Central Florida Business Briefs - Jan. 2006
? The 150,000-sq.-ft. Piedmont Plaza at State Road 436 and Piedmont-Wekiva Road is undergoing renovations by Orlando-based Cuhaci & Peterson Architects and developer Inland Real Estate.
? Orange Lake Resort & Country Club, the largest single-site timeshare resort in the country, is building a $50-million, 12-acre recreational complex and water park called River Island, set to open early this year. It will include retail, vacation villas and suites, along with pools, waterfalls and a lazy river...
? The 718-room Radisson Resort Parkway on U.S. Highway 192 has undergone a $4-million renovation by VOI Associates, an Orlando architecture, planning and interior design firm.
LAKE BUENA VISTA --
? The renovated 396-room Hotel Royal Plaza near Walt Disney World reopens this month. Hurricane Charley damaged the hotel in August 2004.
? The Versailles Partnership has sold the Versailles office building on Versailles Road near U.S. Highway 17-92 and Maitland Boulevard for $930,000 to 531 Versailles LLC. The 6,000-sq.-ft. building is 19 years old.
? Backed by $31 million in pledges for a new medical school, University of Central Florida President John Hitt made his pitch to the Board of Governors in mid-November. The board is expected to make a decision early this year. UCF is hoping it can offer medical-school classes by fall 2008. Florida International University in Miami is also pushing for a medical school...
? The University of Central Florida will get its own 45,000-seat on-campus football stadium, moving its games from the downtown Orlando Citrus Bowl possibly in time for the 2007 season. The board of trustees approved the project in November and is raising private donations to pay for construction, expected to run up to $60 million...
? The city has committed to spend $125,000 a year for five years to create the City Arts Factory. It will be housed on the second floor of the Orlando Visual Artists' League, or OVAL, building at Orange Avenue and Pine Street. The factory will include gallery space and retail...
? The Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld will undergo a $20-million renovation this year and into 2007, adding a spa and refurbishing everything from its meeting space to its guest rooms...
? A group of investors from New York has purchased the 16-story former Citizens National Bank building downtown on Orange Avenue at Robinson Street. The tower was Orlando's tallest when it was built in 1965.
? Orlando-based Cuhaci & Peterson Architects has been awarded a contract to design seven office buildings totaling 45,000 square feet at City Center.
ST. CLOUD --
? Health Management Associates of Naples, a publicly traded company with almost 60 hospitals nationwide, now owns 80% of the non-profit Orlando Regional St. Cloud Hospital and takes over operation of the facility.
? Avion Jet Center is building an additional 40,000-sq.-ft. hangar along with 2,000 square feet of office space at Orlando Sanford International.
VOLUSIA COUNTY --
? Through a federal permit granted in November, Volusia County can continue to allow beach driving for another 25 years. Environmentalists had fought the permit.