April 1, 2015


Central Florida

Jerry Jackson | 4/4/2013

Lake Mary/Sanford/Seminole County

» As Seminole County celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the improving economy has brought fresh battles between developers and residents over where to build homes and how many to build. With only a 308-square-mile footprint, smaller than its larger metro Orlando neighboring counties, Seminole County in recent years has been considered essentially built out. Most remaining open land is near the protected, environmentally sensitive Wekiva River and its drainage basin. But subdivision developers recently have signaled renewed interest in projects on what they consider transitional land.

» Most of Seminole County’s seven cities are working on their downtowns, or town centers, restorations or developments, including Altamonte Springs, Casselberry, Longwood, Sanford and Winter Springs. Lake Mary and Oviedo are benefiting from the growth of nearby University of Central Florida and the new Medical City project at Lake Nona.

Business to Watch

» American Automobile Association: With 676 employees at its national headquarters in Heathrow near Lake Mary, AAA shows no signs of slowing. Ranked among Seminole County’s top employers, AAA has posted steady growth since it moved to Heathrow from Falls Church, Va., in 1989 and continues to expand its services for more than 53 million customers nationwide.

Seminole Population: 439,890
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 1.37%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
17.73% 6.51% 27.51% 35.00% 13.25%
Per Capita Income: $44,750


Kissimmee/Osceola County

» A rebound in tourism brought Osceola County out of the recession, and tourism prospects continue to brighten. The convention and visitors bureau, rebranded as Experience Kissimmee, reported a double-digit increase in tourist tax revenue for 2012, about $36 million, $1 million more than expected.

» Significant health and transportation development is under way, including the $65-million Poinciana Medical Center, opening this summer, with newly appointed CEO Joanna Conley.

» The Lynx multimodal transportation hub in downtown Kissimmee is expected to be completed by fall.

» Valencia College opened a $35-million, 150,000-sq.-ft. addition to its Kissimmee campus, and the home-building market is showing signs of revival at ChampionsGate and other upscale Osceola communities.

Osceola Population: 295,910
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 2.77%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
20.90% 7.52% 27.68% 32.16% 11.73%
Per Capita Income: $28,306


Lake County

» As the state and nation regained economic strength slowly in 2012, Lake County’s service-based economy has revived steadily and should continue to grow moderately in 2013.

» South Lake was on a home-building boom before the recession, and thousands of newer residents commute to jobs in Orange and Osceola counties, putting pressure on main commuter routes, particularly State Road 50, where road widening continues. The revival of economies in those neighboring counties has helped Lake as well, and home construction has begun to rebound slowly. In north Lake, the sprawling, tri-county Villages retirement community is setting national growth records.

Lake Population: 317,879
Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 1.84%
Population by Age:
0-14 15-19 20-39 40-64 65+
16.95% 5.39% 20.21% 32.03% 25.42%
Per Capita Income: $35,809

Tags: Central, Economic Yearbook

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