Following a Tuesday report in the Tampa Bay Business Journal about the Don Vicente closing in May, Darryl Shaw, who owns the building, revealed his plans going forward.

“It’s really too small for a hotel,” Shaw said Wednesday. “The Don Vicente had primarily become an event space, and the hotel rooms became secondary. We think the best use is to turn them into residential.”

Shaw purchased… …read more

TECO under contract to sell Channelside site to developer

TECO has an agreement to sell its Peoples Gas operations center to a Tampa developer, a TECO spokeswoman said.

Phillips Development & Realty LLC filed a request with the city to rezone 1400 Channelside Drive for a multifamily development. PDR representatives did not return requests for comment.

Cherie Jacobs, a TECO spokeswoman, said the site is currently a Peoples Gas operations center that employs about 60, most of them field technicians. That facility would be relocated if PDR closes on the… …read more

TECO site between Ybor, Channel district targeted for multifamily

A Tampa developer is laying the groundwork for a multifamily development between the Channel district and Ybor City.

Phillips Development & Realty LLC is seeking to rezone 1400 Channelside Drive, a 7.64-acre site owned by TECO Peoples Gas, for multifamily development. (See map below)

Requests for comment from TECO and PDR were pending return Tuesday morning.

PDR develops multifamily and commercial properties throughout the Southeast and also has construction and property management divisions.… …read more

It could be your private island paradise: Offers on 104-acre Little Bokeelia due this week

If you’re in the market for a private island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, you have until Thursday to make an offer on Little Bokeelia.

The 104-acre island between Sarasota and Fort Myers has been on the market for more than two years. It was originally listed with an asking price of $29.5 million, which was dropped to $24.5 million in 2014. Earlier this year, the Michael Saunders & Co. real estate agents who are marketing the property moved the listing to an “immediate sale” and said they would consider… …read more

CEOs, in their own words: 3 quotes you need to know from quarterly earnings calls

Merger and acquisitions in the technology sector are strong. Home sales are hitting new highs, and products of luxury items such as boats are gaining traction.

Those were some of the economic messages in the comments of CEOs of leading Tampa Bay companies in recent quarterly earnings conference calls.

Paul Reilly, CEO, Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF): Investment banking revenue in March was more than double the revenue of January and February combined. The strong March for investment banking… …read more

How Florida’s swelling population presents business opportunities

Businesses that make products, the stores that sell them and the real estate professionals who find the sites where they can house their companies are among potential big winners as Florida’s population grows.

Population gains in the Sunshine State are twice those of the national average, said Richard Hokenson, head of global demographic research at Evercore Partners’ International Strategy and Investment business.

In an interview just before speaking to Evercore Wealth Management clients in… …read more

Multifamily development planned across from Oxford Exchange

A South Florida developer is planning a multifamily development across the street from Oxford Exchange.

Altman Development Corp., based in Boca Raton, has asked the city to rezone a 2.51-acre site at 504 Grand Central Ave. to make way for a multifamily development with up to 273 units. (See map below)

The filings do not indicate the height of the proposed development. It would front Grand Central Avenue to the north and Cleveland Street to the south. Residents will enter an internal parking garage… …read more

Tampa Bay’s biggest newspapers put their real estate up for sale

The landmark headquarters buildings that once defined daily newspapers have become a source of capital for a beleaguered industry.

Three daily papers in Tampa Bay have put their real estate on the market, but they’re hardly an anomaly: Newspapers nationwide, from small-town papers to major metro dailies, have been selling off their property for the last few years. Locally, the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Tribune and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune buildings have gone up for sale within the last three… …read more

ReliaQuest growth means more fun, more opportunities for learning

Reliaquest

• Big category winner

With 33 employees and a score of 97.29, ReliaQuest is this year’s Big Category winner in Best Places to Work.

And if you ask Scott Noonan, the professional services manager for the IT security consulting firm, a lot of what makes it a great place to work starts with hiring — what he works on for the company.

“I talk to a lot of people,” Noonan said, whether he’s interviewing or evaluating a potential employee.

Noonan has been with ReliaQuest for… …read more