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Orlando nightclub company is opening a ‘very different’ concept downtown

 

Nightclub History-The worst fire in Orlando’s history broke out on Jan. 12, 1884, destroying a newspaper along with grocery, millinery and drug stores.

In the disaster’s wake, a Rollins College chemist named Norman Robinson set out to create a fireproof building. It wasn’t a bad idea. The city of Orlando didn’t have a fire department at the time and wouldn’t organize one until the following year. Robinson created concrete blocks at his laboratory near Park Lake, which might have been used in the construction in 1884 of 63 E. Pine St., according to city records.

Team Market Group LLC — which operates nightlife venues such as Tier Nightclub and Mathers Social Gathering — plans to open The Robinson Cocktail Room on the top floor of 63. E. Pine St. It’s the latest concept for the growing company, which announced in June it was expanding into Jacksonville with a new Mathers.

 

 

 

Norman Robinson’s quest for invention and discovery is what inspired us to want to evolve the Robinson Building into a venue featuring an innovative and progressive cocktail program and culinary approach that we hope would have made Norman proud,” said Keith Mawardi, who founded Team Market Group in 2006 with his brother, Romi Mawardi.

Amazon delivers up hiring events for Lake Nona fulfillment center

By   – Staff Writer, Journal
 Updated 

Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) on Aug. 10 kicked off mass efforts to hire more than 1,500 workers at its new $132 million fulfillment center.

The Seattle-based e-commerce giant wants to fill full- and part-time positions for its 2.3 million-square-foot, four-story Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in southwest Orlando. Amazon will host hiring events between Aug. 10-23 at the Hilton Garden Inn at 7300 Augusta National Drive near Orlando International Airport.

Prospective candidates will be seen by appointment only will be hired on the spot during the event. Appointments can be set up one online on the company’s Amazon Delivers job website, as there will be no walk-ins. Those interested in mobile phone updates also can text MCONOW to 77088. Benefits will include health care coverage starting on Day 1, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave, 401(k) and company stock awards; shift schedules will vary.

Amazon previously announced it will hire up to 1,500 people for the Lake Nona center and has the potential to hire up to 2,500 during the holiday season. It has more than 125,000 full-time associates at more than 100 fulfillment centers across North America.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s fulfillment center is part of a boom in major development in the southeast Orlando’s Lake Nona. Audit giant KPMG LLC is underway on a $450 million training complex and the U.S. Tennis Association, which already built its $100 million National Campus in Lake Nona, wants to expand. And Lake Nona developer Group has kicked off early work on the next $300 million phase of the Lake Nona Town Center, which reportedly is attracting plenty of major retailer interest.

Lake Nona has more than 11,000 residents, 5,000 employees at its 650-acre life sciences hub and about 11,000 students at its schools — including the University of Central College of Medicine.

“Having Amazon involved certainly makes industrial — which hasn’t always risen to the top — more interesting,” John Pottinger, commercial development director for Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Co. LLC, previously told Orlando Business Journal. “This sophisticated fulfillment center routinely will employ more than 1,000 people day in and day out … and will impact Lake Nona and Orlando’s jobs, retail and housing. It fits nicely into our overall plans and ambitions for Lake Nona.”

Step inside the KPMG’s $450M training center in Lake Nona

It’s best to use a golf cart to motor around New York-based KPMG LLP’s future 780,000-square-foot Lake Nona campus.

The titanic Learning, Development & Innovation Center at Lake Nona — spreading out over 55 acres — already towers above the tree line despite still being built in the fast-growing southeast Orlando community. The $450 million project, perhaps the most significant in Lake Nona, is so large that 250,000 cubic yards of dirt were moved during early site work — enough to fill 76 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The structure, which when completed will bring about 800 KPMG staffers on-site per week for training, topped out Aug. 8 after breaking ground in May 2017. Before the ceremony, Orlando Journal stepped inside the unfinished building to take look at its development.

Workers are sprinting toward a late 2019 completion, as the training center is expected to open in January 2020. See the photo gallery for a closer look.

