Tampa Bay Business Journal: June 14, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the stabilization of the Tampa Bay real estate market, a local business group's trip to Cuba, and where a South Florida law firm has its Tampa office.

There are signs the Tampa Bay real estate market finally has stabilized after years of foreclosures, underwater mortgages and falling prices.

This year home values have increased due to a combination of investors snatching up deals and the slowly improving state economy.

There is one downside: shortages of homes for sale. The Pinellas Realtor Organization says the number of available condos, townhomes and single family homes on the market dropped by over 1,100 from April 2012 to April 2013.

Thirty-eight members of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce went on a trip to Cuba last week. Because on the ongoing U.S. embargo, the majority of American companies can not operate in Cuba.

But Chamber members understand the embargo will not last forever and are hoping to plant the seeds for commerce between the Bay Area and Cuba when it became lawful to do so.

Fort Lauderdale-based law firm Becker & Poliakoff has a new office in Tampa at CoWork, a shared workspace facility for entrepreneurs and founders of new companies.

The firm became a member of CoWork to bring its legal and business services to where potential clients are located.

"We have decided to establish a presence there because it puts us in a better, more focused area that's part of the innovation ecosystem in Tampa," said Michael De Biase, a Becker & Poliakoff lawyer.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left, go to youtu.be/zhGXIn8sofo or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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