Tampa Bay Business Journal: October 5, 2012

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal report, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the increasing number of people living in downtown St. Petersburg and Tampa, the Central Avenue makeover, and how Celestar is diversifying ahead of military spending cuts.

More people are living in downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg. Rents have gone up as a result. Now hundreds more multifamily rental units are under construction or planned in both cities.

"Vacancy is low and new product is coming online," said Ed Turanchik, of counsel at Akerman Senterfitt. "It's very promising. There's even whispers of new condos."

People enjoy living close to work and the urban atmosphere living in the city provides.

Central Avenue in St. Petersburg is getting a fresh look. The City Council adopted a revitalization plan for a nine-mile stretch of Central between Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay in September.

The plan emphasizes mixes of residential, office and commercial land use to re-establish the corridor as complete neighborhood where people can both work and live.

Celestar is a federal defense contractor offering technology assessment and evaluation, systems engineering, and operations support.

The Tampa company took the forward approach to diversify before it was affected by military budget cuts. Now Celestar is working app development, events strategy, and content management and consulting.

Their diversification approach is something many businesses can learn from.

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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