TAMPA — The bay area faces three options that will decide the fate of its cruise ship industry: raise the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to allow megacruise ships of the future to pass beneath; build a new cruise terminal west of the bridge for megaships without having them go under the bridge; or do nothing and watch Tampa lose its cruise ship business to ports in New Orleans, Galveston, Houston and Mobile....
TAMPA — A Texas firm will design and build the first, nearly $1 billion, phase of Tampa International Airport's master plan for expansion.
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority unanimously voted Thursday to hire Austin Commercial, which will oversee the design and construction of the airport's new consolidated rental facility and automated people mover.
Airport staff ranked the company first out of eight firms that applied for the job. Austin touted its experience designing dozens of consolidated car rental (ConRAC) and automated people mover facilities for airports across the country....
TAMPA — Construction of a new $120 million oil recycling plant at the Port of Tampa was suddenly halted last month because "the costs estimated for plant completion have increased to more than 100 (percent)," according to a company statement.
NexLube Tampa LLC also said in the Nov. 22 media release that it temporarily suspended construction to "evaluate its options due to the substantial increase in projected costs."...
TAMPA — Construction of one of the most important projects at the Port of Tampa is on hold because of financial problems with the $120 million oil recycling facility, port officials said Tuesday.
In 2012, NexLube Tampa LLC signed a 20-year lease with the port authority and started building the 54,400-square-foot processing plant and 9,200-square-foot office building on 12.3 acres at the port's Pendola Point....
TAMPA — Remember the Tampa Port Authority's deal to buy Channelside Bay Plaza? It's still on — and it's still delayed.
The sale of the downtown Tampa retail center has been put off for two months and three weeks now. But the port's chief legal officer, Charles Klug, said Monday that all indications are that the purchase will be finalized — eventually.
The process, though, has dragged on for so long now that the original sale agreement for the port to buy Channelside from the Irish Bank Resolution Corp. expired on Nov. 30. But Klug said that both sides agreed to extend the purchase agreement until the sale is finished....
ST. PETERSBURG — As his last days in office tick away, Mayor Bill Foster on Thursday issued his most pessimistic declaration yet on the future of the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg and the Pinellas peninsula.
"I don't think there's anything in the equation that causes Major League Baseball to want to stay in Pinellas County," Foster said.
The outgoing mayor also was negative about the future of Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region — especially Tampa, where Mayor Bob Buckhorn has made it no secret that he covets the team if the Rays somehow negotiate an exit from the contract binding them to Tropicana Field....
TAMPA — Tampa International Airport is poised to undergo its most radical changes and extensive construction since the main terminal opened in 1971.
A new $2.5 billion master plan will prepare the airport to handle more passengers, more flights and more traffic for the next two decades.
Airport officials Thursday unveiled how they will pay for that. But they also revealed another plan, and another price tag:...
TAMPA — The auto manufacturing industry is rapidly expanding in Mexico, and the Port of Tampa wants to get in on the action.
That's why the Tampa Port Authority hosted its first Tampa Automotive Short Sea Summit this week, bringing together representatives from the major auto manufacturers, auto parts companies and shipping companies to discuss how Tampa could become a destination for this lucrative four-wheeled cargo....
11/18/13 Real Estate
TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's Channel District empire continues to grow.
Partnerships tied to the Tampa Bay Lightning owner recently paid $10 million to buy 3 acres of empty downtown real estate across the street from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the home of Vinik's hockey team.
Last year, Vinik tried to add to his holdings by purchasing the lease to the Channelside Bay Plaza retail center — but backed off due to legal complications. That left his plans for the rest of his Channel District land holdings in doubt....
ST. PETERSBURG — The tourism agency Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has found a new way to market the Pinellas beaches: in grocery store refrigerators.
This winter, tourism officials will team up with Florida's Natural orange juice to put an ad touting the Pinellas beaches on the side of 12 million cartons of OJ.
"It's 12 million media impressions in every grocery store across the country," said D.T. Minich, the tourism agency's executive director....
TAMPA — One of the bay area's most promising energy companies has become embroiled in an ugly split with the founding engineer who helped bring NexLube Tampa here.
Enzio D'Angelo, 58, the former chief operating officer of NexLube Tampa, filed suit Tuesday against the company in Hillsborough County circuit court. He alleged that NexLube Tampa intentionally pushed him out of the company, broke its contracts with him and cheated him out of compensation and a share of the company. He was suspended on Aug. 20, banned from the premises and then fired on Sept. 16, according to the lawsuit....
Pinellas County's sugar-sand beaches have never been so popular — or so lucrative.
The county's unprecedented tourism boom has resulted in another bed tax record: Pinellas collected $31 million in fiscal year 2013, according to the county's tax collector office.
The tax is a 5 percent surcharge tacked onto the bill of every accommodation rented for less than six months. It funds tourism marketing, beach restoration and other projects. The $31 million is an 8 percent increase from the $28.7 million collected in fiscal year 2012....
TAMPA — The Port of Tampa is the region's gas station.
It is the primary supplier of the gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and oil that keeps 9 million people from Tampa Bay to Orlando to Naples on the move. The region is dependent on that gas station — but the infrastructure is 45 years old.
It needs to be replaced, and on Wednesday the Tampa Port Authority unveiled its successor: a new $56 million petroleum terminal complex that will keep the region's cars and planes fueled for decades to come....
TAMPA — Whoops.
Four days after the Tampa Port Authority sent out a news release announcing that German cruise line AIDA would make Tampa its newest home port and offer winter cruises for the next two seasons, the authority sent out a head-scratching correction:
Tampa will be a port of call for AIDA Cruises — not a home port.
That means the cruises will only stop in Tampa for the day, not originate from the port....
10/28/13 Local Government
TAMPA — This could be the start of a beautiful trade relationship.
But it's just the start, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn emphasized Monday as the region's economic development elite gathered to tout their recent business development and trade mission to one of the world's powerhouse economies, Brazil.
Last week, the 48-member delegation spent five days meeting with counterparts in the worlds of academia, business, politics, research, tourism and trade in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Porto Alegre, Tampa's new sister city....