Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

Central Florida and Space Coast Business Briefs - July 2008


The Canaveral Port Authority is seeking a $32-million bank loan for construction upgrades to accommodate Disney Cruise Line, taking the unusual measure because of high rates in the bond market.


The Villages retirement community now ranks as the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the nation, according to a new U.S. Census report.


Technology company Blue Orb has released a downloadable product, SwitchBlade, that turns a Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Xbox 360 into a PC game equivalent of a keyboard and mouse. The company reported more than 8.5 million minutes of use and 70,000 downloads soon after its release.


Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s fourth-largest airplane manufacturer, plans to build a $51-million assembly plant at Melbourne International Airport, creating 200 jobs by 2011. Local officials are offering incentives, hoping the plant will pick up workers facing layoffs with the 2010 end of the space shuttle program.

» L3 Communications has awarded Melbourne-based Harris Corp. (NYSE-HRS) a $20-million contract to provide an advanced 3-D audio and video simulation system for training Marines. Harris also won a contract from the Navy for satellite communications terminals that link aircraft carriers and other large ships. The contract is worth up to $85 million. The company received an initial award valued at $15 million.

» Fingerprint recognition technology company AuthenTec plans to add more than 24 high-tech jobs with salaries up to $100,000, bringing its workforce to 120.


Orlando Regional Healthcare changed its name to Orlando Health. The $1.5-billion non-profit system includes Orlando Regional Medical Center, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando Regional Lucerne Hospital, Orlando Regional South Seminole Hospital, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, and South Lake Hospital.

» Florida Hospital has created an in-house radiology group after not being able to settle on a contract with Florida Radiology Associates, which it had worked with for 40 years.

» McDonald Development Co. of Atlanta is investing $27 million to begin building an industrial park, Lee Vista Commerce Center, about two miles from Orlando International Airport.

» Prime Retail of Baltimore has officially reopened the former Belz Factory Outlet Mall as Prime Outlets-International after $300 million worth of construction and renovations. The shopping center is at the north end of International Drive.

» AMC Theatres has opted out of an agreement to manage a 12-screen multiplex in The Plaza, a downtown high-rise built by developer Cameron Kuhn, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

» Rida Development of Houston has spent $15.1 million for the long-vacant land known as the Pizzuti block on Orange Avenue across from the Orange County Courthouse. Plans call for a hotel, retail space and offices.

» Engineering & Computer Simulations of Orlando has won an $800,000 contract to design “classroom of the future” technology for the Department of Homeland Security to use for online training. The company will coordinate with the Army’s Simulation & Training Technology Center in Orlando.

» Adacel Systems, an aviation simulation and training company, has received a $48-million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop simulators for training air-traffic controllers. Adacel plans to expand its Orlando workforce this year from almost 60 to more than 100.


New York-based HF Management Services, which provides administrative help for the medical industry, is moving from Maitland to Lake Mary and expanding its local staff from 130 to 220 by the end of the year.


Halifax Health topped off its new 10-story hospital tower and the largest emergency department in Florida in May.