Lake Nona teaching hospital plans reveal future expansion

The University of Central Florida and HCA Healthcare’s application for a new teaching hospital in Lake Nona give a first look of the new facility and the medical spaces it will create.

Development Co. is seeking approval to build the UCF Lake Nona Medical Center, which will include a three-story teaching hospital with 64 beds and shell space for another 16 beds, a 60,000-square-foot, three-story medical office building, a power house for utilities, a helipad and 592 parking spaces.

The plans, which are waiting approval for the first phase, show that would later expand the first floor of the hospital and build a future bed tower.

The hospital is slated to open in 2020 on undeveloped property adjacent the UCF Health Sciences Campus currently used for agricultural purposes.

The hospital would sit between the UCF medical school and the building housing the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute at , which UCF plans to take over once the institute vacates the property. UCF has waited for nearly a decade to establish a teaching hospital.

“Every great medical school has a teaching hospital, and great hospitals are affiliated with top-notch medical schools. If you’re sick and have exhausted all the treatments of your local hospital, where do you go for the next level of care? Many people say Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Cleveland Clinic. All of those are teaching hospitals,” Dr. Deborah German, UCF’s first dean of the College of Medicine in Lake Nona, previously told Orlando Business Journal.

Once completed, the hospital will be a living/learning lab for training medical, nursing, physical therapy, pharmacy and social work students in teamwork skills and communication.

The main access to the hospital will be provided from Lake Nona Boulevard with secondary access points from Laureate Boulevard, Humboldt Drive and Drive.

Top 10 States for Retirement

 

Florida found a place among the top 5 dream retirement is living in a location that’s affordable, safe and popular with older residents. These were the considerations that MoneyRates.com took into account while looking for the most retirement-friendly states in the U.S.

It ranked the states across the country on five parameters—healthy environment, personal security, local , weather conditions, and popularity with older residents. By averaging each state’s ranking in these five categories, MoneyRates.com determined the 10 best states to retire.

Coming in at a surprising No.1 position was Iowa, with its across-the-board consistency on all parameters. Despite its high cost of living, Hawaii was the second alternative for people looking to retire in style. The Aloha state’s tropical climate offered an attractive alternative as did its record of life expectancy at age 65, which is longer in Hawaii than in any other state.

With its maximum number of clear weather days, Arizona was ranked third on the list especially for people who valued sunshine. On the downside though, it wouldn’t be ideal for those looking at security. With some of the highest incidents of property crime, Arizona is one of the worst states as far as home security is concerned, the study found.

It’s no surprise that Florida found a place among the top 5 states in these rankings. At No. 4, Florida has been associated with retirement for a long time, with the highest portion of residents aged 65 or older. However, despite its favorable climate conditions, the study found that like Arizona, Florida too had a high incidence of both property and violent crime—fifth-highest across the U.S. to be precise.

At No.5 Maine trailed Florida only in the proportion of its population that is aged 65 or older. But unlike Florida, Maine is one of the safest states in the country with the second-lowest rate of violent crime.

While Idaho, Vermont, and New Hampshire came in at sixth, seventh, and eighth rank respectively, Kansas and Virginia tied for the ninth spot in these rankings.

What Does The 2018 Housing Market Look Like?

Oftentimes, it’s difficult to predict the . In the last decade alone, we’ve seen a market crash and slow rebound.

However, while some experts are focused on yet another housing bubble, real estate has been on the rise. In October, sales of new U.S. single-family homes hit their highest level in 10 years across the country.

What’s the market forecast for next year? Industry insiders and top experts have similar predictions.

As a future or current homeowner, it’s important to stay on top of the changes in real estate. Read on to learn what the 2018 housing market has in store.

Inventory Shortages

New home sales may be on the rise, but the number of available is on the decline.

Low home inventory has made home prices more expensive in recent years. This trend will continue in 2018, making it more difficult for first-time and budget-focused buyers to enter the market.

There are 12 percent fewer homes on the market than there were a year ago. If this trend continues, homebuyers will be faced with stiffer competition and higher prices. This will make the demand for home purchase loans even greater.

What’s contributing to this low inventory? There are several theories.

Rising housing costs have added emphasis to high-end construction. More expensive homes are being built, which is making it more difficult to find affordable homes.

