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 Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman
Rogers Park Golf Course and the Hillborough River from above. - Julie Branaman | Show Photo

Tampa : In The News

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Why Tampa? Leaders Went After Bollywood

Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham gets much of the credit for actively recruiting the International Indian Film Academy to bring its award ceremonies in 2014 to Tampa.

The commissioner was among the first to recognize the significance of landing the festivities, particularly to Tampa Bay's growing Indian-American community of immigrants and investors.

Read the complete story.

One Man's Passion Brings Indian Music, Culture To Tampa Bay

When Mahesh Patel didn't hear Indian music being played on a local community radio station that promised to be a reflection of the globe's diversity, he did something about it. 

Patel created and hosted Radio Asia on WMNF in the Tampa Bay region long before locals would become familiar with Bollywood.

Read the complete story

Major Rehab Center Opens At Tampa VA Hospital

A $56 million polytrauma and rehab center at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa is about to begin accepting patients. The new high-tech healthcare provider is designed to treat the worst war injuries suffered by American military veterans.

The center contains state-of-the-art equipment, therapy activities and 56 patient rooms. 

Read the complete story.

Uber Joins Lyft In Ride Sharing In Tampa Bay

If ride-sharing is a measure of a cool city, Tampa just got a whole lot cooler with the arrival of Uber, a ride-sharing service popular in many of America's hippest urban areas.

Uber and Lyft, another ride-sharing service new to town, compete for passengers with more traditional means of transporation offered by local cab companies.

Read the complete story.

Need A Ride? Lyft Arrives In Tampa Bay

Lyft, a new ride-sharing service arrives in Tampa Bay but not without controversy sparked by rules governing cabs and taxis.

The service, which operates in cool cities across the nation, is already advertising for drivers and offering rides around the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Richmond Business Leaders Visit Tampa Bay

When Richmond, VA, business and community leaders looked around for a place to visit where they could learn lessons about growth and economic development, guess where they turned? Tampa Bay.

About 150 spent a few days visiting with local business leaders and touring downtown buildings and office parks. The tour was led by Kim Scheeler, former President of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce who now heads up the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

Read the complete story.

Florida Ranchers, Investors Eager To Access Cuba

Florida ranchers and other investors in Cuba decades ago long to return to the land they once farmed despite U.S. trade policy that prohibits most trade with the island nation 90 miles south of the Keys.

While Cuba is taking steps to open up trade, U.S. political sentiment isn't there yet.

Read the complete story.

Moffitt Reserachers Test New Drugs For Deadly Skin Cancer

Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute is starting clinical trials for a new FDA-approved drug combination that shows promising results against melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer faced by Floridians.

The drugs, Mekinist and Tafinlar, appear most effective when combined.

Read the complete story.

UT Student Pursues Help For Ghana Kids Born With Cleft Palates

Katelyn Edwards, a junior at the University of Tampa, is featured in Forbes magazine for her entrepreneurial and philanthropic efforts to help children born with cleft palates.

Motivated by her own brother's situation, Edwards is working to form a nonprofit that would bring smiles to the disfigured faces of children with such deformities.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Leaders Say Transit Is A Top Priority

Elected officials in Hillsborough County and its three cities -- Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City -- are strategizing about the best way to educate and engage local residents on future transit options for improved mobility and better transportation.

Public input will likely be sought through hearings, surveys and media campaigns.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Pension Fund Out-Performs With Solid Strategy

The Tampa police and firefighters pension fund does so well with its investments that retirees can expect to collect nearly 95 percent of what they earned during their best compensation years.

The fund's stellar performance by Bowen, Hanes & Company places it among the top investment portfolios in the world.

Read the complete story.

Fletcher Avenue Upgrades Aim To Improve Walkability

Fletcher Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Tampa, is about to undergo upgrades designed to make it safer for walkers and bicyclists.

Hillsborough County is spending $4.4 million to add better lighting, crosswalks and safety islands between Nebraska Avenue and Bruce B. Downs Boulevard through North Tampa near the University of South Florida.

Read the complete story.

Indian Movie Star Visits Tampa To Promote Bollywood

One of India's top film stars, Vidya Blan, enjoyed the adoration of a rock star by Florida media and community leaders on a recent visit to Tampa, where she helped promote the April 23-26 Bollywood festivities featuring the International Indian Film Academy award winners.

More than 25,000 tourists are expected in Tampa Bay for the ceremony, which anticipates a global TV audience of more than 800 million.

Read the complete story.

MacDill Air Force Base Looks To Expand Fleet

MacDill Air Force Base and Tampa Bay may become the greatest beneficiaries of the 2015 proposed U.S. Defense Department budget that shifts fighter jets and personnel here from others places that will be consolidated or cutback.

Dozens of planes and pilots and others who work around the air fleet could fly south to Florida if current plans are adopted, a big windfall for the local economy.

Read the complete story.

USF Scientists Explore Glacier Melt In Antarctica

Global warming and the melting of glaciers on the polar ends of the earth could increase sea levels to the point where much more of Florida is underwater.

Thus the heightened interest in a University of South Florida research team exploring climate changes in Antarctica.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Interanational Airport Grows For The Future

International airports in Tampa and Orlando received big boosts in state funding for expansions and improvements.

The Tampa Airport is expecting $194 million in additional state revenue; the Orlando Airport will get about $215 million.

Read the complete story.

Former Tampa Mayor To Lead Big Brothers Big Sisters Of America

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has a new CEO familiar to Tampa Bay area residents: Pam Iorio, the former mayor of Tampa.

Iorio will commute weekly from her South Tampa home to Irving, TX, just outside of Dallas.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Region Attracts Global Investors

Investments in Florida by non-Floridians are up with the resurgence of the real estate market. Investors from Asian and European countries are leading the pack in the hunt for profitability.

Downtown properties in Tampa and St. Petersburg, in particular, are hot commodities.

Read the complete story.

Foodie Alert: 4 In Tampa Make Shortlist For Beard Awards

Joey Redner of Cigar City Brewing, Chad Johnson of SideBern's, Greg Baker of The Refinery and Bern's Steakhouse all make the short list for the James Beard Foundation's annual Food Awards.

All four are key to the success of their restaurants and key to attracting tourists as well as residents to fabulous foodie experiences.

Read the complete story.

Fly Tampa To Seattle Direct Starting In June

Add Seattle and the Pacific Northwest to your list of nonstop travel destinations from Tampa International Airport. Following months of talk about Seattle being a priority for direct flights, TIA CEO Joe Lopano worked a deal with Alaskan Airlines to start connecting the cities in June.

Introductory fares are expected to start at $149 one-way.

Read the complete story.

What's Next For Downtown Tampa? Investors Line Up

Speculation is the favorite sport of downtown Tampa enthusiasts interested in shaping what comes next on property being purchased by Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik.

Vinik and other investors as well as business leaders are jockeying for position to accommodate what makes the most sense financially and for the community.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Invests $125K In Ferry Study

It's looking like the potential for a ferry crossing from South Hillsborough to MacDill Air Force Base is on full throttle with the County Commission's decision to pay for a feasbility study as the next step toward launch.

The ferry proposal would shorten time spent communting for military personnel and others living in the Apollo Beach, Ruskin and South Brandon neighborhoods while lessening automobile traffic congestion on U.S. 301, Interstate 4 and other connector roads to and from downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Driverless Cars To Test Roads In Tampa

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority is authorizing test drives of driverless car on the LeeRoy Selmon Expressway, which can be closed to other traffic while the tests proceed.

The Authority and researchers are looking forward to the opportunity to eventually move the cars into normal traffic. The technology involved is expected to make commuting and traveling safer for everyone.

Read the complete story.

Transit Plans Take Shape For Tampa Bay

Plans are coming together across Tampa Bay to improve the traffic situation by offering more options for people trying to get around and between Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Pinellas voters will get a chance to consider additional funding for transit in November 2014. Hillsborough, or at least Tampa, voters may get a similar opportunity for choice in 2015 or 2016.

Read stories for Hillsborough and the Tampa Bay region.

Tampa Looks To River's West Bank For Next Major Urban Investment

The West Bank of the Hillsborough River near Tampa Prep, Blake High School, the University of Tampa and WEDU is the focus of a visionary citybuilding exercise advocated by Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The urban renewal project would require the relocation of residents of North Boulevard Homes and require public as well as private investments.

Read the complete story.

Tampa's Bike Share Program Moves Forward

The City of Tampa's bike sharing program is coasting toward a spring launch with Florida's warm weather expected to be a factor in its anticipated year-round success.

The blue two-wheelrs will be available at 30 spots around town. The cost to rent a ride starts at $5 an hour.

Read the complete story.

