07/21/17 Working Life
TAMPA — Brooke May, a 36-year-old senior construction project manager, knew she wanted to work for Strategic Property Partners the minute she met some team members involved with the group's massive downtown Tampa makeover.
"I expected a bunch of 65-year-old guys to walk in the room, but they were all so young," May recalled. "It was such a surprise to see."
The $3 billion complete overhaul of 57 acres of downtown — a project known as Water Street Tampa — is emerging as a dream job for many in Tampa Bay and beyond. Strategic Property Partners, the real estate firm owned by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates' Cascade Investment, has begun expanding its workforce rapidly. Turns out a lot of those new hires are fairly young — the average age in the office is 34....
TAMPA — Frontier Airlines announced Tuesday it will expand its operations at Florida airports, including adding 11 new flights from Tampa International Airport to new destinations like Indianapolis, Kansas City, Providence, Columbus, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Colorado Springs, Buffalo, Long Island, St. Louis, Nashville, and Milwaukee.
The new flights on Frontier will be a mix of weekly and daily service, and all new routes will begin before the end of the year....
TAMPA — The trains arrived by boat and are headed to the airport.
Twelve train cars, which cost $1.9 million each, make up the SkyConnect people-mover shuttle system currently being built as part of the $1 billion phase one renovation at Tampa International Airport. The tram cars arrived at Port Tampa Bay from Mitsubishi's plant in Japan Monday morning aboard an auto liner ship.
The cars were rolled off the ship and will be installed at the airport by its manufacturer, Mitsubishi, this week. The people-mover shuttle system will connect a new rental car facility and the economy parking garage to the main terminal and will be operational early next year, eliminating the need for passengers to catch a bus....
RUSKIN — The first time Anthony Hucker visited the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Ruskin, he was the company's chief operating officer. Nearly a year later, he returned to celebrate the store's recent renovation, this time as chief executive officer and president.
Hucker, 51, was named interim president and CEO of Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Bi-Lo and Fresco y Más grocery stores, in June after the company's former CEO, Ian McLeod, resigned to take a job with an Asian grocery chain. Hucker seems hopeful that the promotion would soon be permanent, pending the final decision by the grocery chain's board of directors....
ST. PETERSBURG — The fences are up and the construction has started. The former Sears department store at Tyrone Square Mall, which had been open for nearly 50 years, closed months ago to make room for new development: Tampa Bay's first Lucky's Market organic grocery store and a Dick's Sporting Goods.
It's a classic sign of the times for the American shopping mall — traditional department stores are closing at a remarkable rate while newcomers are gobbling up the prime real estate left behind after their funeral. But in an intriguing turn of events, the flailing, though long-standing Sears store that closed in St. Petersburg and the new tenants that are coming in after it, are all benefiting the same company. Or at least, the same owner....
TAMPA — Some Winn-Dixie stores in Florida are being converted into Harveys Supermarkets, including one store in Tampa.
Jacksonville-based Southeastern Grocers, the parent company of Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Bi-Lo and Fresco y Más grocery stores, is converting seven Winn-Dixie stores in Florida into Harveys Supermarkets this year in an effort to expand the Harveys brand in the state, according to a press release. The Winn-Dixie store at 2525 E. Hillsborough Ave., is the only one in the Tampa Bay area being converted. It will be the first Harveys Supermarket to open in the region. Others are opening in the Ocala, Orlando, Jacksonville, Cocoa and Winter Haven markets. The Winn-Dixie stores will remain open during the conversions....
ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is about to get a new owner.
Maryland-based FelCor Lodging Trust, the owner of the historic Vinoy resort in downtown St. Petersburg, is being acquired by RLJ Lodging Trust, the publicly traded real estate investment trust owned by BET founder Robert Johnson.
FelCor purchased the Vinoy in 2007, and recently announced a three-year plan to make $50 million in upgrades to the property. These include building a new parking structure, a new 200-seat restaurant, and renovating the spa, fitness center, golf course and clubhouse. The company owns hotels across the country, including a few Embassy Suites in South Florida and a DoubleTree Suites in Orlando....
TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay is beefing up its steel import/export business.
Last month, Port Tampa Bay's board of directors approved a 25-year lease with a South Florida company called Steelco Florida for a 35-acre site located at Port Redwing, a port property in southern Hillsborough County near Gibsonton. For the next two years or so, Steelco will be building a brand new facility on the parcel, where the company will import, export and manufacture steel products. ...
ST. PETERSBURG — HSN Inc., formerly the Home Shopping Network, is known for its long history of hawking goods on TV and more recently, online.
But part of its business model includes overseeing several in-house home decor and clothing brands, which are sold exclusively in their own catalogs, on their own websites, and not necessarily live on HSN programming. While HSN has sold off some of these brand names in recent years to off set poor quarterly performance results, the Cornerstone Brands subsidiary of its business is expanding, not shrinking, says president, Judy Schmeling....
ST. PETERSBURG — The parent company of the shopping network giant QVC Group is acquiring St. Petersburg-based HSN, the digital and TV retailer best known as the modern-day version of the iconic Home Shopping Network.
Liberty Interactive Corp., the Englewood, Colo.-based parent company of QVC, announced the $2.1 billion deal Thursday morning. Liberty already owned a 38 percent stake in HSN. Even though QVC is clearly the larger, more profitable television retailer of the two brands, the merger indicates dismal times for television shopping, as viewership slips and both companies scramble to turn their business models into digital, online strategies....
TAMPA — A year ago to the day that Canadian energy company Emera Inc. acquired TECO Energy, its Tampa operation is embroiled in what could well be the biggest public relations problem in its history.
Two people are dead and four others are seriously injured after an accident at TECO's Tampa Electric power plant in Apollo Beach Thursday afternoon. Since the time of the incident, TECO and Emera have been tight-lipped about sharing information about the accident — a news conference Friday afternoon offered little details. Emera's chief operating officer, Scott Balfour, and John Hollohan, the company's director of safety, arrived in Tampa Friday morning to work with the TECO Energy team on site, said Marley MacDonald, a spokeswoman for Emera. ...
For years, Florida's east coast has been known as Orlando's beach.
With the shorelines of New Smyrna, Cocoa and Daytona all one-to-two hours away from the nation's theme park capital, it makes sense. But tourism officials in Pinellas County are making a targeted push to snag the title. ...
Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.
SPP, the real estate firm created by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment, announced Tuesday the long anticipated name for the $3 billion revitalization project, Water Street Tampa. The project's website, waterstreettampa.com, shows some promotional images of buildings, green spaces, marinas, people and restaurants. Its tagline is "a place to create your own stories." It does not list any specific leasing or tenant information for the project. ...
TAMPA — For years, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the real estate executives he employs have been dreaming how to transform 53 acres of downtown Tampa into a major hub of living, working and entertaining in the city's core.
And for more than two years, they've been designing that new neighborhood without a name.
Today, Strategic Property Partners, the real estate firm backed by Vinik and Cascade Investment, is unveiling an official name for the highly anticipated $3 billion revitalization project. ...
TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer daily nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.
San Diego has been a route that Tampa airport officials have been vying to add to the market for some time. Late last year airport officials listed San Diego as one of top domestic markets they planned to target for new service. The new San Diego flight comes just two months after Tampa airport officials announced the return of service to Salt Lake City, another coveted route, on Delta. ...