April 16, 2014

Business Florida 2014 - The Regions

East Central Florida

Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Melbourne, Orlando, Titusville

| 9/27/2013

ECONOMIC LIFE

Life Sciences/Healthcare
Two healthcare clusters are growing:
• Florida Hospital’s Health Village. Now open: The Florida Hospital-Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes. Coming soon: the U.S. headquarters of Mazor Robotics, an Israeli developer of robotic spinal surgery equipment, at the $55-million BioResearch Center.

• Lake Nona "Medical City." Now open: the $400-million Nemours Children’s Hospital. Under construction: the $25-million Proton Therapy Center — Florida’s first — at MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. Coming soon: Orlando VA Medical Center in spring 2014.

Pharmaceutical industry
Expanding:
• DaVita Rx, specializing in renal care, will invest $8.75 million to expand facilities and create 100 jobs.

• Prime Therapeutics has opened a 55,000-sq.-ft. specialty pharmacy with plans to create 213 jobs.

• Catalyst Rx, serving 5 million patients in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, has established a 60,000-sq.-ft. call center and expects to hire 300.

Training and Simulation
Orlando’s simulation sector accounts for more than 12,500 direct jobs and 100 companies, including three with active U.S. military contracts:

• Northrup Grumman is developing/managing the next-generation air-combat virtual-training network for the Air Force.

• Cubic Corporation is developing virtual-training systems for engineers aboard Littoral Combat Ships, the Navy’s most advanced war vessels.

• Lockheed Martin is upgrading a combat simulator for the Army and developing new training systems for the Marine Corps.

Aviation/Aerospace
In Melbourne:
• Brazil-based Archo Solutions Engineering will open its first U.S. facility, creating 50 aeronautical, automotive and naval design/engineering and production jobs as it seeks to tap into American commercial and executive jet markets.

• Lyon, France-based Vision Systems will site its first U.S. subsidiary, creating 40 manufacturing/engineering jobs.

• Lausanne, Switzerland-based Mid-Air SA will establish a U.S. aircraft maintenance operation; the anticipated 180,000-sq.-ft. facility will house a workforce of up to 450 within three years.

• Northrup Grumman will open a "Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence," adding more than 900 jobs, including hundreds of engineering positions.

Elsewhere in East Central:
• California-based United Paradyne Corporation will return to Kennedy Space Center to serve commercial launch providers and create 50 new jobs.

• Professional Aircraft Accessories has expanded its facilities at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, adding 65 jobs and increasing its workforce to more than 200.

• Italy-based Italico Aviation will open a manufacturing plant for light sports aircraft at Kissimmee Gateway Airport; 55 new jobs are planned.

• At Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Diamond Aircraft Industries, the world’s third-largest general Aviation aircraft manufacturer, plans to establish on-campus R&D operations in October 2013.

Hospitality and Tourism
• At Kennedy Space Center, NASA’s retired space shuttle Atlantis went on public display in June, along with replicas of the Hubble Space Telescope and the shuttle’s external fuel tank and solid rocket booster.

• In 2013, the region’s theme parks grew bigger and better:

» SeaWorld Orlando opened "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin" (its largest expansion to date) featuring a first-of-its-kind trackless ride and a chilly walk-through penguin habitat.

» Universal Orlando added a 3D Transformers ride and "Springfield," a collection of shops and restaurants based on the town that is home to "The Simpsons." Planned for 2014: another Harry Potter-themed attraction, "Diagon Alley."

» Walt Disney World completed more Fantasyland improvements. Next up: the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster in 2014.

• Kissimmee-based "Give Kids the World," a charity that hosts children with life-threatening illnesses and their families at its 70-acre, storybook-themed resort, is adding four new vacation villas to accommodate another 240 families annually. The expansion is being partially funded by a $500,000 gift from employees and guests of InterContinental Hotels, who raised the money through auctions, bake sales and other events.

Tags: Business Florida

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