Central Florida Roundup
Gateway: Deep Space Launch Complex debuts at the Kennedy Space Center this month
Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, a 50,000-sq.-ft. attraction showcasing the future of space exploration, will debut at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this month. The attraction will feature used and replica spacecraft and take visitors on an immersive simulated journey through space via a two-story, 4-D theater.
- Simcom Aviation Training broke ground on a 90,000-sq.-ft. training center and global headquarters on Nemours Parkway at Lake Nona’s town center. When it opens in early 2023, the center will house up to 12 flight simulators, serve an estimated 10,000 pilots per year and employ about 100.
- Art² (pronounced art squared) — an urban “pocket park” located at Orange Avenue and Robinson Street in downtown Orlando — will open this spring. The park will feature a two-story shipping container structure, a cafe, art gallery, stage, hammocks and food truck spaces, along with an LED video wall that can be used for digital art, YouTube events, gaming tournaments, movie nights and other events.
- Joel Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector who pleaded guilty to multiple charges including sex trafficking a minor, will pay Seminole County more than $1.8 million in restitution for public money he misspent while in office.
- Orlando Health has partnered with Acadia Healthcare, which operates 230 behavioral health care facilities in 40 states and Puerto Rico, to assume the management of the behavioral health program at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital.
- Walgreens and VillageMd have opened 10 primary care clinics in Walgreens stores in the Orlando region.
- David Shimp was named CEO of Osceola Regional Medical Center, a 404- bed HCA hospital, replacing Davide Carbone, who retired.
- PNC is awarding $500,000 (via a $450,000 grant from the PNC Foundation and a $50,000 charitable sponsorship from PNC Bank) to AdventHealth for Children’sWest Lakes Early Learning Center to assist the center in its efforts to address racial equity, economic empowerment, education and entrepreneurship in the Communities of West Lakes. The gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida.
REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT
- Boston-based AEW Capital Management sold the SouthPark Center — a 1.25 million-sq.-ft., 10-building office park in southwest Orlando — to PPF Real Estate for a record $315 million, or $252 per square foot.
- Nicol Investment out of Nashville acquired Madison Pointe, a 240-unit apartment complex at I-95 and LPGA Boulevard in Daytona Beach, for $68.5 million.
- Ricardo “Rick” Cardenas, president and COO of Darden, will become CEO of the company when Gene Lee retires at the end of May.
- Space Perspective, a space tourism company that plans to ferry people to the edge of the atmosphere in its space balloons, is building a headquarters and manufacturing facility (dubbed the Space Coast Spaceport) at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville. The company plans to create 240 jobs paying an average of $80,000 a year by the end of 2026.
- Acme AtronOmatic — the Orlando-based creator of the popular MyRadar app — and Purdue University’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences landed an Air Force contract to develop a Hyperspectral Airborne Nuclear Detector (HAND), a sensor platform to detect emissions from nuclear facilities.
- Next Step, an Orlando-based company that provides technology consulting services to banks and credit unions, was acquired by Cornerstone Advisors in Scottsdale, Ariz., for an undisclosed price.
- Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Wonder of the Seas, the second-largest cruise ship in the world, will homeport at Port Canaveral beginning this month. The ship will sail to the eastern and western Caribbean.
- Construction of Orlando International Airport’s south terminal C — which will accommodate up to 20 aircraft and 10 to 12 million additional passengers each year — is nearing completion and will be operational in July.
Riccardo Bevilacqua, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University professor of aerospace engineering, and his co-inventors patented a device that helps combat the problem of space debris created by defunct satellites. Their Drag De-Orbit Device can guide small satellites from low Earth orbit through the atmosphere, where they burn up. The technology is being licensed through a company called Orbotic Systems.