Florida Voters To Decide On Medical Marijuana

After much debate, the Florida Supreme Court rules voters will get a chance to determine whether marijuana for medicinal purposes will be legal in the state. 

Supporters called the decision a victory for the ill and those in pain. Opponents are gearing up for a tough battle.

Read the complete story.

USF Incubator Nurtures Student-Owned Startups

USF students Keosha Poole and Dez Williams are the creatives behind a new business incubator that provides collaborative work space for student owned startups.

The idea grew out of increasing interest in entrepreneurship and investments by students.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Prepares To Host Bollywood In April

Thousands of film fans from around the globe are expected to converge on Tampa in April for the Indian Film awards known as Bollywood.

The international film fesitval will be in Tampa April 23rd through 26th.

Listen to the complete story.

USF Graduation Rate Up 15% In 5 Years

The University of South Florida's graduation rate increase at a greater pace than any other state university over the last five years.

Officials are trying to determine the factors involved, including greater demand for higher education driven by the recent economic downturn as well as improved student performance based at least partly on higher standards for admission.

Read the complete story.

Lightning Owner Plans New Downtown Tampa Hotel

Jeff Vinik, the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is planning a new hotel on property he owns near the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Many expect Vinik and his property management team to significantly transform downtown Tampa with new development near the hockey arena and Channelside.

Read the complete story.

Florida Soon To Rank As Third Most Populous State

New Yorkers moving to Florida may be the reason the Sunshine State passes the Empire State in population, according to recent Census data.

Growth in jobs and an economic recovery in Florida is driving the latest shift in population.

Read the complete story.

Road Construction Ahead: Get Ready To Change Lanes

No matter where you need to go around the Tampa Bay region in the next 2-4 years, chances are good that you'll travel through or around road construction.

Major interstate construction projects crisscross the heart of Tampa adding lanes and reconfiguring exit/entrance ramps; smaller projects will affect travel from Spring Hill to Sarasota.

Read the complete story.

Downtown Tampa Library Opens Innovation Hub

Hillsborough County and a local nonprofit, Learning is For Everyone, are teaming up to create an innovation center at the downtown public library.

The idea is to create a public space that can be used by startups and entrepreneurs as welll as for education workshops and classes for adults and children.

Read the complete story.

Orlando Developer Considers Hotel Near Encore! Tampa

Orlando Developer Brian Ray is talking with City of Tampa officials about investing in property near the growing Encore! Tampa project just north of downtown.

Among the ideas Ray is floating: a boutique hotel, a commercial building and a small apartment building.

Read the complete story.

Bike Path Plan Under Tampa Expressway Nears Approval

A planned bike path parallel to the LeeRoy Selman Expressway through downtown Tampa is on track to begin construction in May or June 2014.

The idea is to open up the space under the Crosstown to bicycles and pedestrians as green space for alternative transportation.

Read the complete story.

Movie About Drug Cartels Picks Tampa Location

"The Infiltrator,'' a movie about South American Pablo Escobar's Medillan Cartel, plans to shoot on location in Tampa. The book is based on a book by Tampa Bay author Robert Mazur.

The production company behind the movie, Good Films of Great Britain, plans to tell the story by re-creating scenes of violence, murder and mayhem.

Read the complete story.

New Version Of Tampa AirFest Set For March

After a year off due to federal budget cuts, the hugely popular MacDill Airfest will return in March 2014 as the new and improved "MacDill Air Force Base Presents Tampa Bay AirFest.''

The 2014 version will include the Air Force Thunderbirds and other aerial demonstrations superior to those seen anywhere else around the globe, base officials promise.

Read the complete story.


Frozen Four Returns To Tampa In 2016

The NCAA was so pleased with how Tampa welcomed the Frozen Four, college men's hockey finals, in 2012 that they've decided to return in 2016.

The Tampa Bay Times Forum will be the site of the final Frozen Four and will likely become a sellout.

Read the complete story.

New Flights Connecting Tampa, Panama City

New flights are already being added to Copa Airlines travel between Tampa and Panama City, Panama, just as the first flights are getting off the ground.

Demand is far exceeding expectations as the new connection to Latin and South American countries gets underway. The new service means Florida business leaders no longer need to get to Orlando or Miami to fly south.

Read the complete story.

TIA $1B Expansion Gets Underway

Austin Commercial, a Texas building contractor, will soon start work on a $1 billion expansion of Tampa International Airport.

The project is expected to create 8,000 construction-related jobs and be completed by 2017.

Read the complete story.

Realtor License Boom Reflects Property Sales Rush

As the Florida real estate market heats up, so too does the rush to obtain a license to broker property sales.

The boom of more than 42,000 trying to pass the state test is more than any year since 2005 when the market was hot everywhere.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Negotiates Free WiFi In Downtown City Parks

Visitors to public spaces in downtown Tampa may soon find access to free wifi services thanks to negotiations between the city and Brighthouse. 

Mayor Bob Buckhorn predicts such convenience is another way to attract and retain young talent in the city.

Read the complete story.

Quality Trumps Quantity In Race To Add Jobs In Florida

The winners in the race for economic superiority know that the end game is all about talent. Cities and states that want to compete in the global marketplace must create jobs that attract and retain the best and the brightest from all over the world.

That's why top quality jobs are more important than the quantiy of jobs in Florida's race for respectability and a higher quality of living, writes Times Columnist Bob Trigaux.

Read the complete story.

Who Knew? Tampa Bay Favors Food Trucks

If you're thinking about opening a food truck, you might want to consider moving it to Tampa based on a recent survey that says the Bay area is home to some of the nation's most successful mobile dining experiences.

Mobile Cuisine, an online publication that reports on the food truck industry, says Tampa is No. 2 behind San Antonio TX for the best places to open a food truck in the U.S.

Read the complete story.

New Cruise Ship Sets Sail From Tampa Port

Another cruise ship, Brilliance of the Seas, now departs from the Tampa Port for Mexico and the West Caribbean, including the Grand Caymans and Cozumel.

Brilliance is the ninth Royal Caribbean ship to call Tampa home. The 90,090-ton ship left port with 2,100 passengers.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Begins To Grow Its Way To Top

Can you say sizzle? Tampa and the surrounding region ranks among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation in 2013 with an even hotter growth forecast for 2014.

Growing companies, job creations and investments have catapulted the Tampa Bay region to the top after years of lackluster post-recession economic growth.

Read the complete story.

USF Prof Explores Solar Energy Storage Technology

USF Mechanical Engineer Yogi Goswami is researching the solar energy storage capacity of golf ball-sized capsules filled with salt. The technology involved can turn water into steam long after the sun goes down.

Finding the right formula for storing energy could hugely influence how power is used, especially in Third World nations.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Plans Huge Fueling Station

The Port of Tampa expands its capacity to supply the Tampa Bay region's gasoliine, diesel, aviation fuel and oil with a $56 million investment in a new petroleum terminal.

Half the money for the project is coming from the state of Florida to keep vehicles on track, on the road and in the air.

Read the complete story.

Tesla Center Near Tampa Sells Electric Supercars

All electric Tesla sedans can now be purchased in Tampa thanks to a new consultation service center in Brandon just off of U.S. 301 between Adamo Drive and Broadway.

Consumer Reporter Richard Mullins of The Tampa Tribune took a Model S sedan on a test drive.

Read the complete story.

Tribune Writer Moderates Panel On Workforce Transitions

Tampa Tribune Writer Howard Altman will serve as moderator at 83 Degrees Media's November 7th "Not Your Average Speakers'' panel discussion called "Bring 'Em Home! Transforming Military Might Into Civlian Talent.''

The event at the Tampa Firefighters Museum in downtown Tampa will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

Read the complete story.

USF Attracts Best, Brightest From Around Globe

International students soon find familiar faces on the campus of the University of South Florida as recruitment efforts increase toward attracting the best and brightest from around the globe.

Nearly 3,000 non-U.S. students attend USF in Florida, adding the Tampa Bay region's wealth of diversity.

Read the complete story.

USF Helps Battlefield Medics Become Local Nurses

A new $1.25 million grant awarded to USF will be used to help military veterans transition into civilian life.

The College of Nursing aims to train medics to put their skills to use in domestic jobs.

Read the complete story.

USF Grad Creates Churn To Produce Magical Butter

Medicinal marijuna isn't legal in Florida but it is in many states and around the globe. That availability helped spur Garyn Angel of Port Richey, a USF alum, to invent a botanical extractor that can churn out Magical Butter and other special potions.

The talented inventor and entrepreneur is gaining accolades for creativity and innovation.

Read the complete story.

New Westshore Apartments Feature Historical Tampa Tiles

The new Jefferson Westshore Apartments in Port Tampa feature tiles, beams and metal from the Wenczel Tile Factory that once occupied the same site.

