Jacksonville Adding High-Tech Jobs

26 09 2007

Jacksonville ranked second in Florida for percentage growth of high-tech jobs in 2005, according to a new report by AeA, a trade association for the high-tech industry.

The city’s high-tech employment grew 12 percent from 2004 to 2005, trailing only Fort Walton Beach, which grew by 26 percent.

Jacksonville added 2,000 high-tech jobs to reach 18,200. The number of jobs added was third behind Orlando with 2,500 and Tampa-St. Petersburg with 2,100.

In adding 2,000 jobs in 2005, Jacksonville reversed a downward trend that saw the city lose 1,500 jobs from 2000 to 2004, going from 17,700 jobs to 16,200 jobs. Many other Florida cities also lost jobs during that period.

Although Jacksonville ranked high in growth and jobs added in 2005, it still trails far behind the top three cities for total high-tech employment. Miami-Fort Lauderdale had 75,300 jobs in 2005, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg with 55,900 and Orlando with 42,600. Palm Bay-Melbourne was fourth with 20,900, followed by Jacksonville.

Jacksonville ranked fourth in average salary for high-tech workers at $61,900. Palm Bay-Melbourne ranked first at $65,800. Jacksonville’s high-tech work force earns 65 percent more than the average worker, $37,500, according to the report.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Jacksonville Adding High-Tech Jobs

25 09 2007

Jacksonville ranked second in Florida for percentage growth of high-tech jobs in 2005, according to a new report by AeA, a trade association for the high-tech industry.

The city’s high-tech employment grew 12 percent from 2004 to 2005, trailing only Fort Walton Beach, which grew by 26 percent.

Jacksonville added 2,000 high-tech jobs to reach 18,200. The number of jobs added was third behind Orlando with 2,500 and Tampa-St. Petersburg with 2,100.

In adding 2,000 jobs in 2005, Jacksonville reversed a downward trend that saw the city lose 1,500 jobs from 2000 to 2004, going from 17,700 jobs to 16,200 jobs. Many other Florida cities also lost jobs during that period.

Although Jacksonville ranked high in growth and jobs added in 2005, it still trails far behind the top three cities for total high-tech employment. Miami-Fort Lauderdale had 75,300 jobs in 2005, followed by Tampa-St. Petersburg with 55,900 and Orlando with 42,600. Palm Bay-Melbourne was fourth with 20,900, followed by Jacksonville.

Jacksonville ranked fourth in average salary for high-tech workers at $61,900. Palm Bay-Melbourne ranked first at $65,800. Jacksonville’s high-tech work force earns 65 percent more than the average worker, $37,500, according to the report.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Condo Conversions Turn Into Lawsuits

16 09 2007

Some companies that recently converted local apartment complexes into condominiums are being taken to court by homeowners. The Florida-Times Union published a list of communities that have either filed suit or threatened to sue the developers:

The Boxwood at Baymeadows
Address: 4915 Baymeadows Road
Built: 1971
Unit: 100
Developer: The Boxwood at Baymeadows LLC; Arlington Properties Inc. of Birmingham, AL, managing partner
Complaints: New roofs installed over rotted wood, fire hydrants leaking, failing plumbing, flooding and rodent infestation
Status: Lawsuit filed in May 2006; judgment pending

Captiva
Address: 3401 Townsend Blvd.
Built: 1975
Unit: 64
Developer: SM-Eagles Point LLC, an affiliate of SMG Development in Bradenton
Complaints: Leaking roofs, low water pressure, defective fixtures
Status: Lawsuit filed in October 2006; judgment pending

The Grand Reserve
Address: 13810 Sutton Park Drive N.
Built: 1987
Unit: 388
Developer: Grand Reserve Condominiums LLC, an affiliate of Julian LeCraw & Co. of Atlanta
Complaints: Valley in roofs, crushed attic vents, metal staircases sway, wrong-sized water heaters installed, interior walls not fire rated
Status: Lawsuit filed in August 2006, another filed in August 2007; judgment pending for both

Lakecrest
Address: 10150 Belle Rive Blvd.
Built: 1992
Unit: 284
Developer: Crosswinds at Arbor Lakes LLC, an affiliate of Crosswinds Communities of Novi, Michigan
Complaints: Windows installed improperly, stucco finish on exterior walls defective, and water damage
Status: Lawsuit filed in August; judgment pending

Montreux at Deerwood Lake
Address: 8550 Touchton Road
Built: 2003
Unit: 444
Developer: Montreux at Deerwood Lake LLC; Tarragon South Development Corp. of Ft. Lauderdale, managing member
Complaints: Poor maintenance caused leaking roofs, sinking foundations, rotting siding, damaged fencing and degraded parking area
Status: Homeowners threatened to sue in May if developer’s property managers weren’t fired; new managers on site, problems being resolved

