Make us your home page

Defunct steel firm ordered to repay $500,000 to Tampa nonprofit group

TAMPA — A judge has ordered a defunct Tampa business to pay more than $663,000 to a nonprofit group that lent its owners money to launch their operation.

The final judgment against Renaissance Steel and Renaissance Technologies came last month.

Company principals are scheduled to provide information on their ability to repay the money to the nonprofit Corporation to Develop Communities of Tampa in a deposition set for Tuesday.

The group, whose mission is to fuel economic growth in East Tampa, received a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2005.

The nonprofit group then lent $500,000 to Renaissance Steel, a company whose investors included developers Bill Bishop and Bing Kearney and Lazydays RV Super Center founder Don Wallace. Investors put up $2.1 million to get the business started. The nonprofit agency contributed almost $300,000 in in-kind services.

In exchange, Renaissance promised to create manufacturing jobs in East Tampa. Renaissance Steel agreed to pay the money back over 13 years at 6 percent interest.

But the company folded in 2007, leaving a long list of debtors. Many of those cases were settled.

The agency took Renaissance to court to recover its money.

The company was ordered to pay back the $500,000 plus $163,973 in interest and legal fees.

The court identifies Bishop, who helped build FishHawk Ranch and Westchase, as the registered agent of both companies.

He left Tampa last year and enrolled in a master's program at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Frank Sanchez, a onetime candidate for Tampa mayor, was last at the helm of Renaissance Steel. He could not be reached for comment. Sanchez has been nominated as undersecretary of commerce for international trade in the Obama administration. He is awaiting final congressional confirmation to the post. Sanchez was a special assistant to the president in the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas under President Bill Clinton.

Janet Zink can be reached at or (813) 226-3401.

Defunct steel firm ordered to repay $500,000 to Tampa nonprofit group 08/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.