Home Depot to sell parcels on U.S. 441

Published: Sunday, July 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 30, 2007 at 11:33 p.m.

Home Depot is building the two outparcels under construction in conjunction with its new store on U.S. 441 and 53rd Avenue and will sell the buildings to someone else to lease out, a company spokeswoman said.

Companies that have expressed interest in moving in include a fast-casual restaurant and "a service-oriented, cell phone-type thing," according to Jennifer Latimer, broker on behalf of Home Depot.

She said she is passing out information about interested tenants onto "quite a few people" who are interested in buying the buildings.

The buildings are 2,100 square feet each and front U.S. 441. Latimer said they will be complete in August, about the same time as the Home Depot, with the sale closing about a month later.

The buildings will probably include one business each, Latimer said, since that's what has happened at other outparcels built by Home Depot.

In other business news:

*The hiring outlook in Gainesville from July to September has improved over the previous three months and over the same time last year, but is still below state and national rates for the quarter, according to a Manpower Inc. survey.

Twenty percent of Gainesville businesses plan to add to their workforces in the third quarter while 3 percent expected to shrink, a net gain of 17 percent. In the second quarter, 13 percent planned to hire more while none said they would shrink. For the third quarter of 2006, 20 percent said they would add and 17 percent would reduce payrolls or a 3 percent net gain.

Statewide, 31 percent of businesses said they would hire more while 12 percent expect to reduce workers for a gain of 19 percent. United States totals show 29 percent growing and 7 percent reducing payroll for a gain of 22 percent, steady from the prior quarter after three quarters of declining confidence.

Gainesville job prospects appear best in construction, services, transportation/public utilities and wholesale/retail trade. Education employers plan to reduce staff.

Of 20 Florida markets surveyed, Broward County shows the most companies growing with a 64 percent net gain. Daytona Beach was at the bottom of the list with a 7 percent net loss.

Manpower is an employment services agency.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Celunol Corp., the parent company of the biofuels research facility in Alachua, has merged with San Diego-based Diversa Corp. to form Verenium Corp.

The company produces enzymes that enable the production of biomass-derived sugars for industrial applications and has plans to produce ethanol.

The company has a research and development facility at the University of Florida Sid Martin Biotechnology Development Incubator at Progress Corporate Park in the city of Alachua.

Verenium trades under NASDAQ under the ticket symbol VRNM. Its headquarters will be in Cambridge.

A Fort White photographer's photo of his mother's horses appears on the cover of the new Nintendo DS video game "Pony Friends."

Scott Perez of Scott Pictures photography studio had supplied the photo to a stock photo agency.

"One day I came home and there was a message on my answering machine saying, 'This is Karl Stewart (creative director of Eidos Inc.). We'd like to use your picture on the cover of our new game,'" Perez said. "At first I thought it was a joke."

The photo is of two Haflinger ponies named Mitchell and Chili that live on the Fort White farm of Perez's mother, Becky.

The game allows users to create and care for the "perfect pony."

ICU Data Systems announced that an international distribution agreement is forthcoming for Dehli, India-based Mobineers Info Systems, an Indian software company, to market and distribute ICU's products in that country.

ICU provides critical care medical technology devices. It's flagship product, iCuro, is an automated patient data management device for clinicians in intensive care units to replace multiple manual charts. It was developed by a team of scientists at the University of Florida colleges of Medicine and Engineering.

ICU has offices in Gainesville, Orlando and Minneapolis.

Anthony Clark can be reached at 352-374-5094 or anthony.clark@gvillesun.com.

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