+ Wagner Realty adds business brokerage specialists
Wagner Realty President David Eckel has announced the addition of his company’s newest group: Business Brokerage.
The Business Brokerage group expands Wagner Realty’s full-service operations, which now include residential sales and rentals, commercial sales, leasing and property management.
“We feel the timing is right to provide this additional service, not only to the local business community who may be considering selling their existing business and retiring, but also for the many people moving to Florida looking for entrepreneurial opportunities in addition to housing,” Eckel said.
Manatee County banker Ken Swan, who returned to Bradenton after stints in Miami and Houston, will manage the effort.
Swan was with Coldwell Banker in Houston.
Joining Swan are John Carroll, Scott Abraham, Don Swartz and Margaret Watson.
+ Chamber survey shows economic upswing
Members of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce are optimistic about the economy.
In a recent bi-annual survey, to which 385 of its members responded, 65% said the local economy will fare better in 2013 than 2012.
Florida Chamber of Commerce respondents who answered the same survey question in January came in at 49%.
The most recent survey also recorded 33% of respondents identifying economic uncertainty as the No. 1 obstacle preventing them from hiring new employees, while 28% said it was government regulations, including the Affordable Health Care Act.
On a national level, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s most recent quarterly survey results showed 82% of respondents said the economy is heading in the wrong direction.
More information about the chamber’s 2013 bi-annual survey, including the survey overview, methodology and other statistics, can be found on the chamber’s website at ManateeChamber.com.
+ Ranch builder continues Booker High School renovation
Lakewood Ranch’s Willis A. Smith Construction Inc. began the final phase of construction and renovation at Booker High School this month. Construction includes demolition of old buildings to make way for the addition of new baseball and softball fields.
Other additions include new tennis courts and shot put, discus and long-jump facilities.
Total project completion is projected for December of this year.
Earlier this year, students and staff moved in to the renovated Booker High School main campus, which includes more than 300,000 square feet of renovated spaces and new buildings.
Construction on Booker High School began in 2010.
“The renovation has provided new and relevant educational experiences, enhanced security for staff and students and has pulled together the community and increased opportunity for our local residents,” said Joshua Leinweber, assistant principal for Booker High.
Local workers within the school’s ZIP code performed 24% of the labor on the project, which generated more than $1.7 million in wages for the local community.