Regional Roundup

By Beau Denton November 30, 2010

Manatee County

Palmetto Company to Add 100 Jobs

Dynamic Innovations, a Palmetto-based defense engineering and manufacturing company, is planning a move to a larger facility to accommodate a projected 100 new jobs. Manatee County is offering a $41,000 grant for the new jobs, provided that the average pay is at least 115 percent of the county’s average. The growth is aided by a significant investment from Demmer Corp., a Michigan company that acquired a 90 percent stake in Dynamic Innovations in April.

Bradenton Developer Files for Bankruptcy

Michael Carter, the Bradenton builder who owns the Riviera Dunes Marina Resort in Palmetto, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for himself and five affiliated businesses, including R.D. Marina LLC. The combined entities owe $28 million and are listed at $20.2 million in assets. Carter’s companies are known for renovating the South Florida Museum and restoring several historic buildings on Bradenton’s Old Main Street; no current projects will be jeopardized by the filing.

USF Receives Grant for Healthcare Assessment

The Health Resources and Service Administration has awarded a $250,000 grant to the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to conduct an assessment of healthcare needs in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. The study, which will be led by Linda DeMello of Lakewood Ranch, aims to connect USF resources with needs in insurance coverage, public health, emergency room care and more, and it will continue through the next year.


Sarasota County

Ed Smith Stadium Renovation Funds to be Released

The Florida Supreme Court upheld a local circuit court judge’s ruling, saying that the interactions between Sarasota County officials and the Baltimore Orioles were not in violation of the state’s public meetings laws. The ruling permits the $31.2 million spring training deal between the county and the baseball team, which means the $28 million in bonds—$19 million from the county and up to $9 million from the city—set aside for renovations to Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park can now be issued. Sarasota Citizens for Responsible Government had sued the county, claiming that the negotiations violated Florida’s Sunshine Law. The court added that it will not consider motions to rehear the case.

Sarasota Approves 30-Year FPL Contract

After several months of negotiations, the Sarasota City Commission voted 3-2 to approve a 30-year franchise agreement with Florida Power and Light. The negotiations stirred heated debate, with opponents arguing that, considering potential opportunities for renewable energy, three decades is too long for the city to grant a monopoly to FPL—a company that derives only 2 percent of its energy from renewable sources and imports most of its fuel from out of state. In the end, though, the $5 million the city earns annually from FPL’s consumer charges, coupled with concessions by the company to help develop renewable energy, was enough to sway the commission’s majority.

Sarasota Maxes Bed Tax for Rowing Facility

The Sarasota County Commission raised the Tourist Development Tax from 4.5 percent to 5 percent, the highest bed tax amount permitted under Florida law. About 75 percent of the new revenue is intended for the Aquatic Nature Center at Benderson Park, the new rowing facility developed to attract high-profile competitions to Sarasota.

Cancer Support Community Opens in Lakewood Ranch

The Cancer Support Community Florida Suncoast, formerly the Wellness Community of Southwest Florida, opened its five-acre Cancer Support Community in Lakewood Ranch. Serving cancer patients and their families, the $6.1-million facility includes an 11,000-square-foot building and more than two acres of gardens.

Integrated Freight Buys Kansas Company

Integrated Freight Corporation, a Sarasota-based motor freight company, has agreed to purchase Bruenger Trucking Company of Kansas. The $11 million transaction is the fourth acquisition for IFC, which formed with the vision to acquire and consolidate existing motor freight companies. The company reported $6.7 million in revenues for this year’s second quarter and announced that after the new purchase its annual revenue will exceed $60 million.

DwellGreen Unveils Household Energy Program

DwellGreen, a Sarasota start-up that aims to make homes across the country more “green,” has announced the “Go for the Green Energy Savings Program,” an effort to monitor the energy output of household appliances. The company received a $250,000 grant from Sarasota County to distribute 250 eMonitor devices for measuring energy output. State College of Florida will provide training for the specialized jobs required for the program, which will be the largest of its kind in the nation.

SCFEO Reports High Economic Impact for Film in Sarasota

The Sarasota County Film and Entertainment Office (SCFEO) announced that the film, television and media production industry’s direct economic impact in Sarasota County was $1.9 million for the year ending on Sept. 30. The direct impact led to a total economic impact of about $5.6 million, which surpassed expectations for the year. During the 2010 fiscal year, the SCFEO helped produce 251 film, television, music and other multimedia projects. Since 2007, the total economic impact for the industry in Sarasota is more than

$13.6 million.



Realty Associates Advisors, a Boston-based teacher pension fund, purchased the Turnbury Park Apartments for $27.7 million from B&M Management of Alabama. The 286-unit complex, located at 6104 Turnbury Park Drive in Sarasota, was last sold for $23.74 million in December 2008.

North American Development Group of Palm Beach Gardens purchased Shoppes at Price Crossings, 1251 W. Toledo Blade Blvd. in North Port, from the Shoppes at Price Crossings Ltd. for $9.5 million. The 73,000-square-foot shopping center, anchored by a Publix grocery store, was last sold for $4.2 million in December 2005.

Faith Life Church, a Missouri mega-church, has purchased an 82,000-square-foot warehouse in Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park for $4 million. The building, last sold for $756,000 in January 1997, formerly housed production facilities for Teleflex Inc. but has been vacant since 2009. Prior to the sale, Winslow LifeRaft Co. announced it would lease the building from Teleflex and would receive relocation incentives from Sarasota County. Faith Life Church has not disclosed its plans for the property, but is raising funds to renovate the building.

Insignia Bank has purchased its Cattlemen branch, consisting of 4,741 square feet at 5850 Fruitville Road in Sarasota, from WHR II LLC. The Sarasota-based bank has operated this branch for two years and paid $3.52 for the property, which was last sold in May 2006 for $1.88 million.

Cindy and Mark Pentecost of Manatee County purchased the 100-acre Stoneybrook Golf Club, 7515 Grand Harbour Parkway in Bradenton, from Lennar Homes LLC for $3.48 million. The club, including an 18-hole course, 20,000-square-foot clubhouse, cart barn and maintenance building, will be managed by Red Wire Sports of Sarasota.


Frank Lapczynski and Jadwiga Debski purchased the Sea Jay Apartments in Venice for $1.2 million from the family of Charles J. Lofino. The 42-unit apartment complex is at 1252 Barbara Drive and was purchased by the Lofinos for $2.5 million in March 2005.

David and Leslie Snyder, Bird Key residents and founders of a New York law firm, purchased a 3,130-square-foot commercial space on St. Armands Circle from WHR III LLC for $1.6 million. The property, at 19C N. Boulevard of the Arts, houses ScoopDaddy’s Gourmet Ice Cream and was last sold for $2 million in June 2006. ScoopDaddy’s will continue to lease the space for at least one year.

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