Most of the building’s skeleton has been erected, and future spaces have started to take shape. Rows of classrooms with 14-foot-tall ceilings are visible in addition to most of the 800 single-occupancy guest rooms and other learning and innovation spaces. A trip down unfinished halls reveals multiple, two-story communal lounges, which are aimed at fostering collaboration among the trainees. Most spaces around the facility encourage socializing. For example, KPMG workers won’t have access to refrigerators in their room, in the hopes that they’ll mingle in shared space

A look at accounting giant’s $430 million training center that will bring 40,000 company visitors each year.

Inside KMPG Training facility

Outside of training and socializing, the building also will feature eating spaces, like a pizza/pasta station and a wine bar. The facility will house a 15,000-square-foot fitness center in addition to a bevy of outdoor spaces.

is expected to start soon on a town hall center that can seat about 1,000 people and can be further subdivided for smaller events. A separate 15,000-square-foot social venue/pub also has yet to start construction.

From the top floors, Lake Nona can be seen above the trees and a crescent shape to one side of the facility offers views of nature behind the back of the facility.

Despite being so large, the site will hold about 350 parking spots, since most of the people parking will be staff. Shuttles will eventually run employees between the training center and nearby Orlando International Airport.

“Building on our culture of continuous learning and our nationally recognized learning and development program, the new facility will integrate leading-edge design and technology to help prepare our professionals to deliver new business models and breakthrough solutions for our clients,” KPMG CFO David Turner said in a prepared statement. “This project represents a significant investment in our exceptional professionals and the future of our firm.”

“Dog Friendly” Orlando is a city for pets

 This is “possibly” the best news ever: The City Beautiful is a pet paradise, according to a new study.

Orlando was ranked as the second-most pet-friendly city in the country behind Scottsdale, Ariz., according to a newWalletHub study.

In 2017, Americans spent $69.51 billion in total U.S. pet industry expenditures and are expected to spend $72.13 billion in 2018, according to the American Pet Products Association.

In total, 60.2 million American had a dog in 2017, while 47.1 million Americans homes had a cat, according to American Pet Products Association pet owners survey. Americans own 89.7 million dogs and 94.2 million cats nationwide.

In Central , several businesses are barking up the right tree and making a lot of money in the pet industry.

Take one of Orlando Business Journal’s Fast 50 companies, Woof Gang Bakery Inc. The firm, known for its gourmet doggy treats and natural pet foods, raked in $47.4 million last year, up 117.8 percent from $21.8 million in 2015. Woof Gang CEO Paul Allen previously told OBJ that he wants to grow his pet-centric bakery from 100 stores to 500 in the future by offering a variety of pet services in the shops.

In order to determine which cities were the best — and worst — for pet friendliness, WalletHub analyzed 24 key factors to determine which locations were “purr-fect” for pets. Check out how stacked up in these key areas:

  • Dog friendly restaurants: No. 1 
  • Veterinarians per capita: No. 3
  • Pet businesses per capita: No. 8
  • Dog friendly shops per capita: No. 10 
  • Minimum pet-care provider rate per visit: No. 10
  • Animal shelters per capita: No. 15
  • Animal trainers per capita: No. 25
  • Weather: No. 28
  • Strength of animal protection laws: No. 39
  • Walk score: No. 50

NASA names first astronauts for SpaceX, Boeing space station missions

NASA has revealed the nine astronauts — seven men and two women — who will fly the first American-made commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station.

The missions aboard ’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner mark the first time that astronaut launches will take place on U.S. soil since the organization retired the space shuttle in 2011.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight astronauts are Robert Behnken from St. Ann, Mo., and Douglas Hurley from Apalachin, N.Y. The first mission astronauts are Victor Glover from Pomona, Calif., and Michael Hopkins from Lebanon, Mo.

SpaceX’s uncrewed demo is currently scheduled to lift off in November 2018, with its first manned mission slated for April 2019. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based aerospace company will launch these missions from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in .

Boeing’s Starliner test flight astronauts are Eric Boe, who was born in Miami and grew up in Atlanta; Christopher Ferguson of Philadelphia; and Nicole Aunapu Mann from California. The first mission astronauts are Josh Cassada from White Bear Lake, Minn., and Sunita Williams from Needham, Mass.

Why KPMG and USTA built a home in Orlando’s Lake Nona

Located just ten minutes from International Airport sits , one of the nation’s fastest-growing communities on a mission to support a holistically healthy living. Lake Nona encompasses over 13,000 residents and more than 10 million square feet of residential and commercial facilities, including the University of Central Florida () College of Medicine and Nemours Children’s Hospital.20170506_NONA_0005-blog
Aerial view of the Lake Nona community, ten minutes from Orlando International Aiport.

