In the News- Central- Jan. 2003
Cape Canaveral -- NASA's canceled program to update its 1970s-era launch computer systems has led to 140 job cuts at Lockheed Martin and 50 at United Space Alliance. Lockheed says 23 of the workers who faced job elimination were placed in new positions. The project was canceled in September after falling five years behind schedule and running $300 million over budget.
Royal Caribbean International (NYSE-RCL) plans to base its newest and biggest ship, the 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas, at Port Canaveral when construction is completed in November.
Daytona Beach -- Insurer Brown & Brown (NYSE-BRO) is being added to the Standard & Poor's Midcap 400 stock index. S&P chooses companies based on market size, liquidity and industry group representation.
The owners of Adventure Landing, once touted as a key for transforming the area into a family destination, closed the water park and arcade complex. Adventure Entertainment Corp. put its beachfront lease with the county up for sale for $5 million.
Kissimmee -- Tupperware Corp. (NYSE-TUP) and Target Stores have struck a deal that will put Tupperware in Target stores nationwide. The deal follows a test of Tupperware sales in 62 SuperTarget stores in 12 states.
Maitland -- Sprint is adding 200 employees to its Keller Road call center as business for Sprint PCS continues to increase. After the new hires, the customer service center will have about 1,400 workers.
Melbourne -- Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) won an $11-million contract to produce terminals for secure military transmissions. Harris has already done about $19 million worth of work on the project.
Orange County -- CNL Financial Group subsidiary CNL Realty & Development has teamed up with Atlanta-based Carter & Associates to develop Legacy Park, a 46-acre tract in east Orange County. The park already has a 200,000-sq.-ft. operations center for First Union National Bank. The new venture aims to add 200,000 square feet.
Ticketmaster plans to lay off another 83 from its downtown customer service center. The company says rising internet sales -- which now account for about 40% of its business -- led to the 83 layoffs as well as 221 in May.
CuraScript Pharmacy plans to add 467 jobs and build an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility near Orlando International Airport if the city and state provide $1.89 million in financial incentives. The city has already approved its share of more than $500,000.
Osceola County -- Construction began in November on the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, the largest hotel in the U.S. to break ground since Sept. 11. The $175-million hotel will have 732 rooms and is scheduled to open in 2004.
Winter Park -- The six-story Bank of America building on Park Avenue will undergo a $13.6-million renovation. The project will add 10,000 square feet of retail space, 7,000 square feet of office space and 124 new spaces in the garage. Most noticeable, however, will be a facade change from the glass-and-steel look to a vintage design that incorporates brick, stone trim, arches and iron work.
HOME SWEET HOME
Orlando recorded 5,108 single-family housing starts in the third quarter of 2002, up 4.9% from a year earlier. The top five communities in the Orlando market ranked by new-home starts are:
CommunityCountyHousing StartsThe VillagesLake2,182StoneybrookOrange345Avalon ParkOrange285SoliVitaPolk270Vista LakesOrange242Source: MetroStudy
ORANGE COUNTY -- Sparring over the route of the constitutionally mandated high-speed rail system has already begun. County officials and business leaders are at odds over whether the first leg, an Orlando-to-Tampa stretch, should run from the airport along S.R. 528 to the Orange County Convention Center then down I-4, or follow S.R. 417 to I-4 (see Transportation Outlook, feature stories).