Homeowners might also be less likely to sell their homes than they were pre-crash. Despite it being a seller’s market, they aren’t looking to enter the market. They’d rather stay locked into their current mortgage.

Whatever the reason, the inventory shortage is expected to continue. Low inventory and high prices will force new homebuyers to get creative if they want to find an affordable home.

Housing Market Opportunities

Certain demographics have seen an abundance of housing opportunities. They can expect these opportunities to be even greater in 2018.

One such demographic is sellers of mid-priced single-family homes. These are some of the most in-demand homes across the nation.

Developers and sellers can make big money on this valuable sector of the market. More millennials are seeking to buy starter homes while baby boomers are scaling back.

The housing shortage isn’t all bad for buyers. Experts are predicting that housing prices will slow down in the coming year.

Forecasts show that the average U.S. house price growth will be 4.9 percent in 2018, which is lower than the 6.6 percent growth seen in the second quarter of 2017.

Prices might be curbed thanks to mortgage rates. A moderate increase in mortgage rates should help decrease refinancing activities.

You can still expect higher growth in big markets such as Seattle and San Francisco. Yet good mortgage rates, limited refinancing, and market stability will still help buyers in 2018.

Your Next Move

Predictions show low-inventory, high-prices, and market stability in 2018.

You don’t have to wait until these predictions come to fruition. Contact us now to learn more about buying your dream home. We offer free loan advice with no cost or obligation.

Orlando voted the No. 1 spring break destination

 

Good morning, !

Orlando roadways and area attractions are going to get a whole lot busier next month because we have  been named the No. 1 spring break destination for 2018, AAA reports.

Three cities are among AAA’s 10 Most Popular Destinations for the month of March, based on air and tour bookings made with the travel agency. Besides Orlando, Fort Lauderdale came in at No. 2, while Miami is No. 8. Other popular destinations include Honolulu, Cancun, Maui and Montego Bay.

A recent Consumer Pulse survey of Floridians who are planning a vacation in 2018 revealed that:

  • 55% of Florida travelers will take a spring break vacation of three days or more.
  • 43% will travel with family.
  • 12% will travel with friends.
  • 80% of Florida millennials will take a spring break vacation of three days or more.
  • 61% of millennials will travel with family.
  • 19% will travel with their friends.

Church Street Plaza hotel developer shares latest plans

 

 

 

 

The new hotel component inside Lincoln Property Co.’s $100 million Church Street Plaza tower is starting to determine how it will look.

That’s according to Scott Webb, president of Kolter Hospitality, which will own and operate the 180-room AC Marriott hotel in the tower. “We have appointed the design team and started working with Marriott on the perfect design,” he told  Journal. The team includes Hunton Brady Architects, TLC Engineering for Architecture, Baskervill and Technology Research & Consulting — all from the Orlando area.

The 601,225-square-foot tower, which broke ground last August, will feature not only the AC Marriott hotel, but also 217,000 square feet of Class A office space, 7,500 square feet of ground-level retail, an integrated parking garage and a Grand Central Station-like lobby that eventually will connect to a relocated SunRail commuter rail station.

of the hotel won’t kick off until June 2019 after the tower gets its certificate of occupancy, which will allow Kolter’s teams to get inside and start work, said Webb. The company may seek contractor bids as early as the beginning of 2019, based on industry standards.

 

The new hotel is expected to open just before summer 2020 with a slew of amenities that should appeal to both leisure and business travelers. The hotel will offer meeting space, a gym, food services and an exterior bar on the 19th floor overlooking the city, Webb added.

The downtown Orlando market is still prime for more hotel growth, according to a study from CBRE Group Inc. That submarket is home to more than 7,000 hotel rooms and a 73 percent occupancy that has room for more inventory.

That’s good news for investors interested in the market and looking to potentially expand their footprint — something Kolter Hospitality hasn’t overlooked. “We are very committed to the Orlando market and we continue to look to expand there as opportunities present themselves through both acquisition of existing assets and development,” said Webb.

Here’s how Orlando-area home prices, sales did in January

 

 

 

 

Orlando’s median home price increased in January year over year, while sales held steady with a 0.5 percent uptick compared to January 2017, a new report from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association shows.

