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5 Big Stories: The week in business

A look back at the week in Business

By Jeff Harrington, Times Deputy Business Editor
Published July 29, 2007


1. How low can it go?

Sales of new and existing home sales continue to tumble across Florida.

What it means: Some forecast the market won't bottom out until at least 2008. The good news: Forbes identifies Tampa as the No. 1 market for home buyers, predicting a sharp recovery in sales and prices once that rebound starts.

2. Turning wood waste into electricity

Progress Energy and a partner plan to build a biomass power plant in the Panhandle.

What it means: The deal with Biomass Gas & Electric is part of a flurry of activity by utilities to cut greenhouse gas emissions amid tough new state guidelines.

3. Coal-fired plants in bay area make a dubious list

Tampa Electric's Big Bend plant and Progress Energy's Crystal River plant rank among the 50 dirtiest in the country.

What it means: Given greenhouse concerns, heavy polluters of carbon dioxide stood out. The Big Bend plant is one of nine U.S. plants to rank in the top 50 for carbon dioxide emissions in sheer tonnage and amount per megawatt of electricity.

4. Sembler Co. is making a billion-dollar mark

The St. Petersburg developer plans its first $1-billion development in the Atlanta suburbs of DeKalb County.

What it means: The project is the equivalent of building a new downtown with office, condos and more retail space than Tyrone Square Mall. It's a big jump for Sembler, best known for building BayWalk and Centro Ybor.

5. Southeast Airlines closes final chapter

The remaining assets of the defunct Largo airline are sold at auction.

What it means: Minimal relief for creditors. The only bid, from an aircraft leasing company in Barbados, came in at $580,000, a far cry from the $15-million in potential claims.

[Last modified July 27, 2007, 23:04:40]

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