Southwest Florida Roundup
Red Apple Real Estate of New York plans to feature historic 1924 clock at Residences of 400 Central when condo tower opens by 2025
In 1924, First National Bank attached a four-sided, ornate clock to the outside of its downtown St. Petersburg building at the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue.
The clock would go on to outlast the bank, which was gone by 1930 due to the Great Depression. The clock even outlasted the building. In 1977, when the red brick structure was razed, the clock was salvaged, converted into a pedestal clock and installed at the same intersection.
“The history of St. Petersburg business and banking, especially during the spectacular growth of the 1920s, is an important story to tell,” says Rui Farias, executive director of the St. Petersburg Museum of History. “The clock was probably saved to honor its history.”
Today, the clock’s own history is repeating itself.
When the block where the clock stood since the 1970s was leveled to make way for the Residences of 400 Central — a 46-story condominium tower being developed by Red Apple Real Estate of New York — the clock was salvaged again and is now in the care of Tampa’s Boyd Clocks, which will repair and restore it. Red Apple plans to feature the clock when the condo tower opens by 2025.
“We look at this clock and see reflections of the charm and character of downtown St. Pete’s wonderful sidewalks and avenues,” says John Catsimatidis Sr., founder of Red Apple Real Estate. “We are making sure to bring in experts with vast experience so this clock can stand again in a special place beside the future tower.”
- E.M. Scott General Contractor, a 95-year-old, family-run construction business, is closing. The firm did much of its construction work in downtown Tampa and nearby Davis Islands.
- The Elevate Aerospace & Logistics Incubator has opened at Lakeland Linder International Airport. The facility offers support to entrepreneurs starting aviation businesses.
- Stryker, a Michigan medical device maker, plans to cut 88 jobs at its Lakeland office. It plans to close the Lakeland facility next year.
- George Makhoul is the new COO of HCA Florida St. Petersburg Hospital. Makhoul was most recently vice president of operations at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital.
- Construction in underway on a $71-million behavioral health center at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
- Tampa General Hospital performed its 1,500th adult heart transplant earlier this year. Its first heart transplant was performed in 1985. Meanwhile, the hospital’s $53-million central energy plant, which will make sure the 1,041-bed hospital doesn’t lose power during a major storm or other event, has opened.
- Atlanta-based nfant Labs, a medical device and digital health company focusing on premature babies, will open an office in Pasco County, where it plans to hire 10 production technicians.
- Tampa philanthropist Kiran Patel has sold his Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach hotel for $170 million to JEMB Realty, a New York investment firm. Patel will keep a partial stake in the 5-year-old waterfront resort. Pasco County raised its tourist tax from 4% to 5%. The tax generated $3.6 million last year.
- Insurance rating firm Demotech has withdrawn the financial stability rating it had issued for Tampa-based Lighthouse Property Insurance citing the company’s reduced capitalization after losses from Hurricane Ida. The withdrawal also follows a Lighthouse decision to stop writing policies in Florida. By the end of 2021, the property insurance carrier had 13,200 policies in Florida.
- Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties got an $11-million share of MacKenzie Scott’s $436-million donation to Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County got $7.5 million.
- North Carolina-based Crescent Communities plans to build Novel Beach Park, a 289-unit rental community in Tampa’s Westshore neighborhood. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed by fall 2023.
- Midtown East, a 16-story, 400,000-sq.-ft. office building, will be part of the Midtown Tampa mixed-use development. Construction, expected to start by the end of this year, should be completed by 2024.
- Avanade, which provides cloud and technology services to companies including Microsoft, will open an engineering hub in Tampa, where it plans to hire 500. The company, which employs 56,000 in 26 countries, opened an engineering hub earlier this year in Toronto.
- Tech company Fast, an online payment company, has shut down, despite raising more than $122 million from investors last year. The startup, which originated in San Francisco, moved to Tampa in 2021 and employed 350.
- Branch, a Minnesota-based financial services company that makes a payment app, will open an office in Tampa, where it plans to hire up to 30. It’ll be the company’s first office outside of Minneapolis. Companies including Uber Freight, Jimmy John's and Domino's use Branch’s app to pay employees.