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New chairman steps in at Tampa Bay Chamber

Jamie Harden, president and CEO of Creative Sign Designs, passed the gavel as chair of the Tampa Bay Chamber to MaryAnn Ferenc, CEO of Mise En Place. The leadership transition took place at the organization’s annual meeting Thursday. Over the last year, Harden worked with Chamber leaders to initiate a workforce housing caucus, a news release said. There also were significant expansions of the Minority Business Accelerator, as well as Military, Emerging Leaders and Workforce Development programs, while advocacy and public policy efforts were implemented at the federal, state and local levels.

Tech Data discloses purchase price for DLT

Tech Data Corp. paid $205 million in cash to buy DLT Solutions, a software and cloud solutions company focused on the U.S. public sector. Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD), a Clearwater-based IT distributor, did not initially disclose the purchase price when the deal closed earlier this week but it was included in a quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. The DLT acquisition enables Tech Data to proactively develop opportunities, accelerate growth and simplify complexity for its channel partners that are serving the U.S. public sector space, the filing said.

Tampa virtual reality company rebrands

Immertec, a Tampa startup whose software platform allows surgeons to train in real-time through virtual reality, has a new brand identity, redesigned logo and website. The rebrand and new website reflect the next stage of growth and embody the company’s professional, innovative and playful spirit, a news release said. The redesigned website features 3D animations, easy-to-navigate pages and simplified messaging. It walks visitors through how Immertec’s proprietary technology works. The website is here.

Cross-Bay Ferry impacts businesses

The Cross-Bay Ferry between downtown St. Petersburg and downtown Tampa gained 25 percent in ridership numbers in November, carrying 11,622 passengers compared to 9,268 in November 2018. About six in ten ferry passengers said they only made the trip because the ferry was available, a news release said, and nearly eight in ten, or 78 percent, said they dined out after reaching their destination. Nearly a third visited museums or went to events and about 20 percent shopped. More than 60 percent of ferry passengers said they spent more than $40 person and another 20 percent spent between $15 and $40 a person. More than 90 percent of passengers said they strongly supported a plan to create year-round ferry service.

Concentrix plans to lay off up to 245 workers in Tampa

Concentrix CVG Corp., a a technology-enabled global business services company, said it is permanently closing one of its client programs located at its Tampa contact center at 6302 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The closure, planned for Jan. 17, could impact up to 245 workers, the company said in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification sent to Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity. Although the program is closing, Concentrix said it would maintain a presence in the area with a significant number of positions on another program. The company also said it was working aggressively to attract other client programs for the Tampa location.

Vacant tract in Largo sells for $6 million

Lantower Largo HWY 19 Tampa LP, a company associated with a Dallas-based multi-family developer, has bought a vacant eight-acre parcel in Largo for $6 million. The property, on U.S. Highway 19 just south of Whitney Road, sold for $800,000 over the asking price after the city of Largo proposed an increase in density for the area, according to a news release from Colliers International. The Gerlach Team, which includes John Gerlach, Mackenzie Gerlach, Jake Gerlach and Cyndi Cushman, represented the seller, Wilder, LLC. Bill Eshenbaugh of Eshenbaugh Land Company represented the buyer. The property is zoned for general commercial use, and the buyer hasn't disclosed plans for the property. However, the buyer shares a corporate address with Lantower Luxury Living, the property management division of Lantower Residential and with a portfolio of more than 7,500 apartments located in eight cities across Texas, Florida and North Carolina.   

Local chef plans new St. Pete restaurant

Jeffrey Jew, an alumnus of Bravo's "Top Chef," has unveiled plans for his first solo project. Named Lingr, the restaurant will be an upscale-casual eatery and bar at 400 6th St. S. in St. Petersburg. It's expected to open in the spring of 2020. The 150-seat restaurant and outdoor garden area will feature Nordic and Asian-inspired cuisine, representing Jew's love of the local area, his heritage and years of culinary experience, according to the website. Jew most recently was executive chef at 2B Hospitality, which operates Bella Brava and Stillwaters Tavern in St. Petersburg.

St. Pete Pier names 17 vendors for the Pier Marketplace

Seventeen local small businesses will have a spot at the Pier Marketplace on the new St. Pete Pier. The vendors will occupy 10 market-style tents and seven stalls in a solar panel covered promenade near the Pier's entrance just off Bayshore Drive. The businesses will have short-term leases and may rotate during the course of a year. The Marketplace initially will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with extended hours of operation possible for special events. See a list of the vendors here

Duke Energy Florida exec appointed to USF SP campus board

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees Tuesday voted to appoint Melissa Seixas to a four-year term to the USF St. Petersburg Campus Board. Seixas, who earned her master’s degree in history from USF, is the vice president of government and community relations for Duke Energy Florida. She also the current board chair of the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. In 2018, she was a member of the USF Consolidation Planning Study & Implementation Task Force, which provided recommendations to the board of trustees for USF consolidation. The USF St. Petersburg Campus Board consists of five members residing in Pinellas County who serve staggered four-year terms. Seixas will serve a four-year term, ending June 30, 2023, and will be eligible for a four-year reappointment. 

Suncoast Credit Union buys Miami bank

Suncoast Credit Union signed a definitive agreement to purchase Miami-based Apollo Bank. Apollo, with $746 million in assets and approximately 100 employees, is a locally owned and operated community bank that launched in 2010 and now has five branches in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, Doral, Coral Gables, Kendall and Hialeah. The deal is expected to close in 2020. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Suncoast said in a news release that it is the largest bank acquisition by a credit union in U.S. history and the 12th acquisition of its kind in Florida. Suncoast Credit Union, headquartered in Tampa, is the largest credit union in Florida, the eighth largest in the United States based on membership, and the 10th largest in the United States based on its more than $10 billion in assets.  

Boston real estate firm buys Carrollwood property for $121M

West Shore LLC acquired Grande Oasis at Carrollwood, an 883-unit residential community on 58 acres.  The property offers a "superb location, high end amenities, and a solid job market," Steven P. Rosenthal, chairman of West Shore, said in a news release. The purchase price was not disclosed but a deed filed in Hillsborough County indicates West Shore bought the property for $121.8 million on Nov. 26. West Shore, a real estate investment firm based in Boston, owns and operates 11 other Florida properties, including The District at Clearwater in Clearwater and Grand Oaks Apartments in Riverview.

New York accounting firm enters Tampa market with acquisition

Marcum, an accounting and advisory firm based in Manhattan, has acquired Skoda Minotti, a Cleveland-based company with an office in Tampa. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Skoda Minotti offers a full suite of accounting, audit and tax services, financial services and business advisory services. The deal allows Marcum to expand its Midwest region outside of the Chicago area and add another office strategically located in Florida, a news release said. Marcum’s new Tampa office will be led by Daniel E. Dowell. 

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