TAMPA — The 750-foot-long Ireland, one of the biggest cargo vessels ever to call at Port Tampa Bay, arrived Sunday.

The Ireland is on its inaugural voyage, having left a shipyard in China for a stop in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to pick up 64,865 short tons of limestone for delivery to Tampa. Like granite, steel and cement, limestone is in heavy demand right now by the bay area’s booming construction industry.

RELATED: With Steelco arrival, Port Tampa Bay sees new growth in steel business

The Ireland is owned by Vulcan Materials Co., of Birmingham, Ala., the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates like crushed stone and gravel and a tenant of 23 acres at Port Tampa Bay since 1991. Named one of the "Great Ships of 2017" by Maritime Reporting & Engineering News, the Ireland can unload 4,500 metric tons of cargo per hour.

At 909 feet, the container ship Montevideo Express, which called at Tampa in January 2015, was the largest cargo vessel Port Tampa Bay has seen at the dock. Cruise ships, which are bigger, are another matter, port spokeswoman Samara Sodos said Monday.

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By Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer

Published: April 23, 2018
Updated: April 23, 2018 at 12:25 PM

Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times


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TAMPA TIMES: A reigning champion for sand and sunshine, Tampa Bay is once again home to what’s been deemed the best beach in the country. 

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TAMPA BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL:  Tampa International Airport unveiled its new SkyConnect trains that link the airport's main terminal to the economy parking garage and new consolidated rental car center. 

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BY PAT SETTER  Before you invest in a vintage home, consider the perks of buying new.  Here are 10 reasons to buy a brand new house: 

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Since 1976, Pioneer Homes has been fulfilling dreams of homeowners by combining stability with a rock solid reputation in quality home-building and community development. A leader in single-family and townhome construction for 40 years in the Tampa Bay area, Pioneer's vast experience will make these dreams of the perfect home a reality.

We are currently building New Florida Homes in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Safety Harbor, Citrus Park, Ozona, Lutz, Tarpon Springs & Hudson, while developing new communities throughout Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties. Pioneer ensures all of our newly developed communities require no CDD fees.

Pioneer Homes offer many new single family home designs to choose from. If one of these versatile plans does not suit your needs, our team of expert design consultants will assist you in creating the home that fits your lifestyle. If maintenance-free living is of more interest for you, we have three communities that offer the best in new villa and town home living.

Our ability and willingness to personalize, has positioned Pioneer Homes as a leader in quality building throughout Florida's central west coast. 

Read More Median home values are reaching new peaks in more than half of the nation's largest housing markets.

"The housing market as a whole is moving at a steady clip, with high demand and low inventory combining to maintain strong home value appreciation," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. "Most new construction has been at the higher end of the market, so demand for the limited supply of entry-level homes is pushing up their values, but these homes also lost more value when the bubble burst.

The median home value in the U.S. rose 6.9% over the last year to a Zillow Home Value Index of $201,900. Seattle is the only major U.S. market where home values rose at a double-digit annual pace, up 12.4% since last August to a median home value of $453,100. Tampa home values rose 9.3%, and the median home is worth $187,400.

* Statistics from

Annual rent appreciation grew for the fourth consecutive month, with rents increasing 1.9% from last August to a Zillow Rent Index of $1,430.

Limited inventory leaves few options for buyers. Nationally there were 12.6% fewer homes available in August 2017 than there were in August 2016. San Jose and San Diego saw the biggest annual declines in inventory, down 59.4% and 37.2% respectively.

Mortgage rates on Zillow ended August at 3.62%, near the lowest level of the month. Rates moved steadily lower throughout the month after starting at a high of 3.72% Zillow's real-time mortgage rates are based on thousands of custom mortgage quotes submitted daily to anonymous borrowers on the Zillow Mortgages site and reflect the most recent changes in the market.

Posted: September 21 2017

Read More Tampa was named 2017’s 2nd Best City to Retire in a recent study from the leading personal finance outlet You can find the full study here:

To help Americans plan for a comfortable retirement without breaking the bank, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest U.S. cities across 40 key measures of affordability, quality of life, health care and availability of recreational activities. The data set ranges from cost of living to retired taxpayer-friendliness to share of the 65 and older population.

Retirement-Friendliness of Tampa (1=Best; 75=Avg.):

34th– Adjusted Cost of Living
44th– Annual Cost of In-Home Services
10th–Recreation & Senior Centers per Capita
24th–Adult Volunteer Activities per Capita
18th– ‘Mild Weather’ Ranking
17th–Home-Care Facilities per Capita
1st - Fishing Facilities per Capita
4th - Bingo Halls per Capita

Posted: 8/15/17

You can find the full study here:


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TAMPA (WFLA) – Frontier Airlines is expanding its service to 11 new cities from Tampa. 

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TAMPA-- The developers who are spending more than $3 billion in private investment to transform downtown Tampa released a new rendering that shows how much the skyline will grow in nine years, and also revealed the name of the project: Water Street Tampa.   

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