Neighbors and prospective renters applaud the preservation of history effort at the new luxury complex.

Read the complete story.

Ybor City Tops For Halloween Visit, Says AOL Travel

Guavaween may be tamer and more family-oriented than most locals realize with its transition to a street fair and themed costumes, but it still ranks among the nation's top destinations for Halloween.

AOL Travel ranks it 4th behind Boston, New Orleans and New York.

Read the complete story.

TMA Design Attracts Attention From USA Today

The Tampa Museum of Art -- designed by Architect Stanley Saitowitz -- ranks among the top museums in the nation for the architectural significance of the building itself, says USA Today.

Starchitecture sometimes offers as much of an attraction as does a museum's art collection when it comes to provinding a destination to drive tourism and the local economy.

Read the complete story.


Visit Tampa Bay Markets 'Beercation' In Tampa

Given that Tampa has long been known for its connection to Anheuser Busch, it may come as no surprise that the local tourism agency is touting the craft beer industry as reason enough to Visit Tampa Bay.

The making of craft beers is a a growing industry that attracts tourists to Tampa from around the globe.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Must Build Consensus On Future Of Transportation

Unless and until the Tampa Bay region can start building consensus on key issues, it will always lag behind when it comes to major projects requiring state and federal funding.

That conclusion came out of business and community leaders gathered to talk about finding the best way to improve transportation and tranist in the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Housing Market Continues To Heat Up

As demand for housing increases in Tampa Bay, the supply of homes for rent, lease or sale continues to shrink. The result is prices are inching up, new home construction is beginning in many neighborhoods and some sellers find themselves pulled into a bidding war by prospective buyers.

It's all good for homeowners and government tax rolls.

Read the complete story.

New Owner Spurs Optimism At Hyde Park Village

It's a new day with reason for optimism in Hyde Park Village with the recent investment by WS Development of Boston.

WS is promising to spruce up vacant storefronts and attract new independent shops to fit in with the upscale surrounding South Tampa neighborhood.

Read the complete story.

University Of Tampa Grows, Attracts Most Students Ever

The University of Tampa, just across the Hillsborough River from downtown Tampa, is enjoying record growth in students and new construction on campus.

West Kennedy Hall is just the latest residence hall to open for some of the record 7,343 students now enrolled.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Airport Plans To Add New Shops, Restaurants

A major renovation of airport shops, other retail spaces and restaurants is in the works for Tampa International Airport. The airport plans to upgrade and expand choices for shoppers and passengers to enhance the experience at the airport.

The plan is to build upon the old and create new for a major overhaul to be complete by 2017.

Read the complete story.


Buzz In Downtown Tampa Creates Sweetness And Honey

If your ears are buzzing in downtown Tampa traffic, it just might be something other than tinnitus.

Attorney Paul Maney is has installed beehives and is producing honey on the roof of his downtown law firm. Tampa Urban Honey can now be purchased at Duckweed Urban Market.

Read the complete story.

Florida Now Bans Texting While Driving

No more texting while driving on Florida streets, roads and highways. A new law goes into effect today (Oct. 1) banning the practice that too often leads to accidents caused by distracted drivers.

A new awareness campaign will include signage, media announcements and T-shirts conveying the ban.

Read the complete story.

Efforts To Save Jackson House Grow

Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden and businessman Marvin Knight are stepping up to try to save the historic Jackson House from decay and wreckage. The Jackson House once served as Tampa's most popular overnight rooming house for visiting black celebrities like Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway and James Brown.

The historic house is already listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Read the complete story.

Tesla Expands Sales Center in East Tampa

Innovative California car maker Tesla is moving into Central Florida with an expanded sales center in East Tampa that is expected to increase interest in as well as sales of the futuristic automobiles that run on electric-powered engines.

Tesla is the automaker that many anticipate will bring to market energy-efficient smart cars that could provide a solution to traffic congestion in densely popularted California and Florida.
 
Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Adopts New Online Gradebook Edsby

No more "the dog ate my homework'' excuses now that parents, teachers and students all have access to online gradebooks, homework assignments and teachers' note under a new computerized communications system being employed by Hillsborough County public schools.

As the eighth-largest school district in the nation, Hillsborough is climbing onboard the tech revolution with Edsby to test drive what promises to be a better method for families and educators to catch up and keep up.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Port Authority Offers To Buy Channelside

The Tampa Port Authority is offering to buy the troubled Channelside development in downtown Tampa for $6 million from the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., opening the door for a fresh start at finding a solution for making the project work.

Channelside hugs the waterfront between the Florida Aquarium and the Times Forum, making it a key component for the city's urban economic wellbeing and potentially a springboard for additional investments.

Read the complete story.

New Investors Move In To Revive The Heights In Tampa

A new team of investors led by Adam Harden is looking to develop The Heights neighborhood just north of downtown Tampa after years of recession-created dormancy.

The property along the Hillsborough River in the heart of the city contains some of its oldest buildings and harbors great potential for commercial, retail and residential investments.

Read the complete story.

Popular Science Names USF Researcher Among "Brilliant Ten''

Mya Breitbart, a rising star in marine science at USF, has been named among the "Brilliant Ten'' top scientists in the nation by Popular Science magazine.

The microbial ecologist is in the process of mapping the genome sequence of entire ecosystems.

Read the complete story.


USF Research: Arctic Ocean Becoming More Acidic

Research by USF geologists studying the acidification of the Arctic Ocean caused by greater than normal ice melting is being touted as further evidence of global warming that could change whether plants and animals thrive and survive.

"Lower pH levels make water more acidic and lab studies have shown that more acidic water decreases calcification rates in many calcifying organisms, reducing their ability to build shells or skeletons,'' according to a news release issued by the USGS and USF. "These changes, in species ranging from corals to shrimp, have the potential to impact species up and down the food web.''

Read the complete study.


Powder Your Nose, Memorize Your Lines, Tampa Bay

An entourage of Bollywood officials spent a few days in Tampa Bay checking out local venues and hotels in preparation for the June 2014 International Indian Film Festival's visit.

The awards ceremony and hoopla surrounding it June 12-14 is expected to be watched by 800Million viewers around the globe.

Read the complete story.

Food Truck Rally Brings Out Crowds To Fairgrounds

Organizers of what was touted as the world's largest food truck rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds are already planning to double the number of trucks and the number of visitors.

Some 20,000 showed up this time east of Tampa, overwhelming the 99 trucks set up to serve food to all comers.

Read the complete story.

Pepin Distributing Makes Room For Craft Beers

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That seems to be the motto of Pepin Distributing's smart new tactic to build additional warehouse space in order to accommodate the growing taste for local and craft beers.

Tampa's biggest beer distributor is investing in its own future by taking on new products rather than fighting the trend.

Read the complete story.

Entrepreneurial Thinking, Community Spirit Behind Ulele

Tampa Restauranteur Richard Gonzmart explains his thinking behind the Ulele Restaurant he is planning at the old Waterworks building on the Hillsborough River north of downtown.

His father's words of wisdom and the desire to give back to community are big motivators, says the Owner of the Columbia Restaurant.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Home Sales, Prices Soar As Market Rebounds

Pent-up demand and the rush to get resettled before school started helped drive up the number of home sales and the price of homes in July in Tampa Bay.

Realtors says sales were up 22 percent over June while prices were up 27 percent.

Read the complete story.


Economist Predicts Natrual Gas Boom For Florida

The U.S. consumers desire for clean fuel and energy independence are contributing to Florida's growing value in natural gas reserves.

Fifth Third Bank Economist Jeff Korzenik predicts investors would do well to put their money behind growing demand for natural gas.

Read the complete story.

Hosting RNC Convention Pays Dividends For Tampa

Convention goers at the 2012 Republican National Convention returned home to boast about their experiences in Tampa and the payoff is being counted now, a year later.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says the exposure gained during the convention is resulting in increased bookings for smaller conventions and better law enforcement by using technology and hardware installed with federal dollars invested here for the RNC.

Read the complete story.

4 Tampa Bay Area Drive-Ins Go Digital For Movies

Four movie drive-ins in the Tampa Bay region now offer sound and picture quality rivaling their indoor counterparts thanks to newly installed digital technology.

The drive-ins, providing popular family night outs in Lakeland, Dade City, Ruskin and east Tampa, are counting on investment to pay off in more customers.

Read the complete story.

Ablenook Housing Prototype Gets National Attention

Ablenook, a special housing unit designed for quick installation in regions hit be natural or manmade disasters, is getting a little love in the form of news coverage by The Daily Beast.

The prototype, which won a grant from Awesome Tampa Bay to help get launched, was designed by Sean Verdecia and Jason Ross, two alums of the  University of South Florida's School of Architecture and Community Design.

