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Coffee Talk (Sara/Mana edition)

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  • | 6:00 p.m. May 14, 2004
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Coffee Talk (Sara/Mana edition)

Help for the Times

All the pieces appear to be in place for New York Times Management Services to build its new Sarasota Herald Tribune headquarters on Main Street - including some extra community financing. GCBR obtained a draft redevelopment agreement between the NYT and city's Community Redevelopment Agency, which calls for the owner of the Sarasota Herald to receive $768,131 in tax increment financing for the new building. The financing deal breaks down to:

× Storm Water Retention Vault$485,276

× Building Permit Fees$120,000

× Public Plaza Hardscape$103,824

× Road Impact Fees$33,031

× Water Impact Fees$23,000

× Fire Impact Fees$3,000

The financing portion of the draft agreement is not expected to change. The NYT plans to build a 71,253-square-foot, three-story, 60-foot highl facility for about $12.5 million.

Tourism rebounds

The newest figures on tourism for the first few months of 2004 should bring a few sighs of relief. Indicators in the two-county market show tourism numbers are at or above their 2001, 2002 and 2003 counterparts.

"We did outstanding compared to last year," says Virginia Haley, executive director of the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Although it wasn't that hard to beat last year."

Not all tourism figures were rosy, though. "We are still having to deal with some significant changes in the market," Haley says. "Tourists are typically staying here for shorter terms. In that respect it is quite impressive that we have such high occupancy rates given that it has taken more people to get to that rate. We are seeing the growth in three-day getaways typically on the beachfront properties."

The challenge? Increase Monday through Thursday traffic.

Manatee County Tourist Development Tax







Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax







Positive job report

In its April Economic Development Report, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce reported encouraging changes to the Sarasota-Manatee County job market. Two companies relocated to the area: Digital Reception Services and Global Systems.

And five companies expanded and added new jobs: Lennar/U.S. Homes (5 jobs), John Cannon Homes (10), HealthSouth (145), PPI Industries (2) and Kimley Horn (n/a). In March there was a gain in local employment of 600 jobs, mainly in the leisure and hospitality sectors. From March 2003 to March 2004, the local market gained about 7,800 jobs.

Falkner v. Falkner, part two

If you can't trust your father, whom can you trust?

Two sons and a daughter of Michigan agribusinessman August John Falkner Jr. say they trusted their father and they have lived to regret it.

Thomas Falkner, Christopher Falkner and Linda Falkner Wright, who already are keeping Tampa lawyer David A. Maney busy with a lawsuit against brother August John Falkner III, have hired another local barrister to sue their father as well.

The new complaint, filed by attorney Arnold D. Levine in Tampa's federal district court, accuses John Falkner Jr., his grandson, another of his daughters and her husband, of conspiring with John III to defraud the three siblings of their rightful share of the property and profits from a lucrative family farming operation in Manatee and Hillsborough counties.

The three plaintiffs have been embroiled in litigation with John III for more than a year. (See "Feuding Falkners," GCBR, May 7-13.) John Falkner Jr., or "Father John," as he is called in the latest lawsuit, clearly sides with his oldest son John III. The latest suit drags Father John into the dispute as a named party.

Tom, Chris and Linda contend they had an unwritten agreement with John III to divide the labor on the farms and share in the bounty. The siblings started coming to Florida from their native Michigan in 1985 and have acquired 25,000 acres in the two counties.


The Longboat Key Town Commission voted not to contribute funds to the

Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority. GCBR incorrectly reported in Review &

Comment that it did.


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