Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

Did anyone see this coming? Substantially increased costs and delayed start dates?? How about assurance that Benderson Development is responsible for the majority of the cost and construction. I have no doubt the mall will be on time and budget.

Costs soar, start delayed on I-75 Diverging Diamond University Parkway exit

By Dale White via Herald Tribune

Costs for construction of a diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 75 and University Parkway has risen 20 percent above initial estimates and the estimated start of the project has been pushed back from early 2015 to August of next year.

State and local officials are under criticism for not tackling the intersection’s woes sooner.

Traffic congestion there is likely to worsen before it gets better. The Mall at University Town Center, also at the southwest corner of the interchange, is to open in October. Thousands of more homes are planned for Lakewood Ranch, which spans Manatee and Sarasota counties east of the interchange. And the reconstruction work itself, largely in the footprint of the existing interchange, will causes back-ups and delays.

Officials are counting on the project being completed before the 2017 World Rowing Championships at nearby Nathan Benderson Park.

That gives the FDOT and the contractor it selects two years to get the diverging diamond, a first in Florida, completed.

The projected $60 million tab is now up to $72 million as the Florida Department of Transportation adds costs such as additional earthwork, a 5,365-foot-long wall to muffle traffic noise along some residential areas along I-75 and other adjustments.

For more good news and the complete article, CLICK HERE <—–======

Zillow to Acquire Trulia for $3.5 Billion in Stock

Zillow to Acquire Trulia for $3.5 Billion in Stock

By Jing Cao and Pui-Wing Tam via Bloomberg

Zillow Inc. (Z) agreed to purchase Trulia Inc. (TRLA) for $3.5 billion in an all-stock deal that is designed to make the combined entity the largest in online real estate advertising.

The deal positions a unified Zillow and Trulia to capture a larger share of digital real estate ads as more people shift house hunting onto the Web and property agents deploy more marketing dollars onto the Internet. While there are other real estate websites such as Move Inc. and Redfin Corp. that are growing, Zillow and Trulia are the top two most-visited property sites in the U.S. tracked by ComScore Inc.

Trulia shareholders will receive 0.444 shares of Zillow foreach share of Trulia, the… Read More
A combination makes sense as Zillow and Trulia are the two biggest companies in the online real estate market and have “virtually identical” business models, Tom White, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA, said last week. “This could pave the way to these companies becoming more profitable more quickly.”

Second house razed for Tampa Bay Lightning & Channelside owner, Jeff Vinik’s new estate

Second house razed for Tampa Bay Lightning & Channelside owner, Jeff Vinik’s new estate

Ringling Bridge Sunset in Sarasota, FL - Heading out towards St. Armands

Ringling Bridge Sunset in Sarasota, FL – Heading out towards St. Armands

by Harold Bubil , Herald-Tribune

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife — fresh off a victory in acquiring the Channelside property in Tampa — have taken the first significant steps to develop a grand residence on St. Armands Key that could have dramatic views of downtown Sarasota.

To that end, demolition has begun on a 64-year-old house at 132 N. Washington Drive that the Viniks bought in May for $3.5 million.

That deal followed the 2013 acquisition by Vinik and his wife, Penny, of a 12-year-old house next door, at 112 N. Washington Drive. The couple paid $4.25 million for it before tearing it down.

Taken together, the two houses measured 9,200 square feet.

The Viniks plan to replace those residences with one that will cost $3.6 million to build, according to a City of Sarasota building permit.

To view a unique property for sale on Golden Gate Point in sarasota, CLICK HERE <—-=====

For complete article and others by Mr. Bubil, CLICK HERE <—–======

City of Sarasota Budget Summary – $192 million and $76 million goes to Police & Water/Sewer projects

City of Sarasota Budget Summary – $192 million and $76 million goes to Police & Water/Sewer projects

CLICK HERE FOR A Summary of the 2013-2014 Budget

Scroll to Page 2 of Budget….

