Atlanta-based Batson-Cook Development Co.’s modus operandi is to secure the best sites in its target markets and link with a local partner to bring its projects to fruition.

Tampa was no exception. So when the company won the rights to acquire the 3-acre, waterfront tract that for decades had been occupied by the Colonnade Restaurant — one of the few remaining sites on Bayshore Boulevard zoned for high-rise development — it knew it had to be selective in choosing local talent.

Enter Jay Tallman, whose Ascentia Development Group was introduced to Batson-Cook through a Tampa land use attorney.

“When we looked at his past projects, we were favorably impressed,” says Batson-Cook President and CEO J. Littleton Glover Jr.

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