North Pinellas business digest for Dec. 1

Business digest

PODS Enterprises has moved most of its headquarters functions to the Feather Sound Corporate Center, 13535 Feather Sound Drive, to make room for more associates and business expansion.

To mark its expansion and move into a new corporate headquarters, the moving and storage company celebrated with a ribbon-cutting Nov. 20 at the new facility. It was attended by John Koch, president and CEO of PODS, as well as business and community leaders.

The company expects to add another 40 full-time positions over the next three years.

Founded in Florida in 1998, PODS currently provides moving and storage services to more than 250 million consumers and businesses in 46 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom through its company-owned and independent franchise network.

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Tropical Smoothie Cafe hosted a grand opening celebration Nov. 23 at its new location on the boardwalk in Countryside Centre, 2543-4 Countryside Blvd., Clearwater.

Customers enjoyed free smoothie samples all day in addition to reduced-price food and drinks, face painting, balloon artists and other activities. A portion of the proceeds from the grand opening was donated to the "Mr. Strong Foundation," a local charity that helps raise funds for special-needs children.

"We are thrilled to open our hearts to such a wonderful cause in our community and look forward to working with 'Mr. Strong' on other fundraising events throughout the year," said co-owner Andy Tess.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe offers diners a variety of fruit smoothies, specialty wraps, grilled flatbread and gourmet sandwiches and salads made to order with fresh ingredients. The eatery includes dine-in, take-out and catering menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Colliers International Tampa Bay has closed on the sale of a 37,970-square-foot multi-tenant office property at 2494 Bayshore Blvd. in Dunedin for $1 million.

Melanie Jackson, senior associate of office services for Colliers, represented the seller, First States Investors HFS, L.P.

Auction.com was utilized to sell the property.

The buyer was 2494 Bayshore Boulevard LLC. The building had an occupancy rate of 27 percent at the time of the sale, with plans to renovate and to lease out the space for both retail and office use.

"This value-add property provides unlimited potential opportunities," said Jackson. "While there is a high level of vacancy, the buyer purchased the property with plans to conduct a major facelift to the building and improve occupancy."

The property, which has Wells Fargo as a tenant, is located on the southwest corner of Curlew Road and Alt. U.S. 19, near a Walgreens and a newly remodeled shopping center that is owned and occupied by Publix.

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The Clearwater firm of BaskinFleece Attorneys At Law recently announced several awards and distinctions for 2013.

Partner Hamden H. Baskin III is the recipient of this year's Richard T. Earle Jr. Professionalism Award, given annually by the Barney Masterson Inn of Court to the lawyer who demonstrates the highest degree of professionalism in the practice of law. To earn the distinction, Baskin received the greatest number of votes in a polling of the judiciary of Pinellas County.

Baskin was also selected as a fellow for the Litigation Counsel of America, a selective trial lawyer honor society composed of less than one-half of 1 percent of American lawyers, joining BaskinFleece partner Joseph "Jay" W. Fleece III. Fellows are selected based on ethical reputation and effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Attorney Colleen A. Carson was elected president of the Pinellas Estate Planning Council for 2014 and will begin her term in January. The council is an interdisciplinary organization for professionals involved in estate planning, designed to foster understanding and cooperation between all parties.

The Clearwater law firm, located in Feather Sound Corporate Center II at 13535 Feather Sound Drive, Suite 200, was also named one of the Best Law Firms in US News & World Report's 2014 rankings, receiving a tier two distinction for the Tampa metro area in the field of trusts and estates litigation. Selection is based on lawyer and client evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys, and review of additional information provided by the law firm.

To be eligible, firms must also have at least one lawyer listed in the 19th edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Established in 2004, BaskinFleece Attorneys At Law is a trusts and estates firm handling trust, probate and guardianship litigation cases from the pre-suit stages through trial and at the appellate level.

Mail business news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

North Pinellas business digest for Dec. 1 11/29/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 29, 2013 3:09pm]

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