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St. Petersburg businesses news and notes

ST. PETERSBURG

Vinoy Renaissance has new GM from Miami

Barbara Lippert Readey is the new general manager of the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club. She fills the vacancy left by Russ Bond, who held the post for 14 years, but moved to an Arizona Marriott in December. Lippert most recently was general manager of the Marriott Biscayne Bay in Miami. She has held 15 management positions with Marriott, including serving seven years at the company's headquarters.

In Search of Balance shifts to busier location

After almost seven years of living in the shadows of Beach Drive a few doors up on Third Avenue NE, In Search of Balance has moved to the Ovation building on Second Avenue NE.

"This new location puts us in the thoroughfare of Sundial and Beach Drive. It's exciting to see how far downtown St. Petersburg has come even in the seven years that we have had our business down here," said Julie Meyer, co-owner of the exercise and casual clothing and shoe store.

Downtown apartments now named Beacon 430

Cleveland developer NRP Group has changed the name of the apartment project it's building at 430 Third Ave. S from the Sol to Beacon 430. Some of the 326 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units, should be completed this summer, with all units expected to be done by early next year, said spokeswoman Diane Richey.

Mathnasium sets up shop on Fourth Street

Mathnasium, a new math tutoring company with a drop-in scheduling concept, recently opened at 3451 Fourth St. N. For a flat monthly fee, students in grades 2-12 can come in any day after school and on Saturday mornings for help in math without an appointment. This summer it will offer packages of 10 or 20 sessions to help students keep math fresh in their minds, said owner Erin Nobles. The center is a franchise of Los Angeles-based Mathnasium.

Plain Jane boutique fits near Grand Central

Plain Jane is a new boutique at 1104 Central Ave. that features hand-crafted products by artisans from throughout the country. Items include beach totes, individually forged charms, hand-dyed scarves and small-batch fragrances. Owner Karen Porterfield has worked as a creative director for Hallmark Cards and general manager for Crate & Barrel.

Deuces Sunday market returns to 22nd St. S

The Deuces Live Sunday Market will start April 6 at 22nd Street and Ninth Avenue S. The market will run from 1 to 6 p.m. with vendors selling baked goods, produce, fruit, flowers, plants, seafood, meats, art, fine crafts, gifts and more.

Hustle and bustle along Beach Drive

The Beach Drive shuffle is going on downtown.

Bruce Watters Jewelers will soon move to the Red Cloud Indian Arts space at 208 Beach Drive NE because Bella Brava is razing the jewelry store to build a gastropub. Red Cloud will move into the Trinity Gallery Art & Antiques space at 214 Beach Drive NE.

Trinity owner Allen Abrams is retiring but will continue to paint and market unique artist works on eBay.

Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer

St. Petersburg businesses news and notes 03/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 2:29pm]
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  1. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares by 20 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just then you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  2. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]
  3. Good news: Tampa Bay no longer a major foreclosure capital of the country

    Real Estate

    Once in the top five nationally for foreclosure filings, the Tampa Bay area no longer makes even the top 25.

    A few short years ago, Tampa Bay was a national hub for foreclosures. Not any more. [Getty Images/iStockphoto]
  4. Tampa-based start-up takes on Airbnb by promoting inclusion, diversity

    Tourism

    NEW TAMPA — Last May, Rohan Gilkes attempted to book a property in Idaho on the home-sharing platform Airbnb. After two failed attempts, the African-American entrepreneur asked a white friend to try, and she was "instantly" approved for the same property and dates.

    Rohan Gilkes poses for a portrait at his home and business headquarters in Tampa. 

Innclusive, a Tampa-based start-up, is a home-sharing platform that focuses on providing a positive traveling experience for minorities. Rohan Gilkes, the founder, said he created the organization after several negative experiences with Airbnb.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. McMansions, state sewage order on tap at St. Petersburg City Council

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The City Council is set Thursday to vote on two major issues: controversial zoning changes aimed at curbing big McMansion-style homes and a consent order with the state that will require St. Petersburg to fix its ailing sewage system.

    Two big, blocky homes on the 2300 block of Dartmouth, Ave N under construction in April. Several new homes under construction.
in St. Petersburg's Historic Kenwood Neighborhood are too big, residents complain. The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday is set to consider ordinances aimed at curbing the construction of big "McMansions." [LARA CERRI   |   Times]