Saturday, November 18, 2017
Business

Retired Jabil Circuit head's new job: high-end landlord

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Three months after stepping down as chief executive of electronic powerhouse Jabil Circuit, Tim Main is trying out a much more low-tech vocation: landlord.

This month, Main and his wife, Donna, have spent more than $4 million buying seven high-end homes and condos in or near St. Petersburg's Old Northeast neighborhood, all in the hopes of renting them out for thousands of dollars a month.

Main, 55, called his "little family business" a "distraction" after 12 years as head honcho of the St. Petersburg-based tech manufacturer, which earned $17 billion last year worldwide.

"Something for the college kids to work on in the summertime," said Main, a father of seven children and former boss of 121,000 employees.

But Main's new venture, Main Real Estate Holdings, is far from a lemonade stand. In one day this month, the Mains spent nearly $900,000 buying two downtown condos, including a $595,000 "city home" at 400 Beach Drive. In the next week, they bought five more homes in the Old Northeast for nearly $3.5 million.

Among them: a $615,000 Craftsman-style home with a wrap-around porch, a sky blue Folk Victorian with four bathrooms bought for $650,000, and a palatial pink estate built in the 1920s and bought for $775,000. In the coming weeks, he plans to buy a few more.

Renting them won't come cheap. The least expensive, a Walker Whitney Plaza condo, will cost tenants $2,500 a month. Most others, all unfurnished, will hew closer to $5,000 a month.

Main's new project sounds a lot like the business model of massive Wall Street outfits like the Blackstone Group, which have invested billions of dollars nationwide on buying, fixing and renting out homes.

But while those firms have catered to renters turned off by homeownership or turned out by foreclosure, Main is focusing on executives, physicians and professionals looking for a nice neighborhood for their families — and willing to spend a pretty penny to get it.

Main won't say how he's funding his investment. But company reports show he earned $29.3 million over the last three years, including $9.2 million last year.

The Mains live nearby in a 9,000-square-foot Mediterranean mansion on Snell Isle's Brightwaters Boulevard, which they bought in 2006, near the peak of the market, for $5.3 million. Last year, the late $65,000 tax bill for that home was the second biggest in Pinellas County; Main called it an oversight and quickly paid it off.

Earlier this year, Main told the Tampa Bay Times he planned to spend retirement playing guitar and golf, relaxing at the family's summer home in Michigan, and dodging the kinds of bad investments he had seen burn retired executives before.

But while he believed real estate now was a good bet, he said he underestimated just how much work there was in fixing up and managing homes.

"If I could unwind some of it, I would, to be honest with you," Main said. "I'm hoping the frenetic pace of renting these things out will get back to a low noise level soon, so I can get back to my retirement."

Times staff writer Jeff Harrington contributed to this report. Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 893-8252 or [email protected]

     
Comments

Parents, children welcome downsized MOSI in Tampa

TAMPA — Avery, 6, slid his sneakers up the side of 200-pound rubber tire from the space shuttle Columbia and sat on top.His father, Ilder Jeannot, called for him to get off of it — usually climbing on museum displays is frowned upon. But in the new M...
Published: 11/18/17
Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Sunday Conversation: Tona Bell invites customers to enjoy a ‘digital detox’

Like so many small businesses, Saturday will represent a special day for Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell. Bell’s cozy bungalow business at 211 S Howard features paper and stationery, specialty pens, vintage typewriters and crafts classes. It will offe...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

Florida jobs recover from Irma, unemployment rate drops

As economists predicted, the tough hit that Florida jobs took from Hurricane Irma was not long-lived. The state added 125,300 jobs in October, almost breaking even from the 127,400 jobs it lost in September. According to state figures released Friday...
Published: 11/17/17
Apple will postpone release of  HomePod

Apple will postpone release of HomePod

The Washington PostApple said Friday that it’s pushing back its plans for a Siri-powered smart speaker until sometime early next year.The HomePod speaker was announced in June, with an initial launch date set for December. Apple said that its smart s...
Published: 11/17/17
HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

HSN, Good Housekeeping pick five contest finalists

ST. PETERSBURG — Good Housekeeping and St. Petersburg-based HSN have chosen five finalists for their entrepreneur competition. The partners are searching for a novel item to promote as endorsed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, denoting reliability and ...
Published: 11/17/17
Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? Disconnected we falter but there’s a plan to fix that

How are we doing?That was the Big Question posed more than once this past week in Tampa Bay. First, the Tampa Bay Partnership and USF debuted in-depth and new ways to measure Tampa Bay across a wide range of indicators to gauge whether we are gaining...
Published: 11/17/17
Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

Tesla’s latest creation: An electric big rig that can travel 500 miles on a single charge

The main course was expected: a pair of sleek silver Tesla semi-trucks that get 500 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and — if the hype is to be believed — promise to single-handedly transform the commercial trucking industry.B...
Published: 11/17/17
We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

We ask Tampa Bay startup leaders how best to advance entrepreneurial ecosystem

What one thing could be added to the Tampa Bay startup community to help it grow and prosper?The Tampa Bay Times reached out to these leading area entrepreneurs and startup experts for answers.RELATED COVERAGE: Trigaux: State of Tampa Bay startups? D...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

Electric, autonomous vehicles featured at Tampa auto show

TAMPA — The two biggest trends in the automotive space are ones you’ve likely heard of: electric vehicles and autonomous cars. Both will feature prominently at the Tampa Bay International Auto Show today through Sunday. The event at the ...
Published: 11/17/17