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The Biz: Gas prices affect far-away homes, study says

Latest study adds fuel to home location argument

They're baaaack. Joe Cortright and Carol Coletta landed in the Tampa Bay area four years ago, shortly after regional economist Richard Florida introduced Tampa Bay to the idea that by becoming more tolerant and creative, the area would attract better jobs and smarter companies. It was urban consultant Coletta and regional economist Cortright who introduced us in 2004 to the study "The Young and the Restless: How Tampa Bay Competes For Talent," which warned we needed to become more creative to recruit and keep younger workers.

Cortright has a new analysis out called "Driven to the Brink" that suggests that in many metro areas, including Tampa Bay, rising gas prices increasingly hurt home prices the farther the houses are from the metro core. Case in point: The 33607 ZIP code in Tampa, just 3.7 miles from the central business district, suffered a housing price decline of 1.3 percent last year. But the suburban Ruskin ZIP code of 33573 experienced a 21.7 percent drop in housing values.

Cortright's study was done for a group called CEOs for Cities, which happens to be headed by Coletta. And Coletta happens to be keynote speaker Wednesday at the Tampa Downtown Partnership's 22nd annual meeting and luncheon at the Tampa Marriott Waterside.

The Donald back in the blues

What is it about Florida and Trump that brings out the worst in each other? Former Trump apprentice Richard T. Fields clashed with Trump over an ill-fated attempt to cut a deal with the Seminole tribe for a casino project in Florida. Fields pursued the deal with another partner, and Trump sued. That legal contest was recently resolved when Fields' company, Coastal Marina LLC, agreed to buy Trump Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City for the tidy sum of $316-million. Now comes Colonial Bank, whose 108-page foreclosure action in Hillsborough County seeks a return of more than $3.2-million in loans to the proposed-but-stalled 52-story, $225-million Trump Tower Tampa from local developer SimDag/RoBEL LLC. The long-planned tower's fate continues to drift.

From RayJay to hedge fund

Nobody can accuse Michael Krensavage of failing to put his money where his mouth is. He's so convinced drug stocks are a fabulous buy that he quit his job as an analyst at Raymond James & Associates this spring to launch a hedge fund. "Valuations for many of these names are the lowest they've been since at least 1990," he said. "It seems like investors may be assuming these companies are unable to produce any more drugs. Hopefully that's not the case." He says his success with New York City's Krensavage Asset Management will come down to how well he picks his stocks, the same task he had as an analyst. Krensavage, 40, has nothing but good things to say about his former St. Petersburg employer, which avoided the subprime debacle that ensnared Wall Street's high-flying brokerage firms. "The tortoise is passing the hare," he said. "I always said (RayJay chief) Tom James has a 'get rich slow' scheme."

For the love of heat and bugs?

Forest City Enterprises is transferring Greg Lenners from suburban Los Angeles to manage the Shops of Wiregrass, the Tampa Bay area's first full-blown outdoor lifestyle shopping center, which opens in Wesley Chapel in October. Including its three department stores, Wiregrass is strikingly similar to Forest City's Simi Valley Town Center that he manages. "The difference is there's a two-way street through the middle and from the air Wiregrass appears bent into a half-moon shape," he said. Lenners, 42, has no qualms about Florida. "The heat isn't worse than when I worked in Las Vegas" at the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian Resort, he said. "And I was born in Alaska, so I've seen big bugs."

Times Staff

The Biz: Gas prices affect far-away homes, study says 06/14/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 11:43am]
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