Amazon delivers up hiring events for Lake Nona fulfillment center

By   – Staff Writer, Journal
 Updated 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.”

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 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.”

Chow time! Universal Orlando Aventura Hotel’s rooftop bar

Wagyu Beef Sleders

Party time at  Orlando Resort’s newest inn, the Aventura Hotel, is closer than ever.

However, while patrons wait for the hotel to open sometime next month, the theme park giant is sharing a peek at what will satiate guests’ appetites at the Bar 17 Bistro rooftop bar debuting with the hotel. The bar also will provide guests a view of the theme parks, Volcano Bay’s Krakatau volcano, nearby hotels and International Drive.

Universal said the restaurant will offer “an assortment of small plates that range from unique options like Bao Bun dishes inspired by global destinations, to classic favorites like nachos, sliders, and salads.”

Here’s Universal’s description of some of the dishes you can expect to see at Bar 17 Bistro:

  • The Complex Frozen Drinks are freshly-made frozen drinks with unique flavor profiles including Bourbon with maple grapefruit; Gin, Campari and strawberry; and rum, matcha, and lime.
  • The Firebird is made with tequila, jalapeno, strawberry, and cilantro.
  • The Pineapple Turmeric Lemonade will be a featured mocktail on the menu.
  • Firecracker Shrimp Bao and Braised Pork Belly Bao: The restaurant Willan entire bao buns section of the menu with fillings that range from braised pork belly to lamb satay, tempura baby vegetables, and firecracker shrimp.
  • Summer Beet & Glazed Fig Salad: Showcasing some of the best -grown produce from the region, these will offer guests something light, refreshing and citrus-inspired.
  • Wagyu Beef Sliders: Locally-made brioche bun and French cheese with horseradish mayo, gruyere cheese, roasted pepper chutney and watercress, served with a side of pomme frites
  • Other cocktails at Bar 17 Bistro: Devil’s Umbrella made with mezcal, coconut, and ginger; Dew Point Hooligan made with sake, cucumber and raspberry; and Almost Sangria made with Rosé, vermouth, peach, thyme

Universal, owned by Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA), describes the Aventura Hotel’s design as a “trefoil” shape anchored by a central circular area. “This not only gives architectural interest to the building, but it affords great views from all angles. Details like pops of blue in the entry tiles add visual interest while maintaining the simple and modern aesthetic. Lush, green foliage adds natural colors to the exterior of the building while reminding guests of the natural beauty of Florida,” said Universal Close Up, the theme park’s official blog.

Universal alone has more than 3,000 rooms under in Orlando. That includes Aventura Hotel, as well as the future 2,800-room, dual-property Endless Summer Resort that opens in 2019 and 2020.

Amazon to deliver its Lake Nona fulfillment center largest industrial project

One of Orlando’s largest and most game-changing real estate projects appears to be getting closer to its grand opening.

Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) is scheduled to complete its 2.3 million-square-foot, four-story fulfillment center in southwest Orlando’s community in this year’s third quarter. The massive warehouse on the growing west side of Lake Nona near Orlando International Airport created about 1,200 temporary jobs. When completed, it will employ more than 1,500 — with up to 2,500 employees during the holiday season — who will have a chance to engage with Amazon’s high-tech robotics.

The $132 million project also solidified Orlando as an emerging statewide logistics hub. Once Amazon signed on, several local real estate agents pointed to increased activity from other companies interested in bringing the new “mega distribution center model” to the region — which creates thousands of jobs and can change the community’s landscape.

Plus, Amazon is yet another high-profile tenant joining the Lake Nona lineup, along with audit giant KPMG LLC and the U.S. Tennis Association, among others.

“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 Development Co. LLC, previously told Orlando 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.”

The Lake Nona project earned top industrial deal honors in OBJ‘s 2018 Structures Awards.

