Central Florida In the News - Nov. 2005
BREVARD COUNTY -- The Naval Ordnance Test Unit, once on the list of upcoming U.S. military base closures, will remain in operation after a push by the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast.
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES -- Volusia Properties has filed site plans to build its fifth and sixth luxury high-rise condominium projects in Volusia County. Construction is set to start early next year on the 11-story properties Islamorada and Key Largo Condominium, both on south Atlantic Avenue. The company also broke ground on the Sanibel along south Atlantic Avenue, which has been selling its 65 units for $500,000 to $1.6 million apiece.
DELAND -- Construction has started on the $9.5-million municipal complex scheduled to open by the end of 2006 on west New York Avenue. The three-story structure will centralize several city departments.
MELBOURNE -- Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) has donated $3 million to the University of Central Florida College of Engineering & Computer Science. The gift will be matched by the state.
OCOEE -- Baker Barrios Architects has unveiled plans for the Shoppes of Ocoee, an $8.5-million, 34,000-sq.-ft. upscale retail outlet scheduled to open next March at State Road 50 and Blackwood Avenue that will include shops, restaurants and a bank.
Village of ImagineORLANDO -- Vancouver-based Intrawest Corp. is building a 1,000-unit resort community on Universal Boulevard across from the Orange County Convention Center, where a lack of hotel rooms has been a concern since the center expanded two years ago. The Village of Imagine will include single-family houses, townhomes and condominium hotel units. The first phase is set to open in 2008. Intrawest is known for its destination resorts, including Sandestin Golf and Beach
Resort in the Panhandle and the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada, site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.ORLANDO -- Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty has agreed to earmark part of the county's tourist tax revenue for three Orlando community projects: A new downtown performing arts center and improvements to the Florida Citrus Bowl and the TD Waterhouse Centre. City Mayor Buddy Dyer is seeking $17 million in federal funding to pay for streetscaping along west Church Street.
Ron Jon Surfpark, the world's first wave pool facility for surfing and bodyboarding, is under construction at Festival Bay Mall on International Drive. The $9-million project is expected to open in mid-2006.
In a $25-million renovation, Orlando CityPlace LLC is turning the old Holiday Inn on Colonial Drive adjacent to Interstate 4 and the TD Waterhouse Centre into The Lexington, a four-star condominium hotel that also will contain restaurants and retail space. Vance Marketing Services of Orlando is handling sales of the 228 units.
Avalon Associates, a private development company headed by Beat Kahli, has broken ground on the $28-million Avalon Park Middle School in east Orange County under an unusual public-private agreement that speeds up the construction schedule. Kahli's company puts out the money now, and the School Board will repay him in its 2007 budget, a year after the school opens.
Cornerstone, one of three office condominium projects under way in downtown Orlando, has given a building at Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street a new look with balconies and other architectural accents. The former JC Penney department store that most recently held rental office space now contains office condominiums selling for $195 a square foot.
ASIS International, an organization for security professionals that held its 51st annual convention in Orange County this fall, donated $17,000 to Rock Lake Elementary School to beef up its security with fencing and closed-circuit TV cameras. The school participated in a contest held by ASIS after being placed on lockdown in March because of suspects fleeing a jewelry store shootout.
PALM COAST -- Town Center Development has enlisted an Orlando architectural firm to design 130 upscale townhomes off Interstate 95 and Palm Coast Parkway. Rhodes + Brito is also the lead architectural firm on the Florida A&M University College of Law project under construction in downtown Orlando.
SANFORD -- A new vehicle inspection station now open at the Orlando Sanford International Airport will be used as a substation for airport police and a disaster storm shelter. In addition, the Sanford Airport Authority has created a five-member dispatch division that will be housed at the airport's Emergency Operations Center.
VOLUSIA COUNTY -- The County Council is conducting a national search to replace County Manager Cindy Coto, who will resign effective Dec. 31.
Daytona Beach company Sanidoor has installed its touch-free sanitary technology in restrooms at several area restaurants: Mario's and Houligans in Ormond Beach and the Stonewood Grill & Tavern in Port Orange. The devices allow patrons to exit restrooms without touching door handles and were recognized as the best new equipment product this fall at the Florida Restaurant Association trade show in Orlando.
WINTER PARK -- Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co. has named Don Karas vice chairman. Karas was founding publisher of Restaurant Business Magazine and the Karas Report. He was also chairman of Klondike Ice Cream Co. Barnie's, celebrating its 25th anniversary, has more than 100 company-owned and franchised stores.