Read the complete story.

Pop-Up Art Parties Arrive In Tampa Bay

Pop-Up art parties for creatives and the young at heart are making the rounds of south Tampa restaurants and other hip neighborhoods as the latest trend in reasons to get together.

The concept, launched locally by Jen Loveridge, an Armwood High School grad, is designed to engage people in fun and spirits while attracting a new crowd to local restaurants.

Read the complete story.

New HART App Informs Hillsborough Bus Riders

Bus riders in Hillsborough County can now download and access a smart phone app that tells them progress and time of arrival for buses along selected routes.

The app is designed to help alleviate frustration for those who have to wait long periods or don't know whether a bus has already made a pickup at the stop.

Read the complete story.

How Does Uriah's Garden Grow? Up The Wall

The next time you find freshly picked parsley or basil on your salad at your favorite Tampa Bay resaturant, the greens may have started out in a vertical garden grown by Dave Smiles at Roosevelt 2.0 or one of his farms in South Hillsborough.

The greens and the flats they grow in line the wall at Uriah's Urban Farms and get farmed out to local resaturants looking to serve herbs and veggies as fresh and organic as they can be.

Read the complete story.

Skateboard Park Jumps For Historic Status

Patrons of the Bro Bowl, a concrete skateboard playground at Perry Harvey Sr. Park on the north edge of downtown Tampa, are pushing for protection of the bowl by seeking state and national historic designation status.

The Bowl, a longtime favorite among local teens and pre-teens, looking for a chance to show off their surfing moves, attracts skateboarders from around the nation to Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Single Gender Schools Score High Marks For Kids

Kids are performing better in single gender public schools set up by Hillsborough County to experiment with success by dividing boys and girls onto separate campuses.

Teachers, too, say they often find their jobs more focused when kids aren't distracted by mixed gender conflicts and craziness.

Read the complete story.

UT, USF Make Princeton Review Short List

The University of Tampa, a private college in downtown Tampa best known for its business school, was named one of the nation's 378 best institutions for undergraduate education for the next edition of the Princeton Review.

Across town, the University of South Florida, the Tampa Bay region's largest public university, was listed as one of only 22 colleges to receive the highest score possible in The Princeton Review's "2014 Green Rating Honor Roll."

Read the complete lists.

Two Tampa Bay Art Museums To Share Exhibit

A major exhibiition of Chinese art by young artists will travel to the Tampa Bay region for an unprecedented joint showing by the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.

The collaborative effort means more people will get a chance to see the art while it's in Florida and paves the way for opportunities to collaborate on similar future projects.

Read the complete story.

Sprouts Farmers Market Scouts Florida Locations

Sprouts, an Arizona-based indoor farmers market with roots in California, is looking to expand into Florida, according to a story in The Tampa Tribune.

Sprouts is a a bit of a cross between outdoor produce markets and newer grocery chains like Whole Foods and Fresh Market.

Read the complete story.


HART's MetroRapid Attracts Bus Riders In Tampa

A speedier bus route connecting downtown Tampa with neighborhoods around the University of South Florida and northeast Tampa has doubled its ridership since launching in May.

The new MetroRapid line saves time with fewer stops and technology that gives it green lights headed north and south through the city.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Is America's "Most Hospitable'' City

Airbnb, a blog sharing information about where to stay off the beaten path in America, ranks Tampa as the "most hospitable'' city in the nation based on how willing locals are to open their doors and share their homes with others.

"Smack in the middle of Florida's Gulf Coast, Tampa is where Southern US hospitality meets South Floridian diversity and flair,'' says the blog.

See the complete list.




Tampa General, Moffitt Among Nation's Best Hospitals

Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center make U.S. News & World Report's annual listing of top hospitals in the nation.

The news magazine rates healthcare providers based on multiple criteria, including services offered and safe outcomes.

Read the complete story.

10 Under 30 Who Do Things Their Own Way

Youthful entrpreneurs are finding unique niches to fill as the new economy forces creative and innovation to the forefront in business.

The Tampa Bay Times shares the experiences of 10 success stories.

Read the complete story.

Getting From Here To There In Tampa Bay

As commuters lament time spent on the road and businesses add up the costs in time and fuel for transporting goods and employees, the Tampa Bay region is again focusing on transportation solutions.

Additional buses and specially designated lanes for highway traffic are under consideration along with the potential for additional mass transit of some sort.

Read the complete story.

Taking Tampa To New Heights

SoHo Capital led by Adam Harden and Chas Bruck is taking a new look at developing The Heights project along the Hillsborough River, just north of downtown Tampa.

The tract of land under consideration would become home to residents, businesses, restaurants and retail, expanding the urban scene into a previously neglected area.

Read the complete story.

New Apartment Tower Planned In Channel District

A new SkyHouse apartment tower in the Channel District would add another option for living the urban lifestyle in downtown Tampa.

This one is proposed by the Novarre Group out of Atlanta, the same developers who built SkyPoint and The Element.

Read the complete story.

NEA Grant Goes For Public Art At New Encore Project

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) gives a grant of $100,000 for the installation of public art in the new Encore! project being built just north of downtown Tampa and west of Ybor City.

The money is part of the federal Our Town grants distributed to cities across the nation. Some 59 grants totaling $4.725 million are going to 34 states.

Read the complete story.

Copa Airlines Adds Tampa To Panama City Route

The addition of Copa Airlines to travelers' options for flying back and forth between Tampa International Aiport and Central America is a welcome sign of increased global trade for Florida.

The new connection brings four flights a week between Panama City and Tampa in the first-ever route to a major Latin American hub.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Enters Auto Import Business

The Tampa Port Authority signals its ready to expand into the auto import business by signing a deal with Amports to ship cars from Mexico to the U.S. via Florida.

Importing autos through Tampa would bring more jobs and shipping to downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Brings Jobs To Tampa Bay

One of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies plans to relocate offices to Hillsborough County just outside Tampa in order to consolidate offices for jobs in information technology, marketing and finance.

The move will bring 250 jobs to the Tampa Bay region by 2014 and at least another 250 within three years.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Reels In Big Companies, Lots Of Jobs

Jobs, higher wages and more opportunities are coming to Tampa in 2014 and beyond with recent announcements surrounding big companies moving to or expanding services in Florida.

Is it any wonder the economic development leaders are feeling pretty pumped?

Read the complete Robert Trigaux column.

Oil Recycling Plant To Open At Tampa Port In 2014

NexLube Tampa is spending $120 million to build an oil re-recycling plant at the Port of Tampa about halfway between Palm River and Gibsonton.

The plant is designed to process up to 24 million gallons of oil per year.

Read the complete story.


USF Passes Fundraising Milestone Of $600M

The University of South Florida surpassed its five-year $600 million fundraising goal by more than $21 million in pledges this summer.

The Unstoppable campaign attracted more than 140,000 donors for academic programs and capital projects.

Read the complete story.

Reason Says Florida Bridges Safer Than Most

Based on expenditures on road improvements and bridge replacements, Florida may be among the safest states for travel, according to a recent study by the Reason Foundation.

Florida trails only California and Texas for spending on highways while its bridges are deemed among the safest (and youngest).

Read the complete story.

Bollywood Film Awards Coming To Tampa In 2014

Move over Hollywood! Step aside Melbourne, Australia, Dubai and Abu Dhabi!

In 2014, Tampa will host the Bollywood Oscars, the International Indian Film Academy's Weekend & Awards.

The selection of Tampa for India's top film stars to walk the red carpet is largely attributed to the city's active Indian-American community as well as its experiences in hosting big events, such as Super Bowls and political conventions.

Read the complete story.

3 Florida Cities Rank Among America's Smartest

Orlando ranks #2. Tampa ranks #6. And Miami ranks #10. All in a Top 10 list of America's smartest cities.

Who'da thunk? The rankings, by a real estate blog called Movoto, were based on numbers of colleges and universities, museums, news media and educational degrees.

Read the complete story

Investors Buy Up Tampa Bay Area Homes

Increased demand for rental properties combined with low interest rates and relatively low prices for housing mean investors are having a field day in Tampa Bay, buying up homes almost as fast as they go on the market.

Some of the biggest players include the Blackstone Group, American Home 4 Rent, Silver Bay Realty Trust, the American Home Real Estate Partnership and Progress Residential, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay's Biggest Private Companies Grow, Add Jobs

Small- to mid-sized firms that fill a marketplace niche are growing, expanding and turning significant profits going into 2014, according to a statewide ranking that finds 42 of Florida's top 200 private firms call Tampa Bay home.

Many of the firms doing the best are relatively unknown but have carved out solid profitability by staying focused and improving their market shares.

Read the complete story.

