Jeff Ostrowski

Jeff Ostrowski writes about biotechnology, banking and economic development. Since joining the Post in 1999, he has covered a variety of business beats, including real estate and insurance. Before coming to the Post, he was a reporter at the South Florida Business Journal and the Fort Pierce Tribune. Real Time blog

Latest from Jeff Ostrowski

Roofer faces $150,000 fine for alleged violations in Jupiter community
 A roofing company faces nearly $150,000 in fines after failing to protect workers from falling, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. Crown Roofing of Sarasota was cited after OSHA inspectors in January visited a construction site on Blanca Isles Lane at DiVosta’s Sonoma Isles project in Jupiter. OSHA...

Posted: a minute ago

A roofing company faces nearly $150,000 in fines after failing to protect workers from falling, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday. Crown Roofing of Sarasota was cited after OSHA inspectors in January visited a construction site on Blanca Isles Lane at DiVosta’s Sonoma Isles project in Jupiter. OSHA...
Palm Beach County foreclosure investor pleads guilty to bid rigging charge
 A Palm Beach County real estate investor accused of rigging bids on public foreclosure auctions has pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors said. Stuart Hankin admitted to violating antitrust law, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. A violation of the Sherman Act carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1...

Posted: a minute ago

A Palm Beach County real estate investor accused of rigging bids on public foreclosure auctions has pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors said. Stuart Hankin admitted to violating antitrust law, the U.S. Department of Justice announced. A violation of the Sherman Act carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1...
VistaBlue condo sets Singer Island record, draws billionaire Joe Mansueto
 A penthouse at VistaBlue, the oceanfront condo in Riviera Beach, fetched $7.56 million -- and the developer says the price of $1,176 per square foot is the richest sum ever paid for a Singer Island condo. The buyers of that unit are Singer Island residents Walter and Karen Worthy, according to property records. In all, VistaBlue has...

Posted: 2 days ago

A penthouse at VistaBlue, the oceanfront condo in Riviera Beach, fetched $7.56 million -- and the developer says the price of $1,176 per square foot is the richest sum ever paid for a Singer Island condo. The buyers of that unit are Singer Island residents Walter and Karen Worthy, according to property records. In all, VistaBlue has...
Brightline hopes to extend fast-train service to Tampa
 Brightline hopes to extend its service not just to Orlando but also to Tampa. Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that, in response to “an unsolicited proposal” from Brightline, the Florida Department of Transportation will seek bids from private companies interested in running high-speed trains from Orlando to Tampa. Brightline...

Posted: 2 days ago

Brightline hopes to extend its service not just to Orlando but also to Tampa. Gov. Rick Scott said Friday that, in response to “an unsolicited proposal” from Brightline, the Florida Department of Transportation will seek bids from private companies interested in running high-speed trains from Orlando to Tampa. Brightline...
Affordable housing project lists new homes at $155K — see how it works
 For nine years, Michelle Meeks crammed herself and her two daughters into a two-bedroom unit in what she describes as a “fly-by-night” apartment complex. The single mom saved money by skipping cable, and she slept in a bedroom where the air conditioning barely worked. “It was horrible,” said Meeks, a maintenance worker...

Posted: 3 days ago

For nine years, Michelle Meeks crammed herself and her two daughters into a two-bedroom unit in what she describes as a “fly-by-night” apartment complex. The single mom saved money by skipping cable, and she slept in a bedroom where the air conditioning barely worked. “It was horrible,” said Meeks, a maintenance worker...
Palm Beach County house prices hit post-crash high
 Continuing a trend of rising property values, Palm Beach County home prices hit a new post-crash high in May. The median price of a single-family house sold last month was $354,000, the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale said Wednesday. That's up slightly from April's median of $350,000, and a 5.7 percent increase from...

Posted: 4 days ago

Continuing a trend of rising property values, Palm Beach County home prices hit a new post-crash high in May. The median price of a single-family house sold last month was $354,000, the Realtors of the Palm Beaches and Greater Fort Lauderdale said Wednesday. That's up slightly from April's median of $350,000, and a 5.7 percent increase from...
What does Office Depot mean when it says: ‘We are not a retailer’
 At the Office Depot store a few miles from the Fortune 500 company’s headquarters, the fluorescent lighting is harsh, the parking lot is mostly empty and the aisles hold mundane products such as bottled water, poster board and pens. Office Depot Chief Executive Gerry Smith wants investors to erase that image from their memories. Aiming...

Posted: 5 days ago

At the Office Depot store a few miles from the Fortune 500 company’s headquarters, the fluorescent lighting is harsh, the parking lot is mostly empty and the aisles hold mundane products such as bottled water, poster board and pens. Office Depot Chief Executive Gerry Smith wants investors to erase that image from their memories. Aiming...
Palm Beach County unemployment remains at 12-year low
 Mike Fage has openings for 15 plumbers. Don Cortez could hire three electricians immediately. In a Palm Beach County labor market characterized by rock-bottom unemployment rates, employers like Fage and Cortez can only shake their heads at the lack of workers. Related: Despite robust pay, “middle-skill” jobs go unfilled &ldquo...

Posted: 9 days ago

Mike Fage has openings for 15 plumbers. Don Cortez could hire three electricians immediately. In a Palm Beach County labor market characterized by rock-bottom unemployment rates, employers like Fage and Cortez can only shake their heads at the lack of workers. Related: Despite robust pay, “middle-skill” jobs go unfilled &ldquo...
UPDATE: Brightline train ‘brushed’ man who refused to move off track, PBSO says
 Authorities said a man was “brushed” by a Brightline train early Thursday after he refused to move from the tracks.  The unidentified male was taken to a trauma center for evaluation and is being referred for a mental-health examination, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said.  The...

Posted: 10 days ago

Authorities said a man was “brushed” by a Brightline train early Thursday after he refused to move from the tracks.  The unidentified male was taken to a trauma center for evaluation and is being referred for a mental-health examination, a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office said.  The...
Homebuilder pays $12 million for 37 acres west of Lake Worth
 Expansion-minded builder Mattamy Homes paid $12 million for 37 acres along Lake Worth Road, according to a deed. The vacant land is on the south side of Lake Worth Road just west of Florida’s Turnpike. The seller, Lake Worth Road Investors, last year asked the county for permission to increase the density allowed on the property...

Posted: 10 days ago

Expansion-minded builder Mattamy Homes paid $12 million for 37 acres along Lake Worth Road, according to a deed. The vacant land is on the south side of Lake Worth Road just west of Florida’s Turnpike. The seller, Lake Worth Road Investors, last year asked the county for permission to increase the density allowed on the property...
Amazon, so what? As many retailers shrink, furniture stores expand
 Ask furniture retailer Keith Koenig why he feels confident enough to open two 100,000-square-foot stores when many merchants are shrinking, and he points to an obvious reality: Rare is the consumer who buys a couch without sitting on it first. “It’s such a personal item,” says Koenig, president of Tamarac-based City Furniture...

Posted: 12 days ago

Ask furniture retailer Keith Koenig why he feels confident enough to open two 100,000-square-foot stores when many merchants are shrinking, and he points to an obvious reality: Rare is the consumer who buys a couch without sitting on it first. “It’s such a personal item,” says Koenig, president of Tamarac-based City Furniture...