Be wary as a renter or a Landlord using AirBnB or Flipkey for rentals

Be wary as a renter or a Landlord using AirBnB or Flipkey for rentals

Airbnb host: A guest is squatting in my condo and I can’t get him to leave

By Julie Bort on Business Insider

Airbnb is a hugely popular way for people to rent their homes to thrifty travelers, but there are times when things go terribly wrong.

We’ve shared stories of hosts coming home to find their homes trashed, and a story of an inebriated host using his keys to enter the property at night while the guests — a Business Insider employee and his girlfriend — were sleeping.

Here’s a new one: A woman rented her 600-square-foot Palm Springs, California, condo to someone for a little over a month, and now she says the guy won’t leave and is threatening to sue her.

She’s had to hire a lawyer and go through the entire eviction process, which could take 3-6 months, the same as if he were a long-term tenant.

It’s “been a nightmare,” the host, Cory Tschogl, told Business Insider.

Tschogl is a rehabilitation therapist, helping people with vision problems, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She got “priced out” of buying a home in the Valley, so she invested in a vacation rental condo in Palm Springs. For about the past year, she had been renting it on Airbnb and Flipkey, a vacation-rental site owned by TripAdvisor, making enough money on it to help her make ends meet with the higher rents in San Francisco.

She was happy with Airbnb until a man who goes by the name “Maksym” contacted her through Airbnb asking to rent her Palm Springs condo for longer than a month. He told her he needed accommodations for an extended business trip, Tschogl says.

He didn’t have any reviews on Airbnb, which she says in retrospect should have been a warning sign.

But his initial interactions with her seemed OK, and she agreed to let him rent the condo from May 25 through July 8, a total of 44 days.

For long-term reservations, Airbnb bills on a monthly basis. Tschogl says she received advance payment for 30 days.

On day one, after the guest checked in, he called her and complained about two odd things, Tschogl says. He didn’t like the tap water (complained it was cloudy) and he didn’t like the gated entry to the condo complex. He asked for a full refund, according to Tschogl. She had a bad gut feeling about him, she says, so she agreed to a refund.

She says she had difficulty getting hold of Airbnb right away to make the refund happen. After sending multiple emails and making phone calls, Airbnb responded two days later. In t hat email, on May 27, Airbnb told her it asked the guest to leave. The company also told her since Maksym had stayed in the condo for two days, she was entitled to keep an appropriate portion of the money he paid.

But Maksym stayed in the condo, according to Tschogl. “It became a confusing situation. Both I and Airbnb told the guest to leave, but he would not,” Tschogl told us.

After a number of antagonistic texts with the guest, Tschogl says she decided that perhaps the best course of action would be just to let him stay for the duration of his reservation.

Then came the second hiccup. On June 25, when payment for the last part of his reservation was due, Airbnb couldn’t collect the money. Airbnb warned Tschogl in an email, she says.

Both Airbnb and Tschogl contacted him and warned him to pay or leave, according to Tschogl.

Two days later, on June 27, he was still in the condo, she says.

On the last day of his reservation, still unpaid, Tschogl says she sent him a text message telling him if he didn’t vacate the property, she would have the utilities shut off.

He apparently responded with a threat of his own (at right). “It almost sounded like blackmail. He threatened to sue me, saying his brother was there and got an ulcer to due to the tap water. He said he was legally occupying my domicile and he has rights,” Tschogl says.

It turns out, Maksym wasn’t totally wrong. Tschogl researched the situation on a real estate investing social network called Bigger Pockets and was advised by other landlords to “lawyer up.”

She hired a lawyer and discovered that, in California, once someone rents a property for 30 days, that person is considered a tenant on a month-to-month lease.

To get the tenant out would require the whole eviction shebang, which could take three to six months and $3,000 to $5,000 in legal fees. She couldn’t just ask the police to haul the guy out.

For the conclusion of this story, CLICK HERE <——-=====

Software entrepreneur Jesse Biter says his plans to build affordable apartments in downtown Sarasota, have been stymied

Software entrepreneur Jesse Biter says his plans to build affordable apartments downtown have been stymied and he intends to either take on a partner or sell the rental site altogether.