Amazon Says It's Bringing 1,000 Jobs To Tampa Bay

Amazon, the online retail giant that ships products worldwide to consumers' doorsteps, is in talks with Florida and Hillsborough County officials about opening an operations center near Tampa.

If Amazon goes forward with plans to employ local workers in south Hillsborough County just off Interstate 75, Florida residents would be required to pay sales taxes for online purchases.

Read the complete story.


All Signs Point To Trader Joe's Coming To South Tampa

Trader Joe's, a smaller grocery store that specializes in fresh produce, frozen meats and carrying just a few brand names among prepared foods, appears to be headed to a location in South Tampa at the intersection of Swann Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway.

An architect, general contractor and others have started pulling permits and signing documents even though no official announcement has been made yet. Trader Joe's already has a store in Sarasota.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Startup Community Thrives, Creates Jobs

The buzz in Tampa Bay's new economy is all about startups and what a fabulous place the region has become as an incubator of new companies.

Tampa Bay Times Columnist Robert Trigaux writes about the region's growing narrative as a hub for innovation.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Gets B- On Economic Report Card

Local banks are stronger, but not strong enough. Job creations are up, but so are job layoffs. Construction is rebounding, but nowhere near levels of the past. GDP grows, slightly. Personal income remains flat, lower than elsewhere.

That's why Tampa Bay Times Columnist Robert Trigaux comes up with a barely above average grade for Tampa Bay's economy.

Read the complete story.


Will Florida's Latest Housing Boom Grow Legs?

Housing sales and prices are up across the Tampa Bay region, but nowhere near the levels seen pre-recession.

So everyone wants to know, can it last? Will it grow? What's next for Tampa Bay?

Read the complete story.

STEM Jobs Drive Tampa Bay's Economic Recovery

STEM jobs, especially those requiring a two-year college degree, are part of the expected boom in job creation in Tampa Bay in coming years.

The emerging workforce shift should mean higher wages and an increased standard of iiving, suggests a Brookings Metropolitan Policy Planning study.

Read the complete story.

End Of Bond Payments Portends New Investments In Tampa

The City of Tampa faces an array of choices for what to do with about $100 million in tax money that will become available when the city finally pays off the bonds borrowed to build the Tampa Convention Center.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn envisions the money going toward another large public project in downtown Tampa while others are scrambling to offer additional options.

Read the complete story.

No More Texting While Driving In Florida

Florida has banned texting while driving effective October 1.

Lawmakers acted based on concerns about driver safety and a spike in accidents caused by people using cellphones while driving. Some uses of a cellphone will remain legal, but texting is out.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Restaurants Grow Their Own Herbs, Veggies

Restaurants seeking the freshest produce possible increasingly turn to growing their own herbs and veggies in a new technique called vertical farming.

The idea is to use space along walls to plant the seeds and grow the vines necessary to deliver the freshest food possilbe to your table.

Read the complete story.

Competition Calls For Elimination Of Public Transportation Panel

Part of the discussion at Emerge Tampa's recent town hall meeting focused on why Hillsborough is the only county in Florida that prohibits competition among transportation providers.

The issue came up when Vinny Tafuro told about restrictions placed on competing cab services during the GOP convention in Tampa in 2012. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and others say the regulations are outdated and need to change.

Read the complete story.

NoHo Flats Apartments To Open In August, More On Way

The neighborhoods just west of the University of Tampa near Kennedy Boulevard and Rome Avenue are seeing a sharp increase in development activity.

Several new apartment buildings, restaurants and retail stores are in the works.

Read the complete story.

More College Grads Study Science, Math, Technology

College degrees awarded in the Tampa Bay region this spring reflect the changing workforce and demand for more graduates in science, technology, engineering and math.

The trend is away from the arts and humanities, and toward courses of study such as psychology and other sciences, nursing and other medical degrees, business and finance.

Read the complete story.

New Restaurants, Coffee Shops Add Jobs In Local Economy

Tampanians love to eat out as evidenced by the number of restaurants and coffee shops opening on the front end of economic recovery.

Among the latest:

Florida Cracker Cuisine, a new concept created by Greg and Michelle Baker, the owners of the popular and award-winning Refinery. Read the complete story.

Yummy Grill, apparently the Tampa Bay region's first fully Kosher deli. Read the complete story.


Visions, Dreams Emerge For Tampa Neighborhoods

Big plans are in the works for properties north of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and in the West Shore neighborhood in and around the Tampa International Airport as well as along Westshore Boulevard.

Both plans take advantage of existing infrastructure while adding more to the landscapes. And both will take mega private investments as well as public financing.

Jeff Vinik is the man behind what could happen in downtown Tampa. Read the complete story.

Ron Rotella and the Westshore Alliance are the backers of redevelopment on the west side of town. Read the complete story.

Tampa Reopens Talk Of Nebraska Avenue Redo

Among the Tampa neighborhoods getting a new look and possibly a redo is the Nebraska Avenue corridor extending north of downtown all the way to area around the University of South Florida.

City planners and neighborhood leaders are seeking public input to shape the main thoroughfare's future.

Read the complete story.

Mapping Social Media Activity In Tampa Neighborhoods

The City of Tampa has teamed up with researchers at Carniegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to map social media activity in downtown Tampa.

The idea is to get a better idea of where people meet up, intermingle online and chat up the town and what they are doing.

Read the complete story.

New Ferry Service Idea To Connect Tampa, Apollo Beach

The latest proposal to provide ferry service connecting MacDill Air Force Base to the Apollo Beach, Riverview and Brandon communities of south and east Hillsborough comes from an Indiana company represented by former County Commissioner Ed Turanchik, now a lawyer with Akerman.

If successful, such a ferry could take hundreds of automobiles off local roads each day as military and non-military workers commute into South Tampa to work.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Stakes A Claim For Disruptive Innovation In Healthcare

Dave Chase, CEO of Avada and one of the speakers at MediFuture 2023 in Tampa, blogs about why Tampa Bay's pursuit of disruptive innovation in the delivery of healthcare matters.

Chases says staking a claim will go a long way toward success.

Read the complete story.

Planning Begins To Replace Howard Frankland Bridge

Planners with the Florida Department of Transportation are studying how best to build a new span for the Howard Frankland Bridge connecting Hillsborough (Tampa) and Pinellas (Clearwater-St. Petersburg).

The plan is to seek public input as well as ideas from engineers and transportation experts, including the option for mass transit and pedestrian-bicycle traffic.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Theatre Goes Digital, Enhances Sound

A new digital film system installed in Tampa Theatre means a whole new viewing and listening experience for movie and concert goers.

Every seat, even those under the balcony, now feature near perfect acoustics thanks to donations that made it possible for the theater to purchase a new projector, new speakers, new wiring, etc. More donations are being sought to finish paying for the new system.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Asks Residents To Invision Future Nebraska Avenue

Never mind what Nebraska Avenue looks like today. Rethink it for the future. How can the City of Tampa meld old with new to create new spaces and a new sense of place.

That is the challenge as the Envision Tampa process focuses on Nebraska Avenue north of downtown.

Read the complete story.

Medical Device Manufacturers Arrive In Tampa Bay

Medical device manufacturers gather for a conference in St. Petersburg just a week before MediFuture 2023 in Tampa.

The medical device industry is a major economic engine in much of Tampa Bay, including the fostering of new startups by places like CAMLS and Tampa Bay WaVE in downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.


Convergent Capital, Liberty Group Led By Youthful Entrepreneurs

Real estate investor Santosh Govindaraju and hotel developer Punit Shah are the entrepreneurs taking a deep dive into reviving the Channelside Bay Plaza with new retail, offices and a hotel.

They are working with the Tampa Port Authority to also expand public amenities, such as an elevated, covered walkway to reach parking for the Plaza.

Read the complete story.

Ignite Tampa Bay Lights Fires Of Passion

The pressure is on as Ignite Tampa Bay participants take to the Tampa Theatre stage to tell a packed house what turns them on and why others should engage their passions. Presenters get just five minutes and 20 automatically advanced slideshow images to tell their stories. 

Applause and spirited enthusiasm were in rich supply as a result.

Read the complete story.



Tampa Bay Area Apartments In Hot Demand

The supply of clean, urban housing -- especially apartments and condos -- falls short of demand in the Tampa Bay region as more families and singles opt for renting over buying a home.

As a result, at least five apartment complexes are now being built near and in downtown Tampa; additional projects are under construciton  in St. Pete.

Read the complete story.

Bright House, Tampa Bay WaVE Collaborate For Startups

Bright House Networks Business Solutions donated the technology necessary to provide online access to Tampa Bay WaVE, an incubator for more than 100 Tampa Bay startups.

