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Talk of the bay

Published June 5, 2007


electronics game getting a new player

TigerDirect, a Miami consumer electronics mail order house that has decided to create a network of stores, has the Tampa Bay area in its sights. The retail arm of computer manufacturer Systemax Inc., TigerDirect plans to have stores open in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in early 2008 and up to six locations near local Best Buy or Circuit City outlets eventually, said John Burpee, who is handling the search for NAI Tampa Bay. With six stores in three states and Canada, Tiger- Direct on Monday added a full line of Toshiba TV, DVD and DVR products as it widens its offering from computers and do-it-yourself electronics kits to popular consumer brands. Systemax joins computermakers such as Apple and Sony in creating its own store network, while Dell last week started distributing in Wal-Mart computers that had been sold only online.

Lindell fills seat on Port Authority

Tampa's newest port commissioner might not be a master of the seas. But Carl Lindell Jr. knows his way around real estate, selling cars and - perhaps most important - politics. Gov. Charlie Crist announced on Monday his choice of Lindell, 63, to serve on the Tampa Port Authority board. He made his mark locally as the owner of Lindell VW and Honda in Tampa and Lindell Mazda in St. Petersburg. Lindell, a longtime Crist supporter, left the car business three years ago to focus on real estate development.

More insurers: That's good, right?

The good news is that since January, Florida insurance regulators have approved eight new property insurance companies to do business in the state. The bad news, at least for many homeowners, is that three of them - Ironshore Insurance Ltd., Praetorian Specialty Insurance and Arch Insurance - are out-of-state surplus lines carriers whose rates are not regulated by the state. That means they can charge what the market will bear. Four of the remaining companies - Modern USA Insurance, Olympus Insurance, American Keystone and Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange - will begin writing on a limited basis, and Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance plans to assume up to 20, 000 Citizens policies.

[Last modified June 5, 2007, 01:20:32]

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