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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 31, 2003 15 years ago

Free Press (Tampa Edition)

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This week's items: AXA Advisors LLC expands office networkSpeedcom converts $672,000 interest into common stockColdwater Creek to open Tampa retail storeLandMark Bank to open third branchSarasota Memorial listed on Money's best list

Free Press (Tampa Edition)

AXA Advisors LLC

expands office network

New York City's AXA Advisors LLC plans to unify and expand its Central Florida operations, creating a network that includes offices in Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Clearwater, Largo, Sebring and Celebration - an alignment involving more than 100 financial services professionals throughout the region.

AXA Advisors Executive Vice President Carmine Lacognata, who leads the Tampa office, says that creating one central Florida operation matches the demographic and geographic shifts occurring in the region.

"The growth trends in Tampa and Orlando are turning these two previously distinct cities into a singular and thriving market area," says Lacognata. "AXA's expansion plan enables us to better cover the entire Central Florida region, and capture an extremely strong demographic for our business. ¦ Our company will be operating on a greater economy of scale."

Speedcom converts $672,000

interest into common stock

Sarasota's SPEEDCOM Wireless Corp., a fixed-wireless broadband solutions provider, announced it will convert $672,000 worth of promissory notes to common stock. An institutional holder of promissory notes with principal and accrued interest totaling $672,000 due in December has agreed to convert at $0.12 per share, into about 5,601,000 shares of restricted common stock.

Coldwater Creek to

open Tampa retail store

Sandpoint, Idaho-based Coldwater Creek, a retailer of women's apparel, gifts and accessories, is opening a 3,900-square-foot retail store in the International Plaza, at 2223 N. West Shore Blvd. in Tampa, in early November. More than 125,000 catalog and Internet customers live within a 50-mile radius of the shopping center, according to Coldwater Creek, which contends its retail stores account for more than one-third of its business. Says Georgia Shonk-Simmons, president and chief merchandising officer: "With the opening in the International Plaza, we have taken another step toward growing this sales channel to represent more than half of our business over the next couple of years."

The store will employ about 20 people. Coldwater Creek generated net sales volume of more than $500 million in fiscal 2002 and plans to open an additional 30 to 40 stores in fiscal 2004.

New shoe store

to open in Tampa

DSW, one of the fastest growing shoe retailers in the country, will open its first Tampa store at Carrollwood Commons, North Dale Mabry Highway and Ehrlich Road, near Staples.

The company has 136 stores, including seven Florida locations in markets such as Port Charlotte, Miami and Orlando. DSW sells brand-name shoes at prices much lower than competing department stores.

LandMark Bank

to open third branch

Sarasota's LandMark Bank of Florida plans to open a third full-service branch office near the intersection of Fruitville and Cattlemen roads in east Sarasota in the second quarter of 2004. The building is being constructed on an outparcel in front of the Sam's Club store in the shopping plaza. The branch is projected to occupy 2,800 square feet and will feature a full-service lobby and two drive-in banking lanes. LandMark Bank now operates branches on South Washington Boulevard and McIntosh and Bee Ridge roads.

In slightly more than three years, the bank has built an asset base exceeding $110 million.

Sarasota Memorial

listed on Money's best list

Money Magazine named Sarasota Memorial one of the nation's top hospitals for the treatment of congestive heart failure and heart attacks, and for interventional cardiology procedures.

Sarasota Memorial is listed in Money Magazine's Fall 2003 Special Report, "The Best Healthcare for Your Family," which names the top hospitals for 20 common medical conditions. The list includes top-rated facilities in five regions that handle the most cases according to HealthGrades, a health care quality ratings, information and advisory services company. HealthGrades conducts extensive research and rates the performance of near every U.S. hospital that practices cardiac surgery, cardiology and vascular surgery.

Sarasota Memorial's Heart Failure Center, the first of its kind in the region, won a 2001 VHA Leadership Award for Clinical Effectiveness.

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