The overall median price of Orlando homes sold in January was $225,000, a 12.6 percent increase above the January 2017 median price of $199,900 and 2.2 percent below the December 2017 median price of $230,000.

In addition, 2,225 sales of all home types were recorded in January, 0.5 percent more than the 2,213 sales in January 2017. However, sales declined by 26.9 percent when compared to last month.

“The nearly 27 percent drop between December and January is a decline that historically follows a big push to close in December as buyers seek to take advantage of homeownership tax benefits,” said ORRA President Lou Nimkoff. “While low inventory conditions remain a significant challenge, Realtors anticipate an improvement in month-to-month sales. In fact, the January pending sales tally increased by more than 1,000 compared to December 2017, making it the greatest month-to-month increase since ORRA began tracking pendings in 2006.”

Meanwhile, the overall inventory of homes that were available in January — 7,604 — represents a decrease of 11.1 percent when compared to the year-ago period and a 1.3 percent decrease compared to last month.

Current inventory combined with the current pace of sales created a 3.42-month supply of homes in Orlando for January. There was a 3.86-month supply in January 2017 and a 2.47-month supply last month.

UCF-area lands Orlando’s first booze-serving Taco Bell Cantina

TGIF, !

In the spirit of the weekend getting started, have you ever had a hankering for a craft beer to go with your Cheesy Gordita Crunch? Well, you’re in luck because a new millennial-focused, booze-serving Taco Bell Cantina will debut across the street from the University of Central Florida’s main entrance.

The fast-casual concept, a first for Central Florida and second statewide, will take up 2,846 square feet at the $100 million Plaza on University complex, a building that blends student housing units with ground-level shops and eateries on the northwest corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail in east Orlando. JLL’s Brandon Delanois represented the landlord in the lease deal.

Taco Bell Cantina, which only has a handful of locations — including one near the University of Florida in Gainesville — features a more hip, urban-style decor than a typical drive-thru Taco Bell, like polished wood and exposed brick. It offers tapas-style menu items, USB ports, and serves beer, wine and sangria, as well as the option to get Taco Bell’s frozen drinks spiked with rum, tequila and vodka.

“Taco Bell Cantina is a great example of a brand evolving to cater to today’s millennial tastes and preferences,” said Delanois, JLL associate of retail brokerage, in a prepared statement.

No word yet on when the new restaurant will open, but check out these photos of a Taco Bell Cantina from our sister paper in Cincinnati.

3 medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Osceola County

 

Three medical marijuana dispensaries are headed to County even as the county had placed a moratorium on dispensaries.

On Feb. 19, Osceola County Commissioners approved a settlement with one of Colorado’s largest marijuana dispensary chains, The Green Solution, that grants them three certificates to open the dispensaries. In return, the company agreed to take no legal action against the county. The Green Solution asserted it had a “vested right in the issue” because it was poised to receive the certificates prior to the county’s moratorium, according to an Osceola County news release.

Previously, the commissioners enacted a temporary moratorium to consider changes in state law. The changes to state law essentially preempted the county ordinance and certification process and limited the county’s powers to banning dispensaries or allowing an unlimited number in the county.

 “This is an equitable solution to this matter and it gives us, as the local jurisdiction, the power to prevent an out-of-control proliferation of these facilities,” said Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins in a prepared statement. “When voters approved Amendment 2, I don’t think they wanted dispensaries on every street corner in the community. This agreement and our ban cements this intent while allowing those who need this service the ability to access it.”

In a separate action, the county voted to ban any other new facilities in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Green Solution didn’t specify exactly where the locations would be, but told Orlando Business Journal via email that it’s currently identifying possible locations for the dispensaries and working with the county to obtain required permits.

The company intends to open dispensaries as soon as possible to begin servicing patients.

Currently, the number of total centers in the state is capped at 25 until 2020.

The Green Solution has 15 Colorado locations and offers cannabis-infused products from sugar scrub to lip balm, lotions and edibles like truffles and sodas.

Lockheed Martin’s new $50M R&D building

 

 

Global defense firm Lockheed Martin Corp.’s plans to build a $50 million research and development center in west may be a big get for the local community.