Biter’s decision comes months after he publicly touted a “new urbanist” vision involving apartments and retail space for the former United Way building on Second Street in downtown Sarasota, a plan he claimed was critical to improving downtown.

But Biter said Monday he couldn’t get the necessary bank financing because he lacks real estate development experience.

The inability to obtain financing could either delay or cripple the widely anticipated, $46 million project and prompt Biter to ultimately relinquish control.

“Banks love the project, but because I have never built anything before, they want me to have an experienced partner,” said Biter, who maintains that higher density and more affordable housing are essential to a healthy downtown.

“It hasn’t been for a lack of effort, that’s for sure.”

Biter earned an estimated $40 million creating and subsequently selling an auto software business, and he now operates a dealership supply company from the HuB Building on Second Street, which he also owns.

In addition to owning several other downtown storefronts, he also is active in politics on a local and national level.

But his most ambitious — and widely talked about — endeavor to date involved building apartments downtown to rent to young professionals, teachers, receptionists, police officers or alike.

By contrast, the vast majority of residential buildings in the city’s urban core are luxury condominiums that are financially out of the reach for most middle-class workers.

For complete article, CLICK HERE <—–======

Luxury Meets Athleticism: 5 years strong

Luxury Meets Athleticism: 5 years strong

The antidote to procrastination

The antidote to procrastination

Story via SarasotaDay.Com

The GNC Longboat Key Triathlon and Duathalon celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, and the well-respected sporting event remains high on the bucket list for those who enjoy pushing their bodies to the limit.

Forming a global nation, the triathletes who travel to Sarasota to take part in the annual endurance test will be once again be looking forward to a combination of luxury and limb-busting sporting bonhomie that can take the most fleet of foot up to 90 minutes to complete.

As with all triathlons, the ability to overcome the inevitable long-distance swimming, cycling and running endurance tests is paramount.

“It’s extremely competitive,” said Tony Driscoll, CEO of TDA Global Sports, the promoter for the event.

“But this is, for a triathlon, a very luxurious setting,” continued Driscoll. “It’s second to none. The athletes are treated to a luxurious reward for their commitment.”

And Driscoll insists Sarasota can go the extra mile in the face of competition.

“Many of the athlete’s want to test themselves in Sarasota simply because this triathlon takes care of all the participants’ needs after the race is over. Why? Because most athletes will have experienced the usual attitude of ‘Hey, well done for finishing. Here’s a bottle of water and a banana.’

“This event is far from that business model,” Driscoll said.

“This triathlon is an upscale event that attracts athletes who want to compete,” Driscoll continued. “But they also want their sense of achievement recognized.

“I don’t care if they’re professional or amateur athletes. I’ll make sure they are rewarded for their efforts.”

For more information or to preregister, visit lbktriathlon.com

For more Sarasota Happenings, CLICK HERE <—-======

What is the beast beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida?

Paradise... Officially!

Paradise… Officially!

This Pictorial Story Of A Dog’s Last Day On Earth Is Beautiful And Utterly Heartbreaking

This Pictorial Story Of A Dog’s Last Day On Earth Is Beautiful And Utterly Heartbreaking

Meet Duke Roberts. And get ready for some serious tears.

Printed by Alan White via Buzzfeed - Originally written and pictures by photographer Robyn Arouty and printed on her blog found HERE <—–=====

I Died Today. By Duke Roberts.

Picture of Dukey by Robyn Arouty

Picture of Dukey by Robyn Arouty

And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.

And I laughed.

Dukey Laughing - Picture by Robyn Arouty

Dukey Laughing – Picture by Robyn Arouty

CLICK HERE for the rest of this pictorial journey of Dukey’s last day. It’s an emotional ride, so be ready.

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

LeBron James i s coming home.

LeBron James i s coming home.

