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Talk of the Bay: Builder looking to finish houses sounds familiar

By Times staff, wires
Published March 21, 2007


Builder looking to finish houses sounds familiar

Are the Battles back in the saddle? Construction Compliance Inc., the St. Petersburg builder whose failure to complete 482 homes hobbled Coast Bank of Bradenton, could be re-emerging under a new name. Some buyers who were left with debts but no houses when CCI folded last fall have gotten word that Florida State Builders Inc. wants to finish the homes. Florida State is run by Jesse Battle IV, son of CCI's Jesse Battle III. The Battles specialize in building homes in Sarasota County for no money down. Coast, seeking repayment on $70-million in CCI-related loans, will work with Florida State. "We view the father and son separately," spokesman Tramm Hudson said.

Delta will reward workers' patience

After hanging in through painful pay and benefit cuts, Delta Air Line's 39,000 non-union employees will receive 3.5 percent of new company stock, worth an estimated $350-million, after the airline emerges from bankruptcy later this spring. The workers - including reservations agents, baggage handlers and flight attendants - also will get a cash payment for 8 percent of their 2006 earnings, valued at about $130-million. They also are due to receive a pay raise this summer, profit sharing and a pension contribution. The airline has about 800 employees at Tampa International and a nearby reservations center on Tampa's West Shore Boulevard. CEO Gerald Grinstein said Monday that he won't take any extra money when Delta emerges from bankruptcy.

Plan insures only high-end homes

If home, sweet home is a well-built million-dollar manse, you've got a new property insurance option: PURE High Net Worth Insurance ( The acronym stands for Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, which will be owned by policyholders. "We will allow a select group of Floridians to manage their personal risks with much greater efficiency," says founder Ross Buchmueller, formerly with AIG. The company, based in Plantation, will insure homes for $1-million or more and cars through a "private fleet program." The company started with $10-million capital, and policyholders will add to it with an initiation fee of half the first year's premium. Buchmueller said windstorm deductibles will be available from 2 to 25 percent and the company will offer excess flood and liability insurance. It plans to sell about 2,500 homeowners policies this year.

[Last modified March 20, 2007, 23:31:25]

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