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 RANKED AMONG FLORIDA COUNTIES WITH LOWEST CLOSING COSTS
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.
Thursday, Oct. 3
CONDITIONED AIR ACQUIRES VENICE AC FIRM
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.
Wednesday, Oct. 2
PUSZKIN-CHEVLIN TAPPED TO DIRECT SWFL CLIMATE SOLUTIONS
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.
Tuesday, Oct. 1
DOWNTOWN FORT MYERS HAMPTON INN APPROVED FOR CRA REBATE
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.