Tampa Bay Business Journal: February 15, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses what might be coming for the vacant Sweetbay Supermarket locations, is the housing market really recovering, and the renaming of a downtown Tampa hotel.

Sweetbay Supermarket is in the process of closing 33 stores between Homosassa and Naples. The question is now what happens to 1.5 million square feet of retail space in each of the vacant locations.

How quickly the stores are subleased or whether it makes more sense to level the buildings and redevelop the sites will say a lot about the economy.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal held a summit with residential real estate experts to discuss the current state of the housing market.

For the first time since the recession ended in 2009, Tampa Bay is seeing pockets of recovery. While that is positive news, the optimism is tempered by the reality there is still a long way to go.

The former Hyatt Regency Tampa in downtown Tampa has become the Hilton Hotel Downtown Tampa sooner than expected.

The hotel was scheduled to raise the Hilton flag on Friday. The Hilton signage is scheduled go atop the building during the first week of March.

The overall increase in hotel activity in downtown Tampa shows the area is healthy and thriving.

"The more people are downtown, the more people need dining and entertainment experiences," said Christine Burdick, president of the Tampa Downtown Partnership. "It provides the opportunity for more jobs to support the increased numbers."

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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