Tampa Bay Business Journal: August 8, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the positive economy news behind speculative mansion construction, how tourism in Florida is helping creating jobs, and the Business Journal's new interactive 'Pulse' section.

Financial experts say one way you can tell the economy is improving is when businesses are more willing to incur risk.

Vincent Cassidy's Tampa Developers LLC is now building million dollar speculative waterfront mansions on Davis Islands. Such projects are can be risky for a developer since there is no guaranteed buyer.

One of the speculative homes Cassidy is building is listed at $3.7 million. The number of people who can afford such as house is a small number.

Because the luxury housing market has great improved, Cassidy believes his risk is mitigated. He thinks he will have a contract for the mansion within 30 to 60 days, and thus be able to turn a tidy profit on his investment.

Such luxury home building is also good for Tampa. It puts cash into the pockets of construction workers and adds another property to the tax roll.

Florida TaxWatch says an increase in Florida tourism is helping to create jobs in the state.

The independent watchdog organization believes one million visitors could come to Florida in 2015. That increase is helping employment; almost 76,000 jobs were created thanks to tourism in 2013.

Florida TaxWatch also notes if the state could continue to increase the number of visitors by making Florida a premiere destination, then even more jobs would be forthcoming.

The Business Journal is adding new features to its Business Pulse section. The hope is it will get readers to interact more with the website and its editors.

Examples of what can be found in the section are a quiz asking how well you know the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a quiz on if it happened in Florida or reality television, and a survey asking readers to share their most meaningful sports moment.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtube.com/watch?v=qOeWnjfkR_I or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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