Vilano Hotel to be Converted to Condos

31 08 2006

The Casa del Mar Inn & Suites in Vilano Beach will be converted into condominiums with a heated pool, whirlpool spa, fitness center and meeting rooms. The 93-room hotel is on a barrier island between the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean and is next to the planned Vilano Beach Town Center, which is scheduled to open in 2007.

The condos range in size from 347 to 510 square feet and will be priced at $299,000 to $559,000. The hotel’s 1,500-square-foot presidential suite is priced at $1.7 million.

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Florida has Fourth-Friendliest Tax Climate

31 08 2006

Florida’s tax climate is the fourth best in the nation for businesses, according to the Tax Foundation’s 2006 State Business Tax Climate Index, up from seventh place in 2003.

The ranking is a good marketing tool for Florida, as a business-friendly tax environment is becoming more important to companies looking to relocate, according to Tax Foundation officials.

States were evaluated by the number and types of taxes levied on resident businesses. Tax Foundation economist Curtis Dubay said the states with the best tax systems raise revenue without imposing one of three state taxes — sales tax, personal income tax or corporate income tax.

Wyoming had the friendliest tax climate followed by South Dakota, Alaska, Florida and Nevada. New York was the most hostile, joined by New Jersey, Rhode Island, Ohio, Vermont and Maine.

The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan organization aimed at educating the public about sound tax practices.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Tracking Sexual Offenders in Your Neighborhood

23 08 2006


Floridians who want to track registered sexual offenders and predators near them are getting some additional help from the state.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement upgraded its sexual predator and offender Web site to include more detailed information about past crimes and details about their vehicles and boats.

For instance, visitors to the site at www.fdle.state.fl.us can find out more about the seriousness of past crimes along with the case number and end result of the case. A link is also provided to the related circuit court clerk’s office that will have the actual file on site with more details about what happened and when.

In addition, the make, model, tag number and color of the person’s registered Florida vehicles are also listed, which can be helpful to parents who want to keep closer tabs on offenders who live near them. Those details could also be helpful in finding abducted children in some cases.

The FDLE Web site has information on about 39,000 offenders who have victimized children, adults or the elderly. A particularly helpful feature of the site is that it allows researchers to plug in an address or Zip code and find out just how close an offender lives.

Pictures and addresses of the offenders are provided.

Tom Gallagher, the state’s chief financial officer, has suggested the site be modified further to allow parents to do a search on whether a license tag number belongs to a vehicle registered to a sex offender.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors





The Vu Project in Downtown Jacksonville

23 08 2006

Dorsky Hodgson and Partners have plan to release The Vu Southbank, the 40-story luxury condominium tower which will be the third and final phase of the St. Johns Planned Unit Development (PUD) in Jacksonville, Florida. Located on the south bank of St. Johns River, the mixed-use development includines three residential towers with a total of 719 units, 1,342 parking spaces, 7,000 square feet of retail space and 3,500 square feet of office space. The Peninsula tower is on schedule to complete in the next 18 months and The Strand tower is more than likely to be completed in December 2006. MetroJacksonville.com has posted a rendering of The Vu Southbank on their site.





Tracking Sexual Offenders in Your Neighborhood

22 08 2006


Floridians who want to track registered sexual offenders and predators near them are getting some additional help from the state.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement upgraded its sexual predator and offender Web site to include more detailed information about past crimes and details about their vehicles and boats.

For instance, visitors to the site at www.fdle.state.fl.us can find out more about the seriousness of past crimes along with the case number and end result of the case. A link is also provided to the related circuit court clerk’s office that will have the actual file on site with more details about what happened and when.

In addition, the make, model, tag number and color of the person’s registered Florida vehicles are also listed, which can be helpful to parents who want to keep closer tabs on offenders who live near them. Those details could also be helpful in finding abducted children in some cases.

The FDLE Web site has information on about 39,000 offenders who have victimized children, adults or the elderly. A particularly helpful feature of the site is that it allows researchers to plug in an address or Zip code and find out just how close an offender lives.

Pictures and addresses of the offenders are provided.

Tom Gallagher, the state’s chief financial officer, has suggested the site be modified further to allow parents to do a search on whether a license tag number belongs to a vehicle registered to a sex offender.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors





The St. John Project in Downtown Jacksonville

22 08 2006


Hines, in partnership with South Shore Group Partners, LLC (SSGP) is developing a signature high-rise condominium located in downtown Jacksonville on the Southbank of the St. Johns river adjacent to The Aetna Building and Baptist Health in San Marco. The project is planned for up to 300 condominium and townhome units ranging from 900 to 3,000 square feet, together with a full range of unprecedented amenities. The building will break ground in December 2006.

Designed by Arquitectonica and strategically situated on a dramatic bend on the Southbank, the project will enjoy expansive views of downtown and the river to the northeast, and Riverside/Ortega and sweeping river views to the southwest. The location is within walking distance to dining and shopping in San Marco, as well as offices on the Southbank.

Walter O’Shea, vice president for Hines Interests, said Jacksonville is the perfect market for his product.

“The St. John represents a logical expansion of Hines’ presence in Northeast Florida,” O’Shea said. “At Palencia in St. Augustine, we have demonstrated the importance of quality architectural design and innovative planning, to value creation in residential real estate. We now have a chance to combine our local residential knowledge with our international, high-rise expertise.

“Apart from Hines’ sponsorship, the St. John is also a distinct offering for prospective downtown residents given its location at a 90-degree bend in the St. Johns River and its floor-to-ceiling exterior glass wall designed to maximize the striking views of the Jacksonville skyline and the river. We held a Realtor event recently on the 11th floor of the adjacent Aetna building and those attending were amazed by the views. We expect to begin executing purchase contracts at pre-construction pricing in mid-August and very quickly generate the sales we will need to then begin construction before year end.”

Source: Florida Times Union





Housing Slowdown Milder in Jacksonville

22 08 2006

The housing market continued its slowdown in Florida in the second quarter, according to figures from the Florida Association of Realtors. The 1 percent drop in sales of existing single-family homes in Jacksonville, in fact, made it the strongest (along with Tallahassee) of the 20 markets tracked by FAR.

Across the state, sales of existing single-family homes in the second quarter dropped 27 percent from the same period a year ago. Jacksonville and Tallahassee were the only markets without double-digit declines in sales, and 15 of the 20 markets had declines of more than 20 percent.

The median price of the homes sold, on the other hand, continued to rise, though not at the pace seen in previous years. In Jacksonville, the median price of $207,300 was up 12 percent from a year ago, and the statewide median price of $254,800 was up 9 percent from a year ago.

Local figures did not include data from the St. Augustine-St. Johns County Board of Realtors and the Amelia Island-Nassau County Association of Realtors.

Sales of existing condominiums were up 10 percent in Northeast Florida (not including data from St. Johns County) while the median price of $167,700 was down 1 percent from a year ago. Across the state, condo sales dropped 33 percent while the median price rose 1 percent to $219,100.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors








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