Companies have been attracted to Lake Nona for its extensive land options, proximity to Orlando International Airport, groundbreaking gigabit fiber optic technology (named one of only nine Iconic Smart + Connected communities in the world) and all-inclusive community amenities.

In 2018, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) celebrated a one-year anniversary for its new “Home for American Tennis” at Lake Nona. ’s new Home for American Tennis is the biggest and most innovative facility of its kind in the world, with revolutionary technology built into its 100 outdoor tennis courts – recording training data that coaches and professionals from around the country can take back to their communities.

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USTA’s National Campus in Orlando.

USTA needed a location that would supply enough space for its 63-acre facility and embody the principles of the association. USTA not only found the land it needed to build its new Home in Lake Nona; it found a collaborative community that embraces its mission of inspiring human performance. And by partnering with UCF, Visit Orlando and Visit Florida, USTA felt confident that it could fill its stands at its national and international tournaments.

“It became clear early on that Orlando was our new home because this is an exciting, energetic place to be,” Gordon Smith, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of USTA.

In 2017, KPMG began on its new global learning, development and innovation facility. As KPMG’s largest capital investment ever, it was imperative for KPMG to find a location that fit a long list of important criteria: the right culture, climate, community partnerships, incentives, transportation and more. KPMG needed a place that would foster an innovative and collaborative environment for employee training. KPMG considered 49 potential cities including Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas before choosing Orlando.

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Rendering of KPMG’s new global training center.

Orlando’s Lake Nona met and exceeded KPMG’s criteria for their largest capital investment project ever. Not only did the city’s future-forward vision resonate with KPMG, but the company was able to fly directly to 90 percent of its other office locations from Orlando International Airport.

“One of the key factors in choosing Orlando was the innovation we see here,” KPMG’s U.S. Chair and CEO Lynne Doughtie said. “The Lake Nona area is known for innovation, and that factor was lacking in many other cities we considered. Of course, all the recreational opportunities in the area are also a big draw.”

KPMG’s $400 million learning, development, and innovation facility in Orlando is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2019.

More businesses like Amazon want to invest in the area. Here’s why.

More businesses want to work in Orlando now than three years ago, according to the Orlando Economic Partnership.

Central Florida’s nonprofit public/private economic development agency looked at whether or not its campaign “Orlando. You Don’t Know the Half of It.” has changed businesses’ perception of the city since its last survey in 2015. The Orlando Economic Partnership worked on the survey with Development Counselors International, who provides marketing for places like Orlando.

Interest in bringing projects and developments here grew to 61 percent for site selectors, up from 53 percent since 2015; and 63 percent for corporate executives, up from 19 percent.

The survey also found that Orlando was in the top 10 cities in being considered for projects, with 19 percent of the category. That’s up from 12 percent in 2015 and 7 percent in 2014.

“At the end of the day, the goal of our campaign is to get more at-bats,” Laureen Martinez, senior director of marketing and communications for Orlando Economic Partnership, told Orlando Journal.

Site selectors highlighted the airport, workforce and tax structure of the area as Orlando’s top three highlights. The site selectors said the city’s top three weaknesses were the tourism perception of the area, lack of business incentives and the workforce.

New Lake Nona Publix Shopping Center

Publix Shopping

A new retail lineup has been revealed for a Publix-anchored shopping center now under in .

Lake Nona’s developer Tavistock Development Co. LLC on July 26 announced five new tenants for the roughly 60,000-square-foot Lake Nona Creekside on the northwest corner of Boggy Creek Road and Lake Nona Boulevard. The estimated $9 million-$12 million shopping center will serve Lake Nona’s growing population east of Boggy Creek Road, including ‘s Ariel Apartments, Somerset Park neighborhood, Voxx International Corp.’s (Nasdaq: VOXX) Voxx Automotive headquarters and the new 2.3-million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center set to open this summer, a Tavistock representative said. A representative from Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) said the fulfillment center should open before the holiday season this year.

Meanwhile, the new tenants at Lake Nona Creekside will take up about 11,000 square feet of space in total, joining the 46,000-square-foot Publix, which is scheduled to open in October. The new stores will open in late 2018 or 2019 in the shopping center.

