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Business Observer Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 5 years ago

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Landscape company wins national recognition; Fast-growing builder brings on more managers; Community bank adds Fort Myers location; Multifamily redevelopment project gets underway; Mortgage firm finds buyer for insurance unit
by: Steven Benna Staff Writer

SARASOTA-MANATEE
Landscape company wins national recognition

ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design has been named to Green Industry Pros magazine's “Landscape Industry Hidden Gems” list.

The Venice-based company, with $17.2 million in sales in 2015, was noted for its above-average growth rate and overall industry promotion, according to a release.

On industry promotion, the magazine lauded the company for its national Thank A Landscaper campaign. The campaign, according to the statement, is “helping to improve public perception of the industry to counter the 'negative stereotypes' that some consumers and potential employees believe exist.”

Founded in 1990, ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design specializes in planned community/commercial maintenance and landscape design/installation. It serves clients in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

CHARLOTTE-LEE-COLLIER
Fast-growing builder brings on more managers

Creighton Commercial Development and Construction hired six new employees to close out 2016.

The new hires include: real estate representative Bob Proper and project managers Bill Griffith, Josh Kirsch, Roger Posey and Jason Sawyer. Marley Phillips has also joined Creighton's Texas office as a project manager, according to a statement.

Dan Creighton and Brent Evans founded Creighton Construction in 2007, initially seeking to capitalize on the need for commercial development in Cape Coral and the Pine Island Road corridor. The company has since built multiple projects, including several in the retail sector. The firm has about 100 employees.

Community bank adds Fort Myers location
Sanibel Captiva Community Bank opened a new branch in the Edison Theatre building at 1533 Hendry St. in downtown Fort Myers.

The opening will be followed in February by a new branch in Gateway at the corner of Gateway Boulevard and Devonshire Lakes Drive.

The Hendry Street branch gives 13-year-old Sanibel Captiva Community Bank four branches in Fort Myers and two on Sanibel. The Sanibel locations are the main office at 2475 Library Way and 1037 Periwinkle Way. Fort Myers locations are in the Myerlee community, McGregor Boulevard near Kelly Road, and on College Parkway.

The bank had $328.2 million in assets through Sept. 30.

TAMPA
Multifamily redevelopment project gets underway

Construction has begun on Dunedin Commons, a project that the developer, Primerica Group One, calls the first substantial high-end luxury multifamily project to open in Dunedin in more than 15 years (see page 8 for story).

The development team includes Brooks and Freund General Contractors, Forum Architecture, WRA Engineers and Focus Design Interiors, according to a statement. “The collaboration between the developer and the City of Dunedin on the project located on what was formerly the Nielsen Media Research campus promises to produce an economic catalyst for the Patricia Avenue corridor,” the release adds.

Primerica Group One has been working with the Dunedin city officials since 2015 on Dunedin Commons. The mixed-use project, on more than 23 acres, features 280 apartments and 8,600 square feet of retail space. In addition to an amenity-filled clubhouse, the community will have six buildings.

“The city is very excited to see Dunedin Commons get underway,” Dunedin Director of Economic and Housing Development Robert Ironsmith says in the release. “This development will offer new housing choices for Dunedin residents and spur redevelopment activity on Patricia Avenue.”

Dunedin Commons apartments will include nine floor plans consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom options, ranging from 675 square feet to 1,469 square feet. Rents will range from $1,050 to $1,800 per month. Apartment features include: 9-foot ceilings; island kitchens with granite countertops and under mounted sinks; black-on-black appliances with microwaves; and screened lanais.

Mortgage firm finds buyer for insurance unit
Mortgage services firm Walter Investment Management Corp. has sold its Green Tree Insurance Agency Inc. unit to a subsidiary of insurance company Assurant for $125 million.

The stock sale gives Assurant ownership of GTI Holdings Corp., the holding company of Green Tree, Tampa-based Walter's primary licensed insurance agency, according to a statement. The sale agreement specifies Assurant will make potential earn-out payments of up to $25 millionĀ in cash once Green Tree reaches certain revenue milestones from homeowners' insurance premiums.

Walter CEO and President Anthony Renzi says the transaction is expected to reduce the complexity of Walter's business operations. It will “allow us to better focus on our process efficiency efforts to improve the performance of our core servicing and originations businesses,” Renzi says in the statement.

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