The donation means startups will have the latest, greatest high-speed Internet connections possible to work in the Rivergate Tower in downtown Tampa.

Read the complete PRNewswire story.

Parking, Bicycle Lanes Add Safety To Ashley Drive

Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa will soon gain parking spaces and bicycle lanes under a redesign aimed at making the street more pedestrian and two-wheel friendly.

The changes are part of Mayor Bob Buckhorn's priorities in attracting investments and people into downtown.

Read the complete story.

Channelside Attracts More Investors, Downtown Tampa

Additional investors are exploring their options when it comes to redoing the Channelside deveopment project that is in need of a little TLC.
 
The Liberty Group and Convergent Capital Partners along with Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik are among those considering possibilities.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Likes To Eat Out, Chefs Know

Three new restaurants by three established restaurants in the Tampa Bay region reflect growing interest in reinvesting in the region's emerging new economy.

The dining out spots are among many to pop up in 2013, indicating a rebound in the local economy.

Read the complete story.

Florida Ranks #1 For Innovation, Says Fast Company

Florida earned the No. 1 ranking for innovation by Fast Company because of its high level of new business development, fundable venture capital rankings and annual revenue per startup.

Florida was followed by Texas and Maryland. California ranked No. 7, North Carolina ranked 25 and Massachusetts came in at 42.

Read the complete story.

Making Tampa Bay Safer For Riding Bicycles

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is making bicycle and pedestiran safety in Tampa a higher priority for his adminsitration by calling attention to designing streets that accommodate multimodal transportation options.

Part of that effort included a recent visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportaton Ray LaHood.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Hack-A-Thon Attracts 97 Hackers

Techies and university students jumped at the challenge to rewrite code and develop creative solutions for government data as Hillsborough County opened its data for a massive Hack-a-thon.

The idea is to get the smartest code writers and app developers to use technology to improve government services.

Read the complete story.

Florida DOT Picks Westshore For Transit Hub

The Florida Department of Transportation cited the amount of traffic that already converges in the Westshore business district in Tampa for identifying four sites where a future transportation hub could be built.

The idea is to pick a convenient place where mass transit vehicles -- primarily buses and possibly trains traveling on light rail -- can load and off-load passengers in the future.

Read the complete story.

Florida's Universities Expand Online Degrees

Non-traditional college students, especially those raising children or working fulltime jobs, are finding it easier and easier to complete online degrees, thanks to Florida colleges and universities finding innovative ways to increase access via online courses and degree completion.

Online higher ed may not be for everyone, but for those who need it, it can be the only means to degree attainment.

Read the complete story.

Florida Lawmakers Push New Online Degree Programs

Bills pending before the 2013 Florida Legislature would make it easier for Florida college students to complete degrees online.

The goal is to increase college attainment as well as improve access for busy students.

Read the complete story.

Wine By The Keg? How About An Intravenous Feed?

Seriously -- about the keg, not the feed -- wine by the keg is common in most other states; Florida would simply be catching up under a bill before the Legislature that would allow the sale of wine by the keg and on tap in restaurants.

If you've visited Napa Valley, Willamette Valley or other wine production valleys thoughout the states, you know wine is already being processed in mega stainless steel containers, which keep the flavors, freshness and consistency of taste much better than old wooden barrels and corks.

Read the complete story.


GED Exams Will Soon Be Offered Online

Floridians interested in taking the GED exam to qualify for better jobs and/or higher edcuation will soon be able to take the test online, making it a bit more costly but also potentially easier for those used to working and composing thoughts on computers.

The trend toward digial already is taking place across the nation and will be required by 2014.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Leads Florida In Job Creation

Florida's unemployment rate dropped in February with the Tampa Bay region leading the state in job creation.

Some 10,000 jobs were added in the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.


Ten Years Since Richard Florida Visited Tampa Bay

It's been 10 years since the Tampa Bay Partnership and local business leaders invited Economist Richard Florida to the Tampa Bay region to talk about his book, "The Rise of Creative Class.'' 

Since then, a variety business and economic groups have focused on attracting and retaining talent while encouraging creatives and innovators as key elements in the new economy.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Mayor Rallies Support For Economic Recovery

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn delivered a rousing speech touting the new economy, expanded mass transit and neighborhood improvements in his annual State of the City address.

Buckhorn chose to deliver his message to a standing room only crowd inside the historic but vacant Kress building in downtown Tampa to encourage urban reuse and rebuild of unused and underused properties.

Read the complete story.

Investors Buy Tampa Bay Homes To Use As Rentals

The mobility of Florida's workforce attracts all kinds of investors and the latest trend shows big-name investors from out of state spending billions of dollars on thousands of homes to turn them into rental properties.

The Tampa Bay Times takes a look at the extraordinary number of sales and what it means for access to housing in the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Couple Carry Out Vision For Riverwalk

Elizabeth and Roger Kurz are the long-time married couple behind the marketing of the Tampa Riverwalk. They produce a newsletter and seek donors as well as get the word out about activities that engage residents to enjoy the riverfront.

The Riveralk, having taken shape over more than 30 years of planning and slow progress, now regularly features concerts, art fairs, food fairs and outdoor activities popular with all kinds of people.

Read the complete story.


Planning For Improved Highway Safety, Tampa Bay

The Metropolitan Planning Organization examines the most crash-prone intersections and worst traffic congestion in the Tampa Bay region to plot strategy on making roads and highways safer.

A study makes recommendations like adding turn lanes and intentionally slowing traffic.

Read the complete story.

Seminole Heights Eyes Possible New Walmart

The popular Seminole Heights neighborhood may become home to Hillsborough County's newest Walmart. The corporate giant based in Arkansas is looking to expand in Florida.

Property being considered once housed a former Chevrolet dealership.

Read the complete story.

Apartment Building Boom Hits Tampa Bay

A mini construction boom is underway in Tampa Bay with the emergence of more than a dozen new apartment buildings rising in urban neighborhoods.

Downtown Tampa and Downtown St. Petersburg are seeing the most action as cranes return to dominate the city skylines.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Launches Bike Sharing Program

Picking a bicycle off a rack in downtown Tampa, riding it to your destination and leaving it for the next rider will soon be possible under a new bicycle sharing program.

The city has contracted with two companies to provide bikes in downtown.

Read the complete story.

Home Sales, Prices Up In Hillsborough County, Tampa

The market value of homes and property in Hillsborough County has increased about 3 percent so far in 2013, an upward trend that begins to reverse declines over the past five years.

Some neighborhoods are seeing double-digit increases while others remain flat.

Read the complete story.

Duckweed Urban Market Plans To Move, Grow

Duckweed Urban Market, downtown Tampa's popular independent grocery store, is negotiating a move into a larger space in the ground floor of the Element.

The move would enable an expansion of inventory while keeping the market within walking distance for city residents.

Read the complete story.

Channelside Attracts New Suitors, Downtown Tampa

The Liberty Group and Convergent Capital are expressing interest in renovating the Channelside development just east of the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa, according to a story in The Tampa Tribune.

The same investors are converting Mercantile Bank into an Aloft boutique hotel at the southwest corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Ashley Drive.

Read the complete story.

Demand For Rail In Tampa Up, Let's Plan For Future

Brookings Institution researchers cite increased rail ridership from Tampa to Miami and New York as evidence that a national plan for improving rail service between major cities is warranted.

The report found a ridership increase in Tampa of 368 percent over 15 years.

Read the complete story.

Tampa Bay Times: Calling For A Better Florida

Campaign finance and election reform are top priorities being pushed by the Tampa Bay Times editorial board in its annual legislative preview going into the March start of the Florida Legislature.

More transparency and less influence by monied interests are key starting points for financial and ethical reforms, the Times opines.

Read the complete editorial.

New Men At Helm Of Economic Development In Tampa Bay

It's taken about two years to get new men settled at the helms of some of the Tampa Bay region's top economic engines. The question now for some observers is whether they will stay.

The new guys in charge include Joe Lopano at Tampa International Airport, Rick Homans at the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development and Paul Anderson at the Tampa Port. A search has reopened for a new person to lead Tampa Bay & Co. after the abrupt departure of the last guy.

Read the complete story.


Bass Pro Shop Coming To Tampa Bay

Hillsborough County commissioners voted 6-1 to provide $6.25M in incentives to Bass Pro Shops to open a new sporting goods shop east of Tampa in Brandon.

The lopsided vote came after controversy over the kinds of new jobs being created whittled the incentive package by a couple million, which now may be funneled into support for startups and higher-paying jobs.

Read the complete story.

HART Plans New Smaller Buses, Quicker Trips

HART will launch a new MetroRapid bus service with smaller buses making quicker trips as part of its efforts to use advanced technology and more efficient transit while saving money on conventional buses.