Outside of retail, a 120-room, the select-service hotel will be part of the project, however, a brand hasn’t been determined, said Tavistock spokeswoman Karlee Kunkle said in an emailed response. Greenway Park I LLC — an entity of Tavistock — on Oct. 19 submitted an application for the new hotel.

investor spends $65.8M on Lake Nona-area property, Lee Vista

A Lee Vista 3-year-old Class A apartment complex near Lake Nona is getting a facelift by its new owner.

The 330-unit Cortland Jubilee Park, formerly GrandeVille At Jubilee Park, is set to get about $2 million in renovations to its interiors in addition to its amenities, landscape, and branding, according to Kyle Bateh, an investment manager with Cortland Partners. The improvements come after Atlanta-based Cortland Partners subsidiary Merryvale FL Partners LLC bought the property 6850 Merryvale Lane in Orlando for $65.8 million, or $199,394 per unit, on July 19 from Altamonte Springs-based LeCesse Development Corp.’s related entities, according to Orange County records.

Patrick Dufour, Scott Ramey and Kevin Judd of Atlanta-based ARA, A Newmark Co., represented the seller in the deal.

The still-new property in Orlando’s Lee Vista neighborhood near Orlando International Airport was 95 percent occupied at the time of the sale. However, it required some upgrading, according to the new owner.

“We believe in the asset’s potential to demand higher rents as a result of the renovation,” Bateh said in an emailed response to Orlando Journal. “Despite being only 3 years old, the interiors are not on par with brand new deals in the broader market. Jubilee has the largest floor plans, is the newest asset in Lee Vista area and zoned for schools. So that’s what we are aspiring to compete with — newer Lake Nona assets that have higher-end finishes.”

Expect these game-changing health care trends to hit Orlando

Henry Grady III sees several game-changing medical trends popping up in the area, including an increase in the number of local health care facilities, consolidation of health care providers and a need for area and doctors to learn how to provide more care with less money.

Grady, the healthcare industry manager for SunTrust Banks, believes medical providers in are targeting new housing developments when searching for land on which to build new health facilities. He points to ‘s planned freestanding ER and medical pavilion in Lake Mary as an example of health care providers like hospitals seeking future population growth sites. In fact, it is just one of 10 freestanding ERs under construction in metro Orlando, adding to five existing ones near big employers. Orlando Health is a $3.8 billion nonprofit health care provider that owns nine Central Florida hospitals, 11 urgent care centers, as well as several cancer centers, freestanding ERs and more.

“The health systems are growing where the growth is,” Grady told Orlando Journal. “When you have new communities constructed, when you have these new multi-thousand house development projects, you have to have schools, you have to have the infrastructure, you have to have health care.”

According to Grady, interest rates and cash flow remain favorable enough to help finance growth. “You have two viable not-for-profit health systems [Orlando Health and Florida Hospital], you have a very viable for-profit system here [HCA], and they’re all doing very well — they’re all moving with the growth.”

But there are some negative trends to keep in mind. Over the past few years, reimbursement for hospitals has not grown as quickly as before, meaning they have to do more with less. “There’s a big concern about where reimbursement is going. One thing the hospitals and the doctors are convinced is that next year, they are not going to make more money than this year, so it feels like reimbursement is continuing to shrink.”

Grady believes the pressure is coming from government and insurance companies to control costs at the expense of hospitals and doctors, who have to deal with tighter budgets. “We’re not going to pay you to keep running tests. We’re not going to pay you to prescribe opioids and other medicines that are very effective but can be dangerous.”

Medical providers also need to figure out how to provide care more efficiently, with fewer people and fewer expenses. For example, in Tampa, two competitors partnered to provide certain health services together. “They decided what they were going to do was build a rehabilitation hospital together. So instead of each of them going out, buying land, figuring out where to be, building a rehabilitation hospital and competing, they asked ‘What if we did it together?’.”

Grady compared the move to Coke and Pepsi coming together to make a new drink. He sees the potential for Orlando-area hospitals to save money by focusing spending on care instead of competing in certain specific areas. “By no means is Orlando behind in that regard, but if you’re asking where there may be the opportunity, if there is focus on the population’s health, there are opportunities for providers to work together in certain areas.”