BREVARD — According to financial reports it filed with the state in March, Wuesthoff Health System is in negotiations to be sold to an undisclosed buyer, presumably to get out of debt from construction of its Melbourne hospital.
» The University of Central Florida plans to expand its presence in Brevard, where it will use a former microchip manufacturing plant donated by Intersil as a high-tech research, development and business center that could employ as many as 300 researchers and staff members.
Space launch complex 46 [Photo: Chris Perkins]
MELBOURNE — Call center operator Harp Marketing in Melbourne is adding 100 additional positions to its workforce of 220.
» The Florida Institute of Technology wants to raise $5 million to redevelop its three-acre Anchorage property at the mouth of Crane Creek on Melbourne Harbor, renovating facilities there for FIT’s sailing club, concrete canoe team, alumni and athletic office employees. The university turned down numerous offers to commercialize the property, President Anthony Catanese says.
ORLANDO/ORANGE COUNTY — Median home prices increased 5% to $115,000 in March. Bank-owned and short-sale homes made up 67% of the sales, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Also, the number
of new contracts filed in April was up
53% over the previous year.
» The Central Florida Regional Transit Authority and its Lynx bus service have become the first public transit agency in the nation to produce an “on demand” biodiesel blended fuel onsite for an entire fleet. Replacing its 800,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually will lower carbon dioxide emissions, and officials plan to produce another 400,000 gallons for use in other county diesel vehicles.
The region will retain or create almost 3,300 jobs and shorten commutes by about
27 hours a year per driver once a five-year, $1.3-billion program to upgrade the area’s toll roads is complete, according to a $45,000 study commissioned by the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.
» For the first time since 1992, Orlando will host the NBA All-Star Game. The Feb. 26, 2012, game will be held at the Amway Center, which opens this fall downtown as the new, expanded home of the Orlando Magic. The game will be broadcast live worldwide on the TNT Network.
» The Citrus Bowl stadium in Orlando will host the 2010 Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 28 and the Capital One Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011, both airing nationwide on ESPN.
» The Peabody Orlando is hiring more than 200 employees to help staff its $450-million expansion, which is set to open Sept. 23. Positions range from managers to staffers in food and beverage, sales, guest services, housekeeping, concierge and engineering.?The expanded convention and tourist hotel on International Drive will have 1,641 rooms.
» Walt Disney World has announced plans for a new hotel, its first in seven years, which will open in 2012 near its Hollywood Studios theme park and the Pop Century Resort. The Art of Animation Resort will have 1,120 suites that can accommodate six people, as well as 864 rooms, and will be themed after popular animated films Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Cars.
OSCEOLA — The county has launched a free property search database to help companies considering setting up operations in Osceola, chooseosceola.com. Also, qualified employers, especially in healthcare, can apply for industrial revenue bonds similar to commercial loans through a new program administered by the county’s Industrial Revenue Authority.