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October 19, 2018

Central Florida Roundup

Rising tide: Cruise revenue pushes Port Canaveral toward $100 million

Jason Garcia | 10/26/2017

Business Briefs

APOPKA — City leaders voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

DAYTONA BEACH — OneSky, a collection of private-jet companies owned by Directional Aviation, signed on as a tenant partner and will sponsor an innovation center within Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University’s research park. The center will host coding competitions and offer internships to Embry- Riddle students studying aviation information technology.

KISSIMMEE — Osceola Regional Medical Center is spending $50 million to boost its number of beds from 332 to 404.

LAKE MARY — Robinhood, an online brokerage, opened its first office outside of California and plans to hire more than 200 employees over three years.

ORANGE COUNTY — An administrative judge ruled that county commissioners violated their own rules when they approved a controversial housing development in the rural east end of the county. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Rick Scott had the authority to take capital cases away from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala after Ayala announced that she will never seek the death penalty.

ORLANDO — Orlando International Airport completed the roughly $60-million sale of approximately 1,200 acres south of the airport to Tavistock Group, which plans to use the land to expand Lake Nona. Meanwhile, Lake Nona struck a deal with a corporate affiliate of Google to better integrate technology into a 3.8 million-sq.-ft. retail area called the Lake Nona Town Center. Lincoln Property Group bought most of Church Street Station, a mixed-use retail and entertainment center downtown. The company plans to redevelop the complex. Walmart began testing a grocery-delivery service at four Orlando stores. Specialty grocer Earth Fare will open its first Orlando location, its fourth in Florida. Pennsylvania-based Exeter Property Group plans to build a spec distribution center near Orlando International Airport of up to 500,000 square feet. The city is testing trash compactors and recycling bins downtown that have been equipped with sensors to notify the city when they are more than half full. Hard Rock International will move its headquarters from Orlando to south Florida. Microbrewer Orange County Brewers opened a 3,400-sq.-ft. brewery and brewpub downtown.

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Valencia College opened a $27-million Poinciana campus, its sixth central Florida campus.

PORT CANAVERAL — Parrish Healthcare opened a primary care and walk-in clinic catering to cruise passengers, ship crew members and port workers.

SEMINOLE COUNTY — Five cities — Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Longwood, Maitland and Sanford — that had been subsidizing Uber trips within their own limits struck an intercity agreement to subsidize trips around the five cities. County commissioners in Seminole, central Florida’s most affluent county, created an opioid task force in response to reports of overdoses. Meritage Homes spent $40 million to buy about 200 acres for a 700-home community in the southern part of the county.

THE VILLAGES — The first Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar in Florida opened in one of The Villages’ town centers.

WINTER GARDEN — City leaders approved an urban farming ordinance allowing residents to grow food or ornamental flowers on their properties.

WINTER PARK — City commissioners voted down a plan to have police officers wear body cameras.


  • Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College since 1996, will step down in July 2018, though she will continue to serve as president emeritus, helping with fundraising and other duties.
  • JHT, a defense simulation firm based in the Central Florida Research Park, promoted Carla Holoman to president and COO. Holoman has been with JHT since 2001.


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