The new service plans to launch in June and eventually will have 59 stations.

Read the complete story.

Cigar City Brewing Gets Its Props, Opening Brew Pub In NW Tampa

Bern's Steak House and Bern's Fine Wines in Tampa debut a limited edition "Legacy'' label from Cigar City Brewing shortly before the West Tampa brewery opens a new pub in Carrollwood.

A pioneer in local breweries, Cigar City owner Joey Redner also operates a small tavern serving Tony Jannus Pale Ale airside at favorite flyer Southwest Airlines.

Read the complete story.

Florida Trucking Shifts To Natural Gas, Tampa

The natural gas boom echoes in Florida with private companies and public providers converting trucks and other vehicles to natural gas because it's cheaper, more fuel efficient and burns cleaner than traditional fuels.

High gas prices and limited supplies help drive the shift to natural gas.

Read the complete story.

FirstWaVE Venture Center Takes Shape, Tampa

Tampa Bay startups are moving into new coworking space at Rivergate Tower as part of the FirstWaVe Venture Center funded with a $1M federal grant.

USF, Tampa Bay WaVe, Tampa Bay Technology Forum and the Tampa Bay Innovation Center are partnering on the project.

Read the complete story.

Demand For Fresh Eggs Behind Proposed City Ordinance Favoring Chickens In Tampa

The Tampa City Council is again considering allowing residents to keep chickens in their backyards.

The change is being sought by people interested in a fresh supply of eggs.

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Joins Tampa In Push For Recycling

The unincorporated parts of Hillsborough County -- everywhere except Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City -- are about to become part of a new effort to encourage recycling among residents who now through everything in the garbage.

The county will soon distribute two cans, one for waste / one for recycling, to each household, making it easier to sort and pickup waste. The long-term goal is for the investment to pay off in sales of recyclable material as well as reductions in garbage disposal.

Read the complete story.

Port Of Tampa Grows Container Traffic, Shipping

New business -- including the increase shipment of aircraft parts -- will position the Port of Tampa as the gateway to South and Central America from the U.S. and Florida. At least that is the goal.

The growing Port is gaining recognition as a destination for containers as well as cargo.

Read the complete story.

Gates Grant Results In Hillsborough Get Mixed Reviews

Mid-way through implementing changes made possible by a $100 million Gates Initiative, the reviews are mixed for its effectiveness in improving education in the Hillsborough County school district.

Teachers, students and parents weigh in on Empowering Effective Teachers and what it means for kids.

Read the complete story.

Visit Florida: Tourism Leads Economic Recovery

Strong interest from Europeans, South Americans and Asians helped Florida remain one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world through the recent global recession.

Tourism prognasticators predict more than 100 million will visit the Sunshine State annually within a few years.

Read the complete story.

Schiller's In Tampa Fills Renovators' Needs

Schiller's Architectural and Design Salvage just west of downtown Tampa has become the go-to place for developers and designers looking for old furnnishings that make a place hip and cool.

Recent customers include the Oxford Exchange, Ella's restaurant and home renovators throughout the Tampa Bay region.

Read the complete story.

Home Prices Climb In Tampa Bay Region, Florida

Home sale prices in Florida, particularly in the Tampa Bay region, are on a steady tick upward after years caught in a downward spiral. Buyers are even finding themselves in bidding wars in certain trendy neighborhoods as the tide begins to turn in favor of the interests of sellers.

Despite the price climb, up some 7 percent overall from a year ago, the real estate market remains a buyers market in all but the most coveted parts of South Tampa and the rest of the Bay area.

Read the complete story.

Times Contest: Name Tampa Bay's Brand

Tampa Bay Times columnist Robert Trigaux asks readers to come up with a "brand'' for Tampa Bay.

The solicitation of new ideas piggybacks on a several regional efforts by consultants being paid big bucks to do the same.

Read the complete story.

New, New Urbanism: Tactical Design, Incremental Change

The theory behind the new, new urbanism is to do more with less by investing in long-term change through short-term incremental changes. One shop, one street, one block at a time to create urban economic success.

At the Helm of the Urban Realm: An Urban Design Blog documents and inspires urban change post-recession.

Read the complete story.

FirstWaVE Accelerator Solicits Applications, Tampa

Tampa Bay WaVE, the technology incubator in downtown Tampa, is seeking applications to participate in its FirstWaVE of entrepreneurs using shared coworking space in Rivergate Tower.

The deadline to apply for the first round is February 1, 2013.

Read the complete story.

New Riverfront Apartments To Rise, Downtown Tampa

The Intown/ Framework Group, the developers of Skypoint and The Element in downtown Tampa, plan to build another highrise apartment building on the riverfront near the Straz Center.

The apartments will be marketed to young professionals, University of Tampa students and other workers in downtown Tampa.

Read the complete story.

Economist: Best Stadium Site For Rays? Downtown Tampa

It makes economic sense for all involved to help the Tampa Bay Rays move from downtown St. Petersburg to downtown Tampa, says a Smith College professor who specializes in sports economics.

The city of St. Pete could use the property and payments from the Rays to develop more lucrative uses for the land now occupied by Tropicana Field and fan support likely would be better in downtown Tampa, says Andrew Zimbalist.

Read the complete story.

Tampa's New Brand: "Seize Life Daily''?!?

The phrase "Tampa Bay: Seize Life Daily'' or something close to it appears to be the leading contender to becoming the new "brand'' for Tampa, say convention and tourism officials in talking about the more than $200,000 they've already spent trying to decide how to better market the city and surrounding communities.

The new slogan, the apparent outcome of the creative minds at Spark marketing of Tampa, is being floated around town to community and business leaders.

Read the complete story.




Top Cargo Shipper Heads To Tampa Port

Mediterranean Shipping Co. of Switzerland, one of the world's largest shipping companies, joins Zim Integrated Shipping Services of Israel in working a deal with the Tampa Port Authority to ship goods into and out of Tampa. 

The deal could significantly boost the amount of cargo that comes and goes through Tampa.

Read the complete story.

I-4/Expressway Connector Progresses Slowly, Tampa

Commuters along the Crosstown Expressway east of Tampa watch the mishmash of connecting lanes and bridges change slowly, much like the unfolding of the road engineering feat completed south of Tampa International Airport.

The multitier connector linking Interstate 4 to downtown and the Tampa Port is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013, nearly six months behind the original schedule.

Read the complete story.

New Leader At Tampa General Hospital

Tampa General's new CEO sits down with a Tampa Tribune reporter to talk about priorities for the Tampa Bay region's top hospital and what he sees in its future.

Improving and increasing TGH's relationship with USF is key.

Read the complete story.

Tampa's Downtown Adds Free WiFi In Popular Spaces

The city of Tampa aims to expand its network of free WiFi to include public parks and popular gathering spots that have been dead zones in the past.

The move is aimed at young professionals and freelancers who work from home and WiFi cafes, where access to the Internet is already free.

Read the complete story.

Smart Cans Among Innovations For Tampa's Recycling Program

New giant green recylcing bins on wheels, "smart'' cans that can measure how much you recycle and new fuel-efficient trucks that run on natural gas are among the green updates taking place in the trash hauling business for the city of Tampa.

Tonja Brickhouse, chief of the city's trash hauling department, is implementing newer equipment and processes designed to generate more revenue while encouraging recycling. 

Read the complete story.

Hillsborough Fireman Designs Homes For Veterans

A Hillsborough County firefighter who always wanted to be an architect and once studied to design homes is now acting as a volunteer in designing homes for disabled veterans returning home from war duty.

Kelly Hallman gets joy and satisfaction for his efforts. The veterans get drawings that can be converted into homes.

Read the complete story.

Moving To Florida: More In Than Out In 2012

The numbers are adding up to show a return to the traditional trend of more people moving to Florida than out of the "Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams.''

Despite a slowdown during the recession, population growth in Florida continues. The U.S. Census projects the population of Florida soon will surpass New York state, meaning only California and Texas have more people.

Read the complete story.

Four New Hotels Planned In Downtown Tampa

Plans call for one brand new hotel and three renovations of stately architecturally significant buildings into boutique hotels in downtown Tampa.

Demand is driving the interest in more hotel beds as conventions book and tourism increases.

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Florida's Kids Read, Test Best In World

Florida's fourth- and eighth-graders read and compehend as well as any kids in the world, according to the latest global test scores.

Only Hong Kong kids scored slightly better, but the difference is statistically insignificant.

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Editorial: Time For Transit Merger, Tampa Bay

Hillsborough and Pinellas taxpayers and transit users stand to gain by combining public transportation systems in both west central Florida counties.

The Tampa Times editorializes for a merger.

Read the complete editorial.

