Southwest Florida Roundup
Tampa General Hospital's new organ donation equipment
Tampa General Hospital, which performed 585 organ transplants in 2019, has started using new equipment that enables donor hearts, lungs and livers to be transported at body temperature rather than chilled and transported in coolers. The new process, called normal temperature perfusion, keeps the organs functioning as if they were still inside a body.
“We can maintain the organs for longer periods, which means we can retrieve them from a wider geographic area,” says John Dunning, the hospital’s director of heart and lung transplantation. Compared to traditional cooling methods, he says, “the condition of the organs at the time of transplant is better.”
A $1.5-million sculpture composed of 84 miles of knotted-together twine is taking shape at St. Petersburg’s $92-million pier project, which is scheduled to open in phases starting this spring. The Janet Echelman sculpture, 76-feet high and 428 feet wide, was under construction but had to be removed for adjustments. Named “Bending Arc,” the work’s colorful netting is designed to billow in the breeze coming off Tampa Bay.
- Former Longboat Key Town Manager David Bullock has been appointed interim CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County. Mark Huey, the CEO since 2011, resigned last year.
- Culligan, a national water treatment company based in Chicago, bought AquaVenture Holdings of Tampa, which sells water filtration and desalination equipment, for $1.1 billion.
- An $18.2-million, 50,000-sq.-ft. recreation center at Florida Gulf Coast University is set to open next month.
- Timothy J. Adams is overseeing Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center following the abrupt resignations of Alan List, who had been CEO, and Thomas Sellers, Moffitt’s former director. The resignations followed an internal review of Moffitt’s research collaborations with researchers in China. The review found that List, Sellers and several other researchers had violated conflict of interest rules. H. Lee Moffitt, the cancer center’s founder, wrote in a guest column in the Tampa Bay Times that he was “sickened” by the investigation’s findings but that Moffitt has been “open and forthright” and “will continue to provide the best care available to our patients and stay true to our mission: To contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.”
- Allegiant Air’s Sunseeker Resort, under construction in Charlotte County, has pushed back its projected opening date, from late this year to spring 2021. The 500-room, 180-room resort, however, has already hired Kory Foltz as executive chef. Foltz has 25 years of restaurant experience, including stints at Hyatt Regency properties in Sarasota, Clearwater Beach, Tampa and Boston.
- Tampa-based Mosaic plans to cut production at its Central Florida factories by 25%, or about 150,000 tons of fertilizer a month.
- The former Sarasota High School building, an imposing, Gothic-style structure that has been vacant for more than 20 years, underwent a $30-million renovation and has been reopened as the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College. The museum features contemporary art.
- Miami-based developer Related Group, which completed a 15-story, 368-unit apartment building in St. Petersburg last year, has purchased a five-acre site along Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard, where it’s planning a condo project.
- Construction is underway on the Sur Club, a 296-unit apartment complex along I-275 in St. Petersburg.
- Naples-headquartered Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has a new CEO, Budge Huskey, who had been the firm’s president. He replaced Judy Green, who remains a shareholder.
- The Vue at Belleair, a 339-unit apartment complex, has sold for $78 million to Castle Lanterra Properties of New York. The seller was Flournoy Development of Georgia.
- Bradenton’s DeSoto Square, once the city’s premier mall, faces foreclosure as its owners announced a proposal to demolish much of the mall and build a mixed-use development in its place.
- Passenger traffic increased 42% last year at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, including a 52% boost in November 2019 compared to November 2018. Also, passenger traffic increased nearly 9% last year at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.
- Caspers Co., the franchise company that owns more than 50 Tampa Bay area McDonald’s restaurants, hired more than 500 employees in January.
- Kahwa Coffee Roasting Co., a retail and wholesale coffee company based in St. Petersburg, is looking to boost employment by 20. Kahwa has 15 locations from Tampa Bay to Sarasota.
Charles and Margery Barancik, who created the Sarasota-based Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation in 2014, died as a result of a car accident in December. He was 91, and she was 83. The couple, who split their time between homes in Longboat Key and Chicago, were generous givers, supporting a slew of beneficiaries in Southwest Florida, including Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, the Library Association for Sarasota County, Sarasota County schools, the Manatee Community Foundation, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the State College of Florida Foundation. The $100-million foundation will continue its philanthropic work, says Teri A. Hansen, its president and CEO.
Read more in Florida Trend's March issue.
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