Central Florida Roundup
Orlando's co-working expansion takes off
Downtown Orlando is seeing an explosion of co-working space. In April, a 21,000-sq.-ft. Venture X co-working franchise opened on Pine Street, and Chicago’s Novel Coworking is holding a grand opening this month for flexible space in the historic Angebilt Building that it purchased for $13.7 million. In 2020, New York City-based WeWork will open a 70,000-sq.-ft. co-working space at the SunTrust Center that will accommodate up to 1,000 people and companies. Other newbies include: Industrious and Pipeline Orlando, both of which set up shop last year.
The growing competition appears to be taking a toll on some of the city’s space-sharing pioneers. Catalyst Spaces, one of the city’s first co-working spaces and startup incubator, shuttered its doors in August after five years.
Looking ahead, a JLL analysis predicts that volatile markets may eventually lead to “operator failures” in the co-working segment “with only the strong surviving” — but in the meantime, it sees room for growth. Today, flex space only accounts for about 5% of U.S. office space stock nationally. By 2030, it will jump to about 30%, according to JLL.
- The Florida Department of Transportation named Phil Brown (right), CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the 2019 Aviation Professional of the Year. Brown is overseeing OIA’s $4.2-billion expansion, the largest construction and renovation project in airport history.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation gave Space Florida a $90-million grant to replace the Indian River Bridge.
- Husband and wife Joshua and Jeanette Johnson debuted their 4,500-sq.-ft. Wall Crawl photo studio in downtown Orlando. The Church Street warehouse contains a rotating collection of colorful walls and backdrops for social media selfies and other photo ops.
- Terry Taylor is planning to build a Jaguar Land Rover dealership on South Orange Blossom trail in Orlando. The car dealer, who runs the West Palm Beach-based Automotive Management Services, owns at least 120 dealerships around the country, according to Automotive News.
- In a move that will generate up to 350 new or relocated jobs, Lockheed Martin relocated its ballistic missiles program from Sunnyvale, Calif., to Titusville. The defense giant plans to invest $40 million in its Florida campus.
- Gary and Barbara Bryant of Lake Mary donated $13 million to the UCF athletics department, the largest gift in school history. The donation will fund athletic scholarships. Gary Bryant was president and CEO of several life and health insurance companies in the Orlando area.
- Milwaukee-based engineering firm GRAEF is expanding its Florida footprint with new staff in its Miami and Orlando offices. The company is growing its Florida operations to become a Southeast hub.
- The city added 200 meterless paid parking spaces in the Creative Village area to coincide with the opening of the UCF and Valencia downtown campus. If the pilot project is successful, the city may implement them throughout the downtown.
- Orlando scored third in the nation among local governments rated in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s 2019 City Clean Energy Scorecard. The city earned high marks for its climate and energy goals, procurement and construction policies, and asset management.
- The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement is considering leasing properties in Central Florida and other regions of the U.S. to house unaccompanied minor migrant children.
- A Department of Labor investigation into Melbourne’s unpaid “golf ranger” program concluded that the city owes more than $100,000 in unpaid wages to 29 volunteers who worked at Crane Creek Reserve and Mallards Landing golf courses. The city, which gave the rangers free golf and driving range access in return for their time, suspended the program in February.
- Coastal Psychiatric Urgent Care, an urgent care center for mental health, opened in Melbourne.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to build an outpatient clinic in Kissimmee.
- AdventHealth Orlando, formerly known as Florida Hospital Orlando, ranked No. 1 among Florida hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 top hospitals list.
- Dennis Pape, founder of the recently shuttered co-working space Catalyst, will head up SeedFundersOrlando, a group that will provide mentoring and funding to tech startups. David Chitester, co-founder and CEO of St. Petersburg-based SeedFunders, will serve as chairman of the new group, and former Wall Street banker Irv Cohen will be a manager of the new fund.
- OneWeb Satellites, a venture between OneWeb and Airbus, opened a satellite factory in Titusville’s Exploration Park that will employ 250 high-tech workers.
- BET Investments purchased the Lakewalk at Hamlin apartment complex in the Horizon West area of Winter Garden for $80 million, or about $254,000 per apartment.
- Epoch Residential sold its 293-unit apartment complex, Maitland Station, to Nashville-based Nicol Investment for $73 million, or about $250,000 per unit. The complex is next to a SunRail station.
- A 114- acre site along I-4 in Eatonville owned by Orange County Public Schools is attracting interest from several large real estate firms, according to the Orlando Business Journal. UP Development in Tennessee was to buy the land for $20 million, but the deal fell through.
- Portland-based Vacasa struck a deal with Wyndham Destinations to buy its Wyndham Vacation Rentals business for $162 million.
Read more in Florida Trend's October issue.
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