Tampa Bay Business Journal: June 13, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses if the Sundial shopping complex in St. Petersburg can be a success, the number one priority for Bay area business executives, and what the inside of the new Le Méridien Tampa hotel looks like.

Developer Bill Edwards has already spent $40 million dollars turning the old BayWalk complex in downtown St. Petersburg into the new Sundial shopping center. The big question is can Sundial be a success?

The key may be an improving economy in Florida and what is occurring around Sundial. A number of apartment and condominium buildings have been or are being built near the shopping center.

A growing trend finds more Americans want to work and live in cities. Edwards is aware of this and he is targeting a mix of businesses to become Sundial tenants that people living in downtown St. Petersburg want to visit over and over again.

Alexis recently hosted an executive roundtable about economic development that was attended by a number of top area executives and officials. They said their number one priority has changed.

Instead of bringing in headquarters locations to Tampa Bay, they said they are now really focused on creating and maintaining high-skilled, high-wage jobs.

The new Le Méridien Tampa boutique hotel opens on Monday, June 16. The hotel is located in the old Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

The inside of the building still looks like a courthouse. The developers have used the building's original marble and frosted glass as a design point, adding new colors and fixtures to match the old look.

The question is if there will be enough business during the week to support the hotel.

For people already living in the Tampa Bay area, hotel officials hope locals will use the French comfort-food cafe on site.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtube.com/watch?v=LDtVVJH55IY or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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