The Bethesda, Md.-based company announced Feb. 14 plans to expand its Missiles & Fire Control division in Orlando by adding a 255,000-square-foot building. The new structure will support Lockheed Martin’s major defense contracts such as its $548 million deal to produce more than 7,300 Hellfire missiles, and its $900 million long-range cruise missile contract.

“We’ve been fortunate to sustain our already strong pipeline of business and secure some major new business to support Missiles & Fire Control work contracts announced last year,” Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Dana Casey told Orlando Business Journal. “This includes our sniper and legion pod programs, infrared search and track systems, the long-range anti-ship missile contract award, and more.”

The building project, slated for completion in 2019, is expected to create subcontractor opportunities for smaller firms in the area. Brasfield & Gorrie LLC was named the general contractor. The project may create 500 temporary construction jobs, based on industry standards. Lockheed Martin executives also announced that the firm is hiring 1,800 workers across the U.S. within two years and 500 of those jobs will be in Orlando, paying an average annual salary of $87,000.

Currently, Lockheed Martin has more than 650 jobs open on its website, calling for software and system engineers, program managers and more. Go here for tips on how to get a job with the defense contractor.

Nearly 1,000 employees will work in the new building, performing engineering work and program management activities like planning, finance and human resources. And because the new building may give Lockheed Martin the space and workforce to accept more defense contracts in Orlando, the expansion may trickle down to manufacturers and parts suppliers in the area.

“It’s hard to envision the exact implications [the new facility] will have, but in the near term, we can say there’s a significant amount of local contract work supporting the effort,” Casey said

In fact, the company each year contracts a total of $5.1 billion worth of work to more than 1,600 Florida suppliers, Paul Lemmo, vice president of Fire Control and Special Operations Programs for Lockheed Martin

Here’s 2 spots where the Osceola Parkway Extension may be built — both are controversial

Would you rather see a major road built through a costly wildlife/nature preserve or a neighborhood?

This is the dilemma the Central Florida Expressway Authority, which soon must decide where to put the Osceola Parkway Extension, has been facing since last year.

The proposed Osceola Parkway Extension begins one mile west of the Boggy Creek Road and Osceola Parkway intersection, and extends eastward along the Orange/Osceola County line for six miles before turning south into Osceola County to meet the northern terminus of the proposed Northeast Connector Expressway. The project also includes a potential north/south segment linking to State Road 417 in the general vicinity of the Boggy Creek Road interchange.

The goal of the project is to relieve congestion and have regional connectivity. It’s part of the authority’s overall 2040 master plan, which includes other alignments.

One of the current alternatives shows that the extension could go through the 1,700-acre Split Oak Forest preserve, acquired in the 1990s, which is south of the Clapp Simms Duda Road. Environmental conservationists say doing so would defeat the purpose of having protected land that involved millions in funding.

However, if the project does not go through Split Oak, it could mean nine would be taken in the St. Cloud community Lake Ajay Village.

“The board is going to look at all the options. Our job is how are we going to move people in the next 40 years here in Central Florida,” Fred Hawkins, chairman of the Central Expressway Authority, told  Business Journal after the board’s Feb. 8 meeting. “We have to move those people and the to-do list is now, before more development occurs.”

Roughly $70 million has been allocated for the project so far, which would go toward property acquisition and engineering.

He added that going through a community such as Lake Ajay Village, located off Narcoossee Road, likely would be more expensive than going through Split Oak

“The properties directly affected are worth $450,000-$600,000. The property taxes they pay are between $3,000-$5,000 each. Not only will those properties will be affected, but all of them running along this area,” said Stacy Ford, a resident of Lake Ajay Village, during the public comments segment of the meeting. “The worst case for us isn’t that CFX will go through our homes, it’s that CFX puts this road right next to our homes because we don’t get compensation for the impact of that, which is our property values. At minimum, it’s going to be 20 percent.”

And if the project does go through Split Oak forest, Hawkins said there may be land compensated for that loss.

At the next expressway authority meeting on March 8, the board will go over the feasibility and cost of alternative corridors so it can move forward with project development and environment studies.

There are multiple public meetings for those who want to express their concerns regarding how the project may affect their property or commute. The meetings all will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and will be held:

  • Feb. 13 at St. Cloud High School
  • Feb. 15 at Lake Nona Middle School
  • Feb. 21 at the Association of Poinciana Villages Community Center