Sonoma Southside
Address: 7740 Southside Blvd.
Built: 1975
Unit: 264
Developer: New Dawn Southside LLC, an affiliate of Key Real Estate Development Corp. of Coconut Grove
Complaints: Defective septic pump, frequent water outages, crumbing stucco, electric systems improperly wired
Status: Lawyer retained this year, trying to negotiate with developer but lawsuit is expected to be filed in about a month

The Preserve
Address: 1000 Harbour Vista Circle, St. Augustine
Built: 2000
Unit: 328
Developer: The Preserve on Anastasia Island LLLP, an affiliate of Montecito Property Co.
Complaints: Leaking roofs and windows, water damage; developer says former owners deliberately hid defects prior to sale
Status: Developer is suing former owner of the apartment complex, lawsuit filed in February 2006; judgment pending

The Venetian on the Ortega
Address: 5375 Ortega Farms Blvd (formerly 5309 Timuquana Rd.)
Built: 1969
Unit: 137
Developer: The Venetian on the Ortega LLLP, an affiliate of Montecito Property Co., Jacksonville
Complaints: Overflowing tubs and toilets, leaking roofs, malfunctioning irrigation system and failing patios
Status: Individual homeowners filed suit in 2005 and 2006; condo association settled out of court; repairs nearly done

Villas of Timberlin Parc
Address: 7701 Timberlin Park Blvd.
Built: 1997
Unit: 320
Developer: Timberlin Parc Development Co., an affiliate of Florida Crystals Corp. in West Palm Beach
Complaints: Water intrusion from improperly installed windows, walls and roofs
Status: Lawsuit filed in January 2007, judgment pending

Source: The Florida-Times Union





Condo Conversions Turn Into Lawsuits

15 09 2007

Some companies that recently converted local apartment complexes into condominiums are being taken to court by homeowners. The Florida-Times Union published a list of communities that have either filed suit or threatened to sue the developers:

The Boxwood at Baymeadows
Address: 4915 Baymeadows Road
Built: 1971
Unit: 100
Developer: The Boxwood at Baymeadows LLC; Arlington Properties Inc. of Birmingham, AL, managing partner
Complaints: New roofs installed over rotted wood, fire hydrants leaking, failing plumbing, flooding and rodent infestation
Status: Lawsuit filed in May 2006; judgment pending

Captiva
Address: 3401 Townsend Blvd.
Built: 1975
Unit: 64
Developer: SM-Eagles Point LLC, an affiliate of SMG Development in Bradenton
Complaints: Leaking roofs, low water pressure, defective fixtures
Status: Lawsuit filed in October 2006; judgment pending

The Grand Reserve
Address: 13810 Sutton Park Drive N.
Built: 1987
Unit: 388
Developer: Grand Reserve Condominiums LLC, an affiliate of Julian LeCraw & Co. of Atlanta
Complaints: Valley in roofs, crushed attic vents, metal staircases sway, wrong-sized water heaters installed, interior walls not fire rated
Status: Lawsuit filed in August 2006, another filed in August 2007; judgment pending for both

Lakecrest
Address: 10150 Belle Rive Blvd.
Built: 1992
Unit: 284
Developer: Crosswinds at Arbor Lakes LLC, an affiliate of Crosswinds Communities of Novi, Michigan
Complaints: Windows installed improperly, stucco finish on exterior walls defective, and water damage
Status: Lawsuit filed in August; judgment pending

Montreux at Deerwood Lake
Address: 8550 Touchton Road
Built: 2003
Unit: 444
Developer: Montreux at Deerwood Lake LLC; Tarragon South Development Corp. of Ft. Lauderdale, managing member
Complaints: Poor maintenance caused leaking roofs, sinking foundations, rotting siding, damaged fencing and degraded parking area
Status: Homeowners threatened to sue in May if developer’s property managers weren’t fired; new managers on site, problems being resolved

Sonoma Southside
Address: 7740 Southside Blvd.
Built: 1975
Unit: 264
Developer: New Dawn Southside LLC, an affiliate of Key Real Estate Development Corp. of Coconut Grove
Complaints: Defective septic pump, frequent water outages, crumbing stucco, electric systems improperly wired
Status: Lawyer retained this year, trying to negotiate with developer but lawsuit is expected to be filed in about a month

The Preserve
Address: 1000 Harbour Vista Circle, St. Augustine
Built: 2000
Unit: 328
Developer: The Preserve on Anastasia Island LLLP, an affiliate of Montecito Property Co.
Complaints: Leaking roofs and windows, water damage; developer says former owners deliberately hid defects prior to sale
Status: Developer is suing former owner of the apartment complex, lawsuit filed in February 2006; judgment pending

