Day 2 of STAR: NE Florida Angler Wins GMC

window.home_url = “;;

window.plugin_dir_url = “;;

window.channel_taxonomy = “”;

window.channel_term = “”;

// ]]>

Harold Castleberry at Academy Sports & Outdoors in Jacksonville, after verifying the first winning tag in the STAR Tagged Redfish Division.


A welder from a small town in northeast Florida has won the first of the 5 major prizes up for grabs in the 2016 STAR Tagged Redfish Division. Harold Castleberry, of Macclenny, will soon take the wheel of a brand-new GMC 4-door pickup, donated by Conley Buick GMC of Bradenton.



Castleberry caught and reported the first of the CCA-FLSTAR tagged redfish on Sunday, May 29, in the Guana River near St. Augustine. He was fishing with a friend, Donald Brickle, on Brickle’s 16-foot Stottcraft.


“We usually fish the ICW where the Guana River comes out, but there was a lot of boat traffic and rough water, so we moved up the river a ways,” said Castleberry. The two had fresh mullet for bait, and they anchored in a bend in the river. “We put out a few live mullet and some chunks. Right away, I hooked a fish but it broke off on our motor. Then Brick had a few bites but he was snoozin’ back there and missed them.”


At about 2:00 p.m., Castleberry got another bite on a chunk of mullet behind a 1-ounce sliding sinker rig. “That was on the pole we call ‘Old Lucky’,” he said, referring to an Ugly Stick with a 6500 Abu Garcia baitcast reel. “When Brick netted the fish, he was more excited than I was-he saw the tag before I did.”


Fortunately, the two had already registered for the STAR tournament-Castleberry only one day before, on Saturday morning. They measured the fish-25 inches-on the special STAR measuring stick, photographed it, snipped the tag and released the fish. “It swam away fine,” Castleberry said. He began to enter the catch into the cellphone STAR app, but found his phone had a dead battery. “We ran back to the ramp, charged my phone for a few minutes, and called Andrew [Gillespie, the tournament assistant].”


Tournament staff quickly reached Castleberry to confirm the catch, and he later passed the obligatory polygraph test with flying colors. Castleberry says he’s been told by STAR staff that he’ll be awarded the GMC truck following the October awards banquet. Currently, Castleberry, who commutes to Jaxport Shipyard, says he’s driving a 2008 Nissan Titan. The new GMC, says Castleberry, “sounds a lot better!”


Castleberry also says he’s hooked on redfishing. “I was born and raised in Macclenny, and I love fishing,” he said. “I’ve been a bass fisherman for a while, but my buddy Brick got me turned on to redfish. I’ve been doing it about a year now.”


This is the first year that there has been a Tagged Redfish Division on Florida’s Atlantic coast. Last year’s tournament was strictly limited to the Gulf side. STAR stands for Statewide Tournament and Angler’s Rodeo, and it’s modeled after successful Coastal Conservation Association events in Texas and Louisiana. Earlier this spring, Florida STAR staffers planted 150 tagged redfish at widely distributed, confidential points around the Florida coastline. This year’s STAR tag is red. Printed on the tag is a special number beginning with FL followed by CCA Florida STAR and the phone number 844-387-STAR (7827). Winners are determined by time of catch, and must have been registered both as a CCA FL member ($30 for standard membership) and a STAR participant ($35).


The next prize up in the Tagged Redfish Division is a 22 Contender Sport, or, for youth anglers, a $25,000 scholarship. And of course there are all sorts of prizes and awards up in the many categories of the 101-day STAR tournament. See for registration or call 844-387-STAR (7827).


Happy Memorial Day from The Real Deal!

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 4.32.47 PM


The Real Deal won’t be posting any stories on Monday, May 30 – but will keep our eyes peeled for any breaking news. Don’t forget to check back Tuesday morning, when we’ll resume regular posting starting at 7:30 a.m.


Enjoy the sunshine! – TRD



Developer plans condo, hotel on U.S. 41 near Naples

Anthony Fortino

Anthony Fortino


Developer Anthony Fortino plans to build condo units and hotel rooms on land along U.S. 41 near Naples.


Fortino submitted plans to Collier County for a mixed-use nine-story structure at the corner of U.S. 41 and Davis Boulevard, just outside Naples city limits.


Construction could start by October, said Fortino of Fortino Construction and Development LLC, with offices in Naples and Hackensack, New Jersey.


