Collier Ranks Among Florida Counties with Lowest Closing Costs

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TRUTH OF THE TARIFFS Conditioned Air’s
President and CEO Tim Dupre sees price
increases for materials used at the company
because of the trade war.

Need to catch up on business news in Southwest Florida? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily

Friday, Oct. 4


Collier County ranked No. 2 in SmartAsset’s 2019 Places With the Lowest Closing Costs in Florida. The study shows where closing costs are the lowest by measuring closing costs as a percentage of median home value at the county level. Collier County was listed as having an average closing cost of $7,595, median home value of $316,200, closing cost as a percentage of home value of 2.4%, and a Closing Costs Index of 76.81. The full study results, methodology and interactive map can be found here 

Conditioned Air CEO Tim Dupre

Thursday, Oct. 3


Conditioned Air and Honest Air Conditioning of Venice announced a partnership under which Honest Air will be acquired by Conditioned Air and operate as a division of the air-conditioning contracting and service firm. This merger expands Conditioned Air’s presence in Sarasota County and enables Honest Air Conditioning to provide enhanced products and services. Once the transaction is completed, Honest Air Conditioning will operate under its existing name as a division of Conditioned Air. A number of improvements also are in the works to allow the company to better serve customers, such as an updated dispatching/operating software program. Headquartered in Naples, Conditioned Air is currently the region’s largest air-conditioning contracting and service firm with a total of 390 employees serving Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties. The company expanded into Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties in 2011.

Ana Puszkin-Chevlin

Wednesday, Oct. 2


Ana Puszkin-Chevlin, Ph.D., a champion for sustainable policies, has been appointed as a regional director for a new community partnership addressing the region’s changing climate. “Growing Climate Solutions – Path to Positive Southwest Florida” will work to build a coalition of residents across key community sectors, including health, education, faith, business and the environment. The goal is to engage stakeholders through educational- and awareness-building efforts, and to provide research and information that will lead to local climate solutions to sustain our communities and make them more resilient. The initiative is a partnership between the Community Foundation of Collier County, Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Florida Gulf Coast University and Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Puszkin-Chevlin previously was the sustainability officer for the City of Delray Beach. Her 30-year career also includes positions with Karoff Consulting, Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Urban & Environmental Solutions, Columbia University, and Health Sciences Consultant Group.

Hampton Inn Fort Myers Hotel Rendering Credit: Hos Management/HBH FTM HOTEL LLC

Tuesday, Oct. 1


Hampton Inn by Hilton Fort Myers, a four-story, 118-room hotel to be built in the downtown redevelopment area, was approved for a tax increment rebate of $1.9 million at the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board of Commissioners meeting on Sept. 25. Developers Hos Management/HBH FTM HOTEL LLC will build the Hampton Inn by Hilton Fort Myers at 2017 McGregor Blvd., a building site they already own. The project will incorporate Hampton Inn’s prototype contemporary design scheme. The Hampton Inn by Hilton Fort Myers project will receive a $1.9 million rebate of the taxes generated by the project in yearly installments at a rate of 95% for the first five years and at a rate of 75% for the remaining years until the total rebate amount is reached. The $16 million project is projected to open in 2023.

Monday, Sept. 30


Leadership NEXT, a monthly program for advancing business professionals, has announced its 2019-2020 committee, led by committee chairs Amanda Soisson, director of college and career initiatives for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, and Kimberly Wallace, director of alumni relations for Florida Gulf Coast University. Other members of the 2019-2020 Leadership NEXT committee include Debra DeHaven, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce; Megan Garner, Priority Marketing; Kelsey Griffin, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. P.A.; Jeffrey Jean-Jacques, AMIkids Southwest Florida; Mathieu Knapp, Healthy Life Centers for Lee Health; Eric Lane, The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties; Sam Lewis, WearTheFund; Chris Lopez, Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association; Vanessa Santiago, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida; Danielle Seitz, Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan PLLC; and Melissa Vogt, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. The committee is overseen by the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s staff. Leadership NEXT is a monthly program through the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce that offers unique educational and networking opportunities for advancing business professionals in Southwest Florida. Attendees represent a variety of businesses and industries throughout Southwest Florida. The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Alumni Association remains as the annual sponsor for Leadership NEXT for 2019-2020. To learn more, visit and follow “Leadership NEXT” on Facebook.

Veljko Pavicevic

In other news…

Photos of the 2019 40 Under 40 awards celebration are up on View them here.
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