The Venetian on the Ortega
Address: 5375 Ortega Farms Blvd (formerly 5309 Timuquana Rd.)
Built: 1969
Unit: 137
Developer: The Venetian on the Ortega LLLP, an affiliate of Montecito Property Co., Jacksonville
Complaints: Overflowing tubs and toilets, leaking roofs, malfunctioning irrigation system and failing patios
Status: Individual homeowners filed suit in 2005 and 2006; condo association settled out of court; repairs nearly done

Villas of Timberlin Parc
Address: 7701 Timberlin Park Blvd.
Built: 1997
Unit: 320
Developer: Timberlin Parc Development Co., an affiliate of Florida Crystals Corp. in West Palm Beach
Complaints: Water intrusion from improperly installed windows, walls and roofs
Status: Lawsuit filed in January 2007, judgment pending

Source: The Florida-Times Union





Shands Unveils Northside Medical Center

7 09 2007


Shands Jacksonville plans to develop a medical center on the Northside over the next two years.

Shands Jacksonville North will be on a $9.5 million, 72-acre plot of land at the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and Duval Road. The three-phase project will initially have a multi-specialty clinic, but later phases call for ancillary services and possibly a hospital, said Tim Goldfarb, CEO of Shands Health Care.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





Shands Unveils Northside Medical Center

6 09 2007


Shands Jacksonville plans to develop a medical center on the Northside over the next two years.

Shands Jacksonville North will be on a $9.5 million, 72-acre plot of land at the northeast corner of Interstate 95 and Duval Road. The three-phase project will initially have a multi-specialty clinic, but later phases call for ancillary services and possibly a hospital, said Tim Goldfarb, CEO of Shands Health Care.

Source: Jacksonville Business Journal





UF Study: Florida Housing Market Shows Resilience

6 09 2007

Despite the bleak real estate outlook nationwide, Florida’s new home market appears for now to be stabilizing as a result of persistent demand for homes and lack of overbuilding, according to a University of Florida study released today.

“There’s a growing feeling of apprehension or caution, but the results from our survey remind us that the underlying markets for real estate in Florida are still in good shape,” says Wayne Archer, director of UF’s Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. “Owner residential is the only area of real estate markets where there are problems at this time. Apartments, retail, office, industrial and hospitality all remain stable and healthy.”

The findings are from the center’s quarterly survey of Florida real estate trends completed in July.

New single-family home development is sluggish but considered stable by industry experts, while the condominium market continues to struggle, Archer says. However, overall the state is in better condition than the rest of the country, he says.

What sets Florida apart is its high growth rate, allowing quicker recovery from setbacks in the real estate market, Archer says. “If there is a problem with the housing market in Chicago, Indianapolis or Kansas City, people there may have to live with it for a long time because growth is relatively slow and it takes awhile for the problem to work itself out,” he says.

Another advantage Florida has is a rate of building that is moderate enough – with the exception of condos – to prevent large imbalances in supply and demand, he says.

The greatest fear right now is that subprime loans underlying many real estate securities will result in increasingly high defaults, foreclosures and losses for investors, Archer says. The crisis involving these unconventional loans has pervaded the entire financial system, causing declines in the stock market and generating fears about the kind of damage that might result in the future, he says.

“We have a liquidity crisis that is at the top of the news hour by hour and it’s very hard to conjecture how much impact this will have on the real estate picture in Florida,” he says.

The latest UF housing survey was conducted in July before the crisis had escalated. “If we could poll our respondents now, they might be quite a bit more apprehensive than they were two or three weeks ago,” he says. But Archer, who has spent most of his professional career studying mortgages, says people underestimate the tenacity of homeowners to remain in their homes.

“Even if a homeowner gets in trouble, it takes a severe disruption in their household or their life before they will abandon their mortgage and their home,” he says. “They will fight to keep that house. They’ll give up their car. They’ll take on four jobs. They’ll do whatever it takes.” The same cannot be said, though, about people buying second homes or houses as speculative investments.

Unlike second homes or condominiums, owner-occupied single-family homes continue to be a good investment, Archer says. Although there has been a flattening in single-family housing prices, with prices in some markets likely to drop over the next year to adjust to a correction in the market, Archer says he does not foresee widespread declines.

“I think homeowners have not yet come to terms with the fact that the price increases we’ve seen in the last two or three years are not going to continue,” he says.

Condos, especially in certain cities, are in much bigger trouble, Archer says. By some estimates, there are as many as 40,000 condo units for sale in Miami and not even a fraction of those are needed, he says. Unless there is some movement by foreign investors to buy these condos, the market is likely to be hurting for a long time.

On a positive note, the survey shows remarkable stability in capitalization rates, the measure of how fast an investment pays off in net cash, Archer says. If there is growing apprehension about the real estate market, capitalization rates should increase in response to lenders’ rising fears about perceived risk.

Source: FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®








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