The development site, now home to an automotive body and rim shop, is adjacent to five acres that Collier County sold to another developer planning to build an 11-story hotel and an 18-story condo there.


Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor told the Naples Daily News, “It’s kind of becoming hotel row … It’s certainly a step above what’s there now.”


The nine-story Fortino development would include high-end condominium units, extended-stay hotel rooms and a ground-floor restaurant. [Naples Daily News] – Mike Seemuth



Hallandale emerges as vertical development hot spot

Rendering of Hallandale Oasis

Rendering of Hallandale Oasis


Hallandale Beach is rapidly morphing from a quiet coastal suburb to a vertical development hub.


The city’s fast-changing built environment will include two recently approved projects: a 28-story office building, called Optima II, and Hallandale Oasis, a mixed-use development with a 19-story hotel and twin 26-story condos.


Hallandale city commissioners granted approval May 18 to Optima II and Hallandale Oasis, and in June, they will consider whether to approve a 23-story residential development, together with a hotel and commercial space, at 900 South Federal Highway.


Earlier this year, the owners of the 127-acre Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club in Hallandale Beach won city approval to construct condo and condo-hotel buildings ranging in height from 20 stories to 30 stories.


Jack McCabe, a real estate analyst in Deerfield Beach, told the Sun-Sentinel, “We’re going to see Hallandale go through a metamorphosis in the next five, six years. Just 10 years ago, that area was fairly blighted. But we’ve seen Hallandale undergo a gentrification process.” [Sun-Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth



McCraney picks Plant City site for logistics center

Steven E. McCraney, president and CEO, McCraney Property Company

Steven E. McCraney, president and CEO, McCraney Property Company


West Palm Beach-based McCraney Property Company bought land for a 1.3 million-square-foot industrial development in Plant City, located about 30 miles from Tampa along Interstate 4.


MCraney paid an undisclosed amount for 70 acres and plans to construct four industrial buildings there, including one that would span 876,240 square feet. The sellers of the 70 acres are berry farmer Carl Grooms and his wife, Dee Dee Grooms.


Plant City’s planning and zoning department is reviewing the proposed development, named the County Line Logistics Center at Fancy Farms.


Plant City also is the location of other commercial real estate developments including a 100,000-square-foot building on County Line Road that Central Florida Development (CFD) began constructing in January.


In April, CFD announced plans for another project on County Line Road in Plant City, a 72-acre business park development. [Plant City Observer] – Mike Seemuth



Tennis headquarters in Daytona moving to Orlando

Rendering of USTA National Campus in Orlando

Rendering of USTA National Campus in Orlando


The  Florida branch of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) will break ground ceremonially June 3 for a new headquarters in Orlando, where USTA is building a national tennis campus and tournament venue with more than 100 courts. The Florida branch of the USTA will move its headquarters from Daytona Beach to a 10,000-square-foot building at the USTA National Campus, now under construction in southeast Orlando’s Lake Nona area.


The total cost of the new statewide headquarters is $3 million.  The Florida branch, which has 40,000 members, moved its headquarters several times since leaving its longtime home in Miami Shores. The state headquarters has been in a city-owned rental space in Daytona Beach for the last 14 years. The USTA is the national governing body of tennis. [Orlando Sentinel] – Mike Seemuth



Miami developer revising, reviving Melbourne project

SH Communities' 257-acre tract in Melbourne (Source: Florida Today)

SH Communities’ 257-acre tract in Melbourne (Source: Florida Today)


Miami-based SH Communities is revising a master plan to develop 257 acres of wooded land in Melbourne.


An affiliate of SH bought the land for $13 million in 2005, and in 2006, the City of Melbourne approved the company’s proposal to develop 1,381 single-family homes, villas and townhouses spread across 14 mini-neighborhoods.


But that development, called Mayfair Isles, never advanced after the real estate market crashed in 2007.


City council members unanimously agreed in April to consider rezoning the land and terminating agreements with SH related to the Mayfair Isles project.


The 257-acre tract  is east of Babcock Street, south of Florida Avenue, west of Lipscomb Street and north of Pirate Lane. The land, wedged between Palm Bay High School and Melbourne Central Catholic High School, is among the  biggest remaining wooded tracts in Melbourne.


Phil Nohrr, a Melbourne attorney for the developer, told city council members that the revised SH master plan will be a catalyst for growth in southern Melbourne. [Florida Today] – Mike Seemuth