WCI Communities to sell $50M in notes

July 1, 2014 

MANATEE -- WCI Communities, builder of several Southeast Florida housing developments, including Tidewater Preserve in Bradenton, has announced it intends to sell $50 million in notes, the proceeds of which will go into buying land and otherwise running the Bonita Springs company.

The notes will be sold under the same terms as those issued in a $200 million offering in July 2013. The notes will carry an interest rate of 6.875 percent and will mature in 2021.

In a news release, the company states it will use the new infusion of cash to pay off an earlier note offering that matures in 2017. Other uses will be "general corporate purposes," including the acquisition and development of land and home construction.

Tidewater Preserve on the Manatee River and adjacent to Interstate 75, is still being marketed by WCI. New homes in the development are priced between $230,000 and $640,000, according to the WCI website.

Port Manatee adding '305' area phone number

PORT MANATEE -- To get connected with the critical mass of manufacturers, warehousing companies, shippers and international corporations in the Miami area that trade internationally, Port Manatee is getting a Miami-area phone number.

The port recently received approval to have its own "305" area-code phone number from AT&T. Carlos Buqueras, the port's executive director, said port staff is discussing what the rest of the number will be. Ideally, it will spell out something memorable that gets callers thinking about doing trade through Port Manatee, he said.

The new number is intended to drum up business calls from the Miami area and South America. Buqueras said South Americans immediately recognize 305 numbers and those carrying Orlando's 407 code as being in Florida.

"They give a level of comfort outside this country," he said.

The $17 per month expense is likely the only expenditure that will come with the new number. The port will advertise the number through email lists for free, rather than promoting it through paid media.

Darwin, Gold Coast team up for beer distribution

MANATEE-SARASOTA -- Darwin Brewing Co. and Gold Coast Eagle Distributing have announced a partnership to distribute Darwin's brews into the local market.

To celebrate, the beer will be tapped and ready for beer connoisseurs to taste Thursday at a pub crawl scheduled for 90-minute intervals beginning at 1 p.m. at these locations: Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Mr. Beery's, Gecko's Grill and Pub on Hillview, The Gator Club, World of Beer and Lost Kangaroo on Old Main Street in Bradenton. Darwin Brewing is a 15-barrel production facility, tasting room and beer garden in Bradenton.

Coldwell Realtor ranked 239 among all agents in nation

LONGBOAT KEY -- Roger Pettingell, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate's Longboat Key office, has been ranked No. 239 among all real estate agents in the nation. Real estate publication, REAL Trends, published the ranking as part of its "The Thousand" ranking. According to Coldwell Banker, Pettingell closed 59 transactions in 2013 for a total sales volume of $61.48 million. Pettingell was the company's top selling single agent in 2013, according to his website. So far in 2014, he has continued to sell high-value properties. In March, Pettingell represented the sellers in the sale of a $4.2 million condo at 4125 Gulf of Mexico Drive.

Trustee can't sue institutions in Madoff case

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will not let the trustee working to recover money for Bernard Madoff's investors sue major financial institutions for their role in Madoff's massive fraud.

The court refused Monday to hear an appeal from trustee Irving Picard, who wants to pursue tens of billions of dollars from UBS AG, HSBC Bank PLC and other institutions.

Picard, as trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Corp., has brought claims in bankruptcy court alleging that the institutions were complicit in Madoff's vast Ponzi scheme because they provided him with financial services while ignoring obvious signs he was a con artist.

A federal appeals court ruled that Picard doesn't have legal standing to make claims against the financial institutions that Madoff's burned customers could make themselves.

-- Herald staff reports

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