Central In the News - May 2005
Jacobs Sverdrup Space Services Group, a launch pad support service provider, plans to cut up to 100 jobs due to the end of the Titan 4 rocket program. Jacobs' announcement comes on the heels of a plan by Lockheed Martin to lay off 325 workers who built the rockets. Jacobs also says up to 300 additional workers may lose their jobs by the end of summer if the company fails to win a new contract for other support services at Cape Canaveral.
Daytona Beach -- Halifax Medical Center has opened its Halifax Dunn Health Center, which replaces the Halifax Crosslin Health Center as a primary clinic for adult healthcare. With the Dunn Avenue facility open, Halifax is turning the Halifax Keech Health Center into a full-time pediatric facility.
Daytona Lagoon, formerly Adventure Landing, reopened under new ownership after $3 million in repairs and renovation. In addition to the water park, the venue features laser tag, rock climbing, mini-golf and go-carts. Season passes are $60, and daily admission runs $12.95 and up. The University of Central Florida is considering offering an executive master's degree in business administration at its Daytona Beach campus.
Daytona Beach Shores -- Volusia Properties Inc. plans to buy a 1.1-acre oceanfront site on South Atlantic Avenue for a 12-story luxury condominium with 60 units. Prices will range from $400,000 to more than $800,000, with construction to begin in the fall.
Lake Mary -- Faro Technologies (Nasdaq-FARO) has provided high-tech portable 3-D measurement systems to the motorcycle builders at Orange County Choppers, the New York custom motor-cycle shop featured in the Discover Channel television series "American Chopper." The device allows designers to digitize handmade items and then modify the design to make curves smoother or more symmetrical.
Leesburg -- The Leesburg City Commission approved the Fox Point housing development on the shores of the Palatlakaha River, but the St. Johns River Water Management District has so far withheld judgment on whether owners in the development will be able to build boat docks.
Maitland -- FDN Communications and Miami-based H.I.G. Capital have acquired Supra Telecom in Miami as it exits from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Supra has more than 250,000 residential telephone customers. FDN and H.I.G. will each own 50% of Supra.
Melbourne -- AuthenTec has introduced a biometric sensor it bills as the smallest, most powerful and most versatile in the world. The device is aimed primarily at cell phone manufacturers, allowing customers to avoid unauthorized phone use.
Orlando -- UCF is teaming up with the U.S. Geological Survey in a five-year, $1.7-million project to study how environmental stresses -- hurricanes and growth, for example -- affect the region's water supply. The two will build a joint-use facility near the university campus.
AirTran Airways (NYSE-AAI) says it plans 25% growth this year as it expands from a regional East Coast airline to one that flies coast to coast. The airline has added 19 aircraft, which increases capacity by 30%.
Dan Crowley, president of Lockheed Martin Simulation Training & Support, has been named president of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Crowley will move from Orlando to Fort Worth, Texas.
RMC Property Group of Tampa and West Palm Beach-based N-K Ventures announced plans for a 16-story mixed-use project in Thornton Park. The project includes more than 300 residential condominiums, a Publix Super Market, 5,000 square feet of retail space and 10,000 square feet of office space.
Kodak subsidiary Qualex closed its photo-processing lab on Orange Blossom Trail, laying off more than 70 people.
Orlando CFO Mickey Miller has resigned to take the same post in Jacksonville, where he worked before becoming Orlando's chief financial officer in 1978. Miller successfully pushed Orlando to take a more corporate-like approach to investing, earning higher returns by taking on slightly more risk.
Palm Bay -- Parsippany, N.J.-based DRS Technologies won a $49-million Army contract to provide systems for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Work will begin in October at the DRS facility in Palm Bay and run through July 2006.
Port Canaveral -- Princess Cruises has added Port Canaveral to the ports of call visited by its new 116,000-ton ship, Crown Princess. Passengers who embark on the 900-room ship in New York for a round-trip Caribbean voyage will spend a day in port in Brevard. Port officials hope the deal will encourage Princess Cruises to base a ship at Port Canaveral year-round.
Sanford -- Using a Boeing 727 donated by Pan American Airways, Orlando Sanford International Airport is building a training center to help law enforcement and firefighting personnel better respond to airline emergencies. The $1-million center is expected to begin operations this summer.
Developer Cameron Kuhn put plans for a 400,000-sq.-ft. downtown office tower on hold, blaming the high cost of construction materials, particularly concrete and steel. However, Kuhn says he will continue with plans for the rest of the $100-million mixed-use project, which includes renovation of the former JC Penney building.