Below find LeBron James’ letter to Sports Illustrated followed by Bill Simmons from ESPN’s Grantland take on James’ return home to West Akron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On a quick side note, I lived in Fairlawn, Ohio & Bath, Ohio where LeBron lives now and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting LeBron in our earlier days. He is a class act, has always been a class act and now that he has settled into the role of being a father, man, provider, champion… The return home is a glorious and welcome one. I have of course moved down south to my original hometown of Sarasota, FL and if LeBron makes it down this way, he is more then welcome to stop by for a home cooked meal.

BY LEBRON JAMES (AS TOLD TO LEE JENKINS)

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

Lion Heart

Lion Heart

As Promised, below find a couple parts of Bill Simmons most recent article;

GOD LOVES CLEVELAND

Why LeBron James — unparalleled NBA genius, heir to Michael (and Larry and Magic) — went home

BY BILL SIMMONS ON JULY 11, 2014

Yeah, I read LeBron James’s classy letter in Sports Illustrated. I believe him. I think he wanted to come home. I think he always wanted to come home.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron handled everything wrong. He knows that now. His hometown turned on him. His former owner excoriated him. Everyone else hated what he did. We turned him into a wrestling heel, pushed him to a dark place, affected his personality, planted seeds of doubt that blossomed like a black rose during the 2011 Finals. It took LeBron nearly 15 months to recover from the damage, both mentally and physically, and when he did, he captured two straight MVPs and his first two NBA titles.

But he never forgot what happened, and deep down, he probably always wanted to atone. When the time arrived this summer, he flipped the script on us. This wasn’t a 24-7, overplanned reality show like the one in 2010. He said nothing. He hinted at nothing. During the first week of July, his agent took every meeting. During the second week, LeBron stayed in Las Vegas and made everyone come to him. He announced his decision in an online piece titled “I’m Coming Home,” then he flew to Brazil for the World Cup. So much for the Boys & Girls Club and Jim Gray.

Those four Miami seasons made me sure of one thing: He’s one of the greatest NBA players ever. Now he’s pursuing a greater challenge: bringing Cleveland its first title in 50 years in any sport. Add everything up and it’s the best possible story. He’s the conquering hero who came home, and, hopefully, will conquer again.

It’s also not entirely accurate. I think LeBron would have stayed in Miami — for at least one or two more years — if he truly believed he had a chance to keep winning there.

If you think of him like a genius, it makes more sense. He’s smarter about basketball than you and me, and, really, anyone else. He sees things that we can’t see. During that last Miami season, I don’t think he liked what he saw from his teammates. LeBron James wanted to come back to Cleveland, but he also wanted to flee Miami. His heart told him to leave, but so did his brain. And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

Who could have guessed that LeBron had only seven Miami games left? At the time, I thought their gamble to keep resting Wade at the expense of LeBron — which I never agreed with — was improbably paying off. I thought they were headed for a three-peat. I thought LeBron was never leaving Miami. I couldn’t see the things that he saw.

I watched Game 4 from our NBA Countdown set, sitting on the metal steps, and at one point, I emailed an NBA Entertainment friend asking if their photographer could snap a picture. I thought it could be a cool photo — me wearing a blue suit, surrounded by happy Heat fans dressed in white, the Celtics fan trapped in enemy territory, all of us watching someone at the peak of their powers. I just wanted to have it for 30 years from now. I know that sounds sappy, but that’s how I felt.

The truth is, I didn’t know when this would be happening again. And I still don’t.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30. Duncan, Kobe, Hakeem and Shaq never quite got there — all of them were great, but they were never GREAT. Durant might be a magnificent scorer and an even better teammate, but it’s hard to imagine him getting to that last level. After him, you’re looking at Anthony Davis — someone with an infinitely better chance of becoming the next Duncan than a basketball genius — and there’s nobody on the immediate horizon. This might be it for a while.

So yeah, I wanted a picture. Shoot me. I was there for Larry. I was there for Magic. I was there for Michael. And I was there for LeBron James. Now he’s bringing his genius back to Cleveland. It’s the right move at the right time for the right guy. This will be fun.