Poster boy

Want a story of a self-promotional developer with memorable hair and an affinity for splashy, multimillion-dollar deals? If you’re thinking [tag]Donald Trump[/tag], you’re fired. [tag]Grady Pridgen[/tag] doesn’t have Trump’s runaway tongue or jet-setter’s flamboyance. But he’s probably the closest thing the [tag]Tampa Bay[/tag] area’s real estate community has to a poster boy. The Pre-Foreclosure Property Investor\'s Kit : How to Make Money Buying Distressed Real Estate -- Before the Public Auction

With its flashy smile and dark pompadour, Pridgen’s image adorns some of the biggest projects in [tag]Pinellas County[/tag], the point driven home by the slogan “Not Just Another Pretty Place” on a prominent Interstate 275 billboard. Pridgen’s message: You sign onto his projects, you deal with the big guy himself. And a lot of projects there are: The 46-year-old developer estimates his portfolio at $4-billion. It includes the former Nielsen Media headquarters in Dunedin and the $1.5-billion [tag]La Entrada[/tag] project off I-275 and Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg. He’s acquired half a city block for [tag]Bayway Lofts[/tag], the glassy high-rise condos he’s intent on building. Lockheed-Martin, Jabil Circuit and Airbourne Express lease Pridgen-managed property. They are some of the 1,000 companies he boasts about moving to the area.

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