Monday, June 18, 2018
Business

Beyond Tampa Bay:

THE NATION'S FARMERS planted the largest soybean crop ever this year by devoting to the crop millions of acres that once grew corn, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday. Farmers, mostly in the northern and central United States, planted 84.8 million acres of soybeans, nearly 11 percent more than last year's 76.5 million acres. Corn was planted on 91.6 million acres, nearly 4 percent less than last year's 95.4 million acres.

the number of signed contracts to buy homes shot up across the United States in May. But the pace of buying this year remains slower than in 2013, in part because of sluggish winter sales. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 6.1 percent to 103.9 last month. It was the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010. The index remains 5.2 percent below its level a year ago. Pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale. Lower mortgage rates and increased supplies of homes on the market drove much of the gains.

paint and coatings maker PPG Industries is buying Consorcio Comex SA de CV for $2.3 billion to help bolster its architectural coatings presence in Mexico and Central America. Comex makes coatings and related products in Mexico and sells them in Mexico and Central America. Pittsburgh-based PPG makes coatings, specialty materials and glass products. Privately held Comex, based in Mexico City, had 2013 sales of about $1 billion.



RETIREMENT PLANS covering roughly 1.5 million workers are severely underfunded, threatening benefit cuts for current and future retirees, a federal watchdog agency warned Monday. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation said multi-employer plans, which are collectively bargained retirement plans maintained by more than one employer, are most at risk. "Plan insolvencies ... are now both more likely and more imminent than in our last report," the report said. The agency also said single-employer pension plans — covering just over 30 million participants — are likely to remain firmer financial footing for at least the next 10 years.

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Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

The summer reprieve in gas prices is continuing.After flirting near the $3 mark, Tampa Bay gas prices fell another six cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $2.65 for unleaded, a wide gap with the national average of $2.91 a gallon, acco...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen is the second developer to see potential in the hospital site at the 2300 block of 9th Aven...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

SAN FRANCISCO - The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently, and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot mat...
Published: 06/16/18
Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

RIVERVIEW — The basic economic principle of supply and demand defines Riverview’s current struggle with commercial real estate.With a lack of available affordable commercial properties and a booming population, demand currently exceeds supply in Rive...
Updated: 4 hours ago
St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

ST. PETERSBURG — A house in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast is a finalist in HGTV’s Ultimate House Hunt contest. Built in 2007 in the Mission Revival style, the 4,000-square-foot home a block from Coffee Pot Bayou is among 12 nationwide in the "curb a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Whitted Airport wants to extend its main runway. But what would benefit the airport could also benefit the St. Pete Innovation District.Moving the runway would ease building restrictions around the airport, allowing the Univer...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18
Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Just when it seemed like Florida’s unemployment rate couldn’t get lower, it did. According to the state figures out Friday, Florida’s jobless rate dipped to a near 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May after holding steady at 3.9 percen...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Filling in a hole that was left by The Iron Yard’s exodus last year, a new computer coding school will open its doors to its first class in downtown St. Petersburg on July 23.The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild will operate thro...
Published: 06/15/18
Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates, has bought Aventine at Boyton Beach, a 216-unit apartment community, for $43 million.Aventine, garden-style apartments that are 95 percent occupied, will be renovated and renamed "Verona at Boynton Beach."It i...
Published: 06/15/18