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Southwest Orange Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 6 years ago

Business Briefs 01.14.16

Windermere resident David Bartek, of Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, was named the chairman of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 2016.
by: Michael Eng Editor and Publisher

CFHLA names new committee
Windermere resident David Bartek, of Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando, was named the chairman of the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee for 2016. 

The board comprises 45 Central Florida Hospitality Executives from the tri-county area (Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties). 

Other committee members include First Vice Chairman David Friederich (Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando), of Windermere; Second Vice Chairman Doug Ridge (Orlando World Center Marriott), of Windermere; Secretary Fred Sawyers (Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort), of Dr. Phillips; Treasurer Jetse Pottinga (Meliá Orlando Suite Hotel at Celebration), of Celebration; Assistant Treasurer Brian Comes (Hyatt Regency Orlando), of Windermere; and Historian Laura Sherman (CLC Encantada Resort), of Dr. Phillips. 

Orlando tops list
According to The Money Source, Orlando tops the list of the top 10 most attractive U.S. cities for first-time homebuyers in 2016. 

The list is based on the company’s review of more than 70,000 loan applications, as well as city-specific data such as median home prices, unemployment rates and quality of life.

According to the study, Orlando boasts a low unemployment rate (4.5%), an affordable median home price ($155,500) and strong job growth. Although much of Florida is dependent on retirees and snowbirds, Orlando is the youngest non-college town in the state, according to Forbes. The presence of large tourism and entertainment companies such as Universal and Disney in the city attracts millions of visitors each year and strong economic growth.

Other cities on the list include Des Moines, Iowa; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Riverside, California; Chandler, Arizona; Amarillo, Texas; Reno, Nevada; Tacoma, Washington; and Boise, Idaho.

Carmellas Pizza sells for $970K|
Crossman & Company, one of the largest retail leasing, management and investment sales firms in the Southeast, recently negotiated the $970,000 sale of the former Carmella Pizza building at 5320 S. Kirkman Road, in Southwest Orlando. 

Tyler Wilkins, associate at Crossman & Company, represented the seller of the 3,363-square-foot restaurant near the intersection of Kirkman and Vineland roads.

Meritage to host opening
Meritage Homes will host the grand opening of its Twinwaters community from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 16 at 16554 Raven Rock Place, Winter Garden.

The new single-family home community features 140 home sites off Hartwood Marsh Road on Johns Lake in Winter Garden.

Tatiana Souza, vice president of sales at Meritage Homes in the Orlando region, said the grand opening will feature tours of the newly completed, furnished and decorated Palermo II model home, along with refreshments and entertainment. The Palermo II is a single-story plan with four bedrooms, three full baths in 3,017 square feet of living area and a three-car garage priced from $372,990.

Souza said a few lakefront home sites are still available at the community where Meritage is building four- to eight-bedroom homes o priced from $372,990 to $629,990.

For more information, visit

Pulte to unveil Ruby Lake in DP
Pulte Homes announced plans for Ruby Lake, its newest gated community in the Dr. Phillips area featuring upscale homes and resort-style amenities scheduled to open in the spring.

Among the community’s 240 home sites, nearly 100 will feature waterfront living. 

Tiffani Ferri, vice president of sales for PulteGroup’s North Florida division, said single family homes at Ruby Lake will start from the low $400,000s, with numerous home designs ranging from about 1,900 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet of living area. 

The community, located off Palm Parkway in Dr. Phillips, features top-rated schools and sits in close proximity to all of Orlando’s major attractions with convenient access to “Restaurant Row.”

Future residents will enjoy the security of a gated enclave of homes, alongside amenities including a clubhouse, fitness center and pool. Tennis, playground and splash pad round out the amenity offerings. 

Two series of homes will be available at Ruby Lake – Pulte’s Emerald Series on 50-foot-wide home sites and Diamond Series on 60-foot-wide home sites. 

For more information, visit or call 877-792-1144.

Park Square earns recognition 
Central Florida homebuilder Park Square Homes has been named a finalist in the National Association of Home Builders annual National Sales and Marketing Awards for best design center.

The competition largest in the nation for new-home sales and marketing professionals and communities. Park Square Homes was one of five homebuilders to receive the Silver Award for best design center, competing with more than 1,300 submissions across the country. It was the only homebuilder in the state recognized in this category.

“We are honored to receive recognition from the National Association of Home Builders for our design studio,” CEO Suresh Gupta said. “We were able to create a design studio that inspires our staff and provides a pleasant experience for our buyers.”

Park Square Homes will compete against the four other Silver Award-winning companies for the Gold Award at the NAHB’s annual International Builders’ Show in January.

For more information, visit

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