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WESTSHORE IN TAMPA TO GET MORE OFFICES

Tampa's Westshore already dominates the business scene with more than 11-million square feet of offices. Better beef that up another 5 percent. Philadelphia's Rubenstein Partners LP has announced plans for West View Corporate Center, 580,000 square feet of offices expected to hit the market in mid 2009. Rubenstein, together with Tampa's Christian Tyler Properties, will raze Executive Square Office Park to make way for the new multistory campus near the foot of Howard Frankland Bridge off Interstate 275. With office vacancies well below 10 percent, Westshore is attracting development, much of it adjoining Tampa International Airport.

Business owners, brace for wallop

Homeowners who have state-backed Citizens Property Insurance can count on their rates being frozen until 2009, but business owners aren't so lucky. When the Citizens board meets Thursday, it will consider raising its commercial windstorm rate an average of about 150 percent. On the positive side, those rates haven't gone up in 10 years, and many small business owners can't find any insurance in the private market. Citizens officials say rates should stabilize, though, because starting Sept. 1, Citizens will spread the risk by writing multiperil commercial policies away from the coast.

Eden Isle complex on auction block

Okay, Trump wannabes, here's your chance to get off the couch and show your developer chops. Pinellas County officials will be auctioning off Snell Isle Club, a 272-unit apartment complex on St. Petersburg's Eden Isle, on Aug. 14. The waterfront property is one of three that local developers John Loder and Stephen Spencer had planned to convert to condos before the housing glut hit, landing them in foreclosure proceedings. Better stop at the ATM first, though. It'll take at least $38-million to take possession, and the clerk's office doesn't accept credit cards.

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