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Central Florida Business Briefs - July 2006

» Florida State University's College of Medicine is building a $4-million campus at Daytona Beach Community College off International Speedway Boulevard that will serve up to 40 third- and fourth-year students a year.

» SunState Aviation Flight School and Osceola High School have partnered to create an aviation magnet program for students this fall at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport. Students can register to receive college credit for the classes.

» Bellagio, a 1,313-acre community along Lake Tohopekaliga, has started selling luxury homes in Edgewater, the seventh of 15 planned neighborhoods in the development by Avatar Properties. The 203 homes range from $377,000 to $456,000.

» BankAtlantic Bancorp. is opening a call center expected to hire up to 150 by the end of the year.

» Northrop Grumman awarded Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) a contract potentially worth $70 million over five years to develop an encryption system for the Army. The company also landed a two-year, $10-million deal from Lockheed Martin to provide a data link that would enable cruise missiles to locate targets. In addition, Harris has signed an agreement to acquire Aastra Digital Video, a Bridgewater, N.J., company that develops video technologies for TV, telecommunications and satellite networks, for about $35 million.

» Atlanta-based digital copier/printer company Lanier Worldwide will expand its Melbourne operation, building a 17,400-sq.-ft. facility on NASA Boulevard and creating 90 customer service and technical jobs. It currently employs 120 in Melbourne. The new jobs will pay an average of $41,600 a year, according to the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast.

» The Florida Department of Transportation has permanently closed the Robinson Street exit ramp from eastbound I-4 in downtown Orlando as part of a three-year, $118.9-million project to revamp the I-4/East-West Expressway (State Road 408) interchange. Farther down I-4, a new, 1,627-foot two-lane ramp is open westbound at John Young Parkway as part of a $38.8-million restructuring. Both projects are designed to cut down on bottlenecks along the interstate.

» A 150-room Hampton Inn & Suites developed by hotelier Richard Kessler is planned as part of the $100-million Capital Plaza III project at Rosalind Avenue and Pine Street downtown, which will also include a 13-story condominium, a 15-story office building, retail stores and restaurants.

» Royal Palm is conducting preliminary engineering on a nine-acre site it has purchased on south International Drive. President Albert Kodsi says the company will develop 280 condominiums there.

» Oviedo on the Park, a $275-million project near Alafaya and Mitchell Hammock roads, will create a new "town center" that will include homes, apartments, retail and restaurants. Broad Street Partners of Charleston, S.C., expects to start construction by the end of the year, with full build-out in four to five years.

» Tavistock Group and Archive Properties have started construction on Windermere Financial Center, a two-story, 63,000-sq.-ft. Class A office building adjacent to Isleworth Golf & Country Club that will include high-end furnishings and full-time concierge service. Leases are going for $40 a square foot.

» Winter Park-based Barnie's Coffee & Tea has opened a store in Turkey.