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Franklin Street Awarded Leasing of former Times building in St. Petersburg

The old Times building, acquired by Texas-based Lincoln Property Company in 2018 is under new management. Franklin Street has been appointed leasing agent of the Class A office space. The three-building, 239,585-square-foot facility consists of three buildings and houses the Tampa Bay Times, L3 Commercial Aviation Solutions, Penny Hoarder publisher Taylor Media and the Bank of the Ozarks.

Nickel Ride relaunches fleet in St. Petersburg

The Nickel Ride, a free on-demand electric ride share company that launched its initial fleet of electric vehicles in St. Petersburg in 2017, announced a plan to relaunch once again in St. Petersburg, replacing its fleet with six 2019 Nissan LEAFs. The relaunch took place Wednesday, May 15. 

City Council put temporary moratorium on controversial third party designation

St. Petersburg City Council member Amy Foster put forward two new business action items at Thursday's City Council Meeting regarding the city's controversial historic preservation process. The city's ordinance has come under fire in recently months because it allows any citizen or organization based in St. Petersburg to submit an application for historic designation against the property owner's wishes.  Foster's first item requested a special meeting of City Council and the Community Planning and Preservation Committee (CPPC) to discuss potential changes to the historic preservation ordinance, third party designation, and the potentially eligible historic landmark list.   The second item requested a six month moratorium on third party historic designation applications against property owner wishes until City Council and CPPC have a chance to meet.  Both items passed the Council unanimously, with Council member Brandi Gabbard being absent. 

St. Pete City Council votes to remove SPHA commissioners

The St. Petersburg City Council voted Thursday to remove three commissioners from the board of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, per the request of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. According to city documents, commissioners Ann Sherman-White, Harry Harvey and Delphinia Davis were removed based on charges of:

  • Failure to File Annual Report
  • Lack of Regular and Timely Attendance at Board Meetings
  • Misuse of Authority Property
  • Failure to Provide Material Facts and Information
  • Failure to Exercise Due Care
  • Failure to Abide by Sunshine Law and Quorum Requirements
Florida law permits Kriseman the power to: "appoint, reappoint, and, in certain circumstances, remove the commissioners in whom the housing authority’s powers are vested."

Tampa-St. Pete GDP grows 3.3%

The 2017 gross domestic product for the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area was $146.35 billion, according to new statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That’s a 3.3 percent increase from 2016 GDP of $141.57 billion. Finance, insurance and real estate was the top sector last year, followed by professional and business services, government, and educational services and healthcare.

SeedFunders provides first follow up funding for SafeZone

SeedFunders has followed up its seed round investment in gunfire detection company SafeZone by providing $100,000 of a $300,000 bridge round.  This represents the first follow on funding for SeedFunders. 

Tech Data, Publix lead local companies in Fortune 500

Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) ranks No. 88 in the new Fortune 500. The Clearwater IT distributor, with $37.2 billion in revenue, was the top Tampa-St. Pete company and No. 2 in Florida, behind Miami-based World Fuel Services. Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets, with $36.4 billion in revenue, was No. 91. Jabil (NYSE: JBL) in St. Petersburg is No. 140, WellCare Health Plans (NYSE: WCG) in Tampa is No. 155 and Raymond James (NYSE: RJF) in St. Pete is No. 407.

CB Insights highlights OZK Labs

OZK Labs in St. Petersburg is one of 37 corporate innovation labs in finance highlighted in a new report from market intelligence firm CB Insights. The lab, part of Bank OZK, is intended to mimic the approach of a startup and aims to find ways to disrupt community banking. One noteable project was the lab’s development of an online account system for Bank OZK’s commercial real estate team, boosting the efficiency of the account setup process.

Marxent app picked up by California retailer

Jerome's Furniture, a  Southern California retailer, has launched a 3D Augmented Reality app from Marxent to enable virtual room planning for all customers. The company deployed the tool on its website and will also launch an iOS app version for Apple devices soon, a news release said. The app enables customers to see if furniture items of interest will fit within their color scheme, space, and functional needs. Marxent is a St. Petersburg-based technology company.  

KnowBe4 gives $1.75M to USF

KnowBe4, a cybersecurity training company in Clearwater, will donate $1.75 million to the USF Foundation to teach and train Muma College of Business students to serve on the front lines of the growing battle with cyber threats. The agreement includes a $500,000 cash gift along with in-kind software and services valued at $1.25 million.

Duckweed Urban Market plans Westshore site

The first retail tenant at Westshore Marina District will be Duckweed Urban Market. BTI Partners, the Fort Lauderdale-based developer of the project, signed a lease with the boutique grocery market to occupy 3,000 square feet. Duckweed will open its doors in early 2020.  Westshore Marina District is a 52-acre planned community located off Westshore and Gandy Boulevards on Old Tampa Bay across from St. Petersburg.

Cyber attack hits ConnectWise

A ransomware attack impacted ConnectWise operations in the European Union, according to crn.com. The May 3  attack did not compromise any personal data, the company said in a letter to partners. ConnectWise, a Tampa-based IT service management company, hired a forensics firm to investigate the attack and has taken steps to make sure it cannot be duplicated, crn.com reported.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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