Ringling Circus Moves To Ellenton, Manatee

The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus is moving its winter home from the Florida State Fairgrounds east of Tampa to a new 47-acre site near Ellenton, best known for discount shopping east of Bradenton in Manatee County.

The move will allow better access to rail transportation and larger rehearsal space.

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Beef "O'' Brady's Opens Restaurant In China

The Tampa-based restaurant chain Beef "O'' Brady's, a favorite among Little League and other youth sports teams, is opening its first restaurant in China.

The new restaurant will be in Mongolia and offer much of the same fare, including hamburgers and chicken wings.

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New Express Buses Between TIA, Downtown Tampa?

Why not create an express bus service connecting Tampa International Airport with downtown Tampa?

That's the question posed by TIA Executive Director Joe Lopano to HART's board recently.

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TIA Looks To Expand, Add Global Airside

Another airside and additional space would be built out at Tampa International Airport to meet growing demand, particularly as international flights are added, under the new master plan.

TIA, or TPA to travelers, is already considerd one of the most accessible, most convenient in the world.

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Moving To Tampa Bay: Top Choice To Live, Work, Play

Only Dallas, Miami and Austin top Tampa Bay as the top destination for people on the move.

A Forbes report tracks where Americans are moving for jobs and opportunities.

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Tampa Bay Lightning, MOSI Talk Science Behind Ice

PNC Financial Services, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Museum of Science & Industry Tampa have teamed up to create a new exhibit featuring the science of ice and all that surrounds it.

The exhibit is designed to attract children and families to learning about STEM subjects science, technology, engineering and math.

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CAMLS Goes Global To Train Physicians

The new Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa is designed to attract physicians and other medical personnel from across the globe for specialized training.

Rooms inside can simulate every condition from a baby's nursery to the front lines of war.

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Florida Springs Suffer Despite Efforts To Save Them

A program put in place by former Gov. Jeb Bush was designed to save Florida's freshwater springs, but Gov. Rick Scott disbanded the program.

The lack of effort has caused a regression that threatens many of the state's natural springs.

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Baseball Task Force: Tampa Bay Can Afford New Stadium

A combination of pubic and private dollars could make a new baseball stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays feasible and affordable.

A task force assigned to study the options returns with its report.

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3 Companies Bid On Bike-Sharing Program In Tampa

Three companies that operate bike-sharing programs in cities around the nation are bidding on a chance to provide a similar service in downtown Tampa.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has been exploring the addition to transportation.

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New Economic Development Leaders At Helm In Tampa Bay

Recent departures and new hires at the top of leading economic development, airport and port facilities in Tampa and Hillsborough County could mean a new direction and new energy when it comes to job creation and economic gains.

The Tampa Bay region is poised to seize the day with just a few more good hires.

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Patel Family Compound Grows In Tampa

Dr. Kiran Patel talks with the Tampa Bay Times about growth of his family's new family residential compound and his work ethic.

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Tampa Home Sales Up, Prices Up Too

Home sales are up in Tampa and Hillsborough County as demand increases and supplies decrease.

Prices for homes are also on the rebound along with the local economy.

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TPD Video Of Dancing Police Goes Viral

Tampa police officers get down to dancing and lipsyncing a popular tune in a new video that goes viral after the department posts it on YouTube.

The video shows officers on the streets, on boats and behind desks -- in uniform and out -- just grooving to the music. It's all in an effort to reach youngsters with positive messaging about seeing the police as approachable and accessible.

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Year-Long Cultural Exchange With Cuba, U.S. Kicks Off

This week's concert by the National Symphony Orchestra in St. Petersburg showcases the Tampa Bay region's deep ties to the island nation.

The "Tribute to Ernesto Lecuona,'' drawn from songs by the composer, will be performed by the Cuban orchestra as part of a year-long cultural exchange between Cuba and the U.S.

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Post SoHo Square Apartments In Works, Tampa

The Post SoHo Project apartment complex is back on track to be developed and open for rent by 2014. The Atlanta developers, Post Properites, say the local economy and demand for apartments can once again sustain the project.

The project is in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Tampa.

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Public High Schools Train Budding Chefs, Tampa Bay

High school students in Tampa Bay who aim to become among the world's best chefs can get training and experience cooking and serving a captive audience.

Culinary classes at public high schools in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties are leading the way.

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Big City Events: Taking Tampa Events Up A Notch

The next unusual event in downtown Tampa may find you smacking a golf ball through city streets. That's the fun idea behind "Tampa Tee Off,'' a Big City Event planned for December.

The organizer, Monica Varner, is making a reputation for doing events that are bigger than most others. Many, like the one on December 14, are deisgned to benefit charities.

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A Bigger Tent: Tampa Chamber Leaders Look Beyond Borders

A big picture approach with broad ramifcations for the Tampa Bay region and the new economy shape the visionary scope of new volunteer leadership at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Greg Celestan, an entrepreneur with military experience, who grew his own startup into a major employer takes over as chairman in the 2013.

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Prepare To Stop: Southbound I-275 Under Construction

The Florida Department of Transporation will be widening and redoing the southbound lanes of I-275 through Tampa for the next two years.

Commuters now enjoy the wider roads made possible by a similar long-term slowdown while FDOT fixed the northbound lanes from 2007 till 2010.

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Tampa Bay Hospitals Top Picks For Consumers

Tampa General Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System and Lakeland Regional Medical Center are winners in the annual Consumer Choice Awards conducted by the National Research Corporation.

The NRC surveys more than 250,000 households representing over 450,000 consumers in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia to pick the winners.

Read the complete report.



Developer Proposes Apartments On River, Downtown Tampa

The developers of Skypoint and the Element in downtown Tampa want to build another apartment tower on the Hillsborough River next to the Straz Center.

Greg Minder of the Intown Group and Phillip Smith of the Framework Group are talking with the Tampa mayor's office about possibly buying city property near the public library and Poe Garage. Critics raise concerns about removing public property from the riverfront and blocking the view of the water for other downtown dwellers.

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ConAgra Move Would Open Downtown Tampa For Building Growth

City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and Tampa Port officials are working together to try to find a suitable new home for the ConAgra flour mill that has long lived in downtown Tampa but now seems out of place.

Mill officials say they are open to moving closer to shipping opportunities, perhaps onto land the Port owns in south Hillsborough, which would free up just under 4 acres for development. Many speculate that the land could be parceled together with property Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is already buying and could become the future home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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USF Ranks In Top 10 For Patents Awarded

The University of South Florida is establishing a reputation for research and innovation.

The award of 86 patents in 2011 ranks USF 10th among colleges and 281st among all entities in the top 300, which includes hundreds of companies. 

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West Tampa Armory Morphs Into Event, Health Center

The Tampa Jewish Community Center and Federation says it is working to create an events center fit for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, private parties, banquets and corporate gatherings inside the historic Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in West Tampa.

Planners are also working with USF Health and Tampa General to provide health services at a clinic inside the Armory.

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Popular Tampa Theatre Seeks $150,000 To Go Digital

Tampa Theatre is launching a $150,000 fund-raising campaign to replace old reel-to-reel films with digital audio and video equipment in its projection room.

Time, lighting and heat have taken their toll on reels and antique equipment now used.

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Tampa Bay Rays Want To Look In Tampa For New Stadium Site

The Tampa Bay Rays, suffering financially from some of the poorest attendance in Major League Baseball, are seeking permission to look outside Pinellas County and St. Petersburg for a new stadium.

The Rays are widely thought to desire a place in downtown Tampa, but need out of their long-term contract in St. Pete to make it happen.

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Shaping What's Next For Cruise Biz In Tampa Bay

The future of the cruiseship industry in Florida is at stake as officials in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties look for solutions to where to dock megaships that are too big to pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge into Tampa Bay and the Tampa Port.

The alternative: Compete only for smaller ships that hold fewer passengers.

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Next Gen FAA System Eyes TIA Flights

A new high-tech system could make flights into and out of Tampa International Aiport more efficient and thus reducing time spent in the air for passengers and crews.

The NextGen system called "Metroplex Initiative'' is part of the FAA's efforts to improve safety and efficiency in multiairport markets.

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CA Investment Firm Buys The Tampa Tribune

LA-based Revolution Capital Group paid $9.5 million for The Tampa Tribune, the largest Florida newspaper owned by Media General. MG's other publications and TV stations were sold to Berkshire Hathaway earlier in 2012.

What's next for the Trib? The journalism industry reacts.

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Read more from media critic Eric Deggans' blog.

Moving To Tampa: Manufacturer Cites Talent As Key Attractor

Heat Pipe Technology, a manufacturing firm owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is moving to Tampa.

Company officials plan to relocate 15 employees, add 15 jobs and grow to employ 100.

Read the complete story.