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Breakfast to offer an inside look at plans for mall

Plans for redeveloping Clearwater Mall will be discussed at the "Annual Economic Development Review and Forecast" breakfast hosted by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and First Union National Bank.

The April 2 program at the Harborview Center in downtown Clearwater is a breakfast buffet from 7:30 to 8 a.m., followed by presentations by industry experts from 8 to 9:15 a.m.

Craig Sher, president and chief executive officer of the Sembler Co., will talk about his plans for the mall's redevelopment. Sher joined the company in 1984 and is responsible for leading the shopping center development and management firm.

Mark Vitner, vice president and senior economist at First Union/Wachovia Corp., will address such issues as whether we are still in a recession and how Wall Street is going to affect Main Street in the short and long term.

Vitner writes the Regional Economic Review and contributes to the Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, USA Today and the Maddux Report. He has been a guest on CNBC, CNN and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

The program is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 461-0011, ext. 234. Checks can be sent to the chamber at P.O. Box 2457, Clearwater, FL 33757, or dropped off at the chamber at 1130 Cleveland St.

Consultant joins Market Street

Mortgage banking industry consultant J. Stuart Platter has joined Market Street Mortgage as executive vice president and head of secondary marketing.

Platter worked for General Electric Credit Corp. from 1974 to 1983 as a vice president with responsibility for all the company's mortgage-related businesses. He founded Platter Capital Management, an investment advisory firm specializing in mortgage investments, in 1988.

The company's money management division acted as an investment adviser and portfolio manager in the field of fixed income investments for institutional investors, such as insurance companies and banks.

Platter is a 1974 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va.

Market Street Mortgage is based in Clearwater at 2650 McCormick Drive. Last year, the company closed $2.5-billion in mortgage loans in 33 states.

Watchmaker expands facility

Audemars Piguet, a Swiss watchmaker since 1875, has expanded its watch repair business and signed a long-term lease for 2,500 square feet of office space in the Espana Business Center on N Belcher Road, Clearwater.

Assets of mortgage service bought

First Horizon Home Loans, based in Irving, Texas, has purchased the assets of C&C Mortgage Services at 2051 West Bay Drive, Largo. Horizon's local branch now can originate, process, underwrite and close home loans.

Carla Creegan, manager of the local Horizon branch, said, "This new arrangement enables us to offer much more to our Realtor clients, plus value-added benefits to borrowers."

Nurse liaison joins Wright's center

Nancy Munoz has been hired by Wright's Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Largo as a nurse liaison. She worked as a critical care nurse for 20 years and has worked five years as a nurse liaison for skilled nursing facilities. She also will be working for Wright's sister facility, Grace Health Care of St. Petersburg.

She is a graduate of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, and has been a Pinellas County resident since 1986.

Prudential Tropical adds to division

Sean Ward has joined Prudential Tropical Realty's commercial services division in Clearwater. He will specialize in retail property sales and leasing. His background is in investment properties.

Prudential Tropical Realty, based in New Port Richey, has eight offices in the Tampa Bay area with more than 200 sales associates.

_ News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.