Amazon’s 50-foot-tall Orlando fulfillment center is composed of concrete tilt walls with the textured coating, aluminum storefront windows, and metal composite canopies, public documents showed. Here’s what else It will include:

  • 2,500 parking spaces, 36 accessible-parking spaces, and eight motorcycle spaces
  • Administrative offices
  • 417-person break room
  • A total of 64 9-foot-by-10-foot overhead doors, two 14-foot-by-16-foot drive-in doors
  • 263 tractor-trailer parking spaces
  • A dedicated compactor
  • This is part of Amazon’s nationwide expansion strategy as it looks to provide same-day delivery in more places — and it chose to build a fulfillment center in Orlando without being awarded economic-development incentives.

Address: 12340 Boggy Creek Road, Orlando 32824

Timeline: The 130-acre site was purchased and early construction work began in July 2017; the building was topped off in November 2017; completion scheduled for third-quarter 2018

Amazon fulfillment center

Address: 12340 Boggy Creek Road, Orlando 32824

Timeline: The 130-acre site was purchased and early construction work began in July 2017; the building was topped off in November 2017; completion scheduled for third-quarter 2018

Industry leaders sound off on Orlando’s high-tech disconnect

Tom Baptiste wants to see more connectivity between the area’s three segmented high-tech industry hubs.

The president and CEO of the -based National Center for Simulation described how downtown’s startups launch innovative ideas, the University of Central Florida area in east Orlando attracts plenty of for large defense contractors, and the theme park-area helps birth a lot of cool technology, too. But there’s nothing bridging those three regions.

“We need to communicate more,” Baptiste said, adding that he just joined the Orlando Tech Association board to try to change that. “There’s downtown Orlando, a tourist piece in the west and there is a high-tech piece in the east, and they never touch. Why I just don’t know. You’ve got the second largest university in America out there on the east side with the simulation industry [in the 1,000-acre Central Florida Research Park], but it just seems like we are missing something in tying together all of the technology that metro Orlando has.”

Baptiste joined 11 other leaders on July 9 for Orlando Business Journal‘s Technology Industry Outlook at Lynx’s downtown headquarters. The executives discussed a variety of topics, including what Central Florida’s tech industry is doing well — including the success of research park and its big employers like Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), JHT Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) — and what the region needs to improve. Here’s what they had to say:

Brenda Prenitzer, CEO, and founder, NanoSpective Inc.: “A gap or void that I see in the area is hardware. We are very strong in apps and programming and simulation, but we don’t seem to have a strong manufacturing hardware sector. I spent some time in Silicon Valley and something I heard from some of the workers there is that it’s an artificial environment and it is a wonderland. People are craving someplace other than Silicon Valley to do business and I think hardware is an opportunity for us.”

Suneera Madhani, CEO, and founder, Fattmerchant Inc.:“Another opportunity for our technology scene is the connection between the startups and the business world. Those two sectors are not talking to each other. We have some really great things happening in the startup world and we have so many great large corporations, but startups are not getting the opportunity to work with large corporations that can take innovation to the next level.”

Bob Kilmer, training and logistics solutions vice president of engineering and technology, Lockheed Martin Rotary & Mission Systems: “Florida does have a very good business environment. Florida supports our initiatives and we have a great partnership with . Orlando has a diverse where we do have the tourism that helps offset when things ebb and flow. The struggle that I see is the people. As we continue to grow — we’ve doubled our workforce in the last four years — we’re getting all the talent pool that’s here, so now we are having to go outside Orlando to try to bring in more talent. It is surprisingly difficult to get people to come.”

Lockheed Martin 450.7M contract to build warships


Lockheed Martin Corp. world’s top defense contractor landed a work agreement to build warships, requiring several of its locations to have all hands on deck.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) won a $450.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy on July 16, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. The seven-year contract involves support of the of four Multi Mission Surface Combatant ships.warship

The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant is a lethal and highly maneuverable surface warship capable of littoral and open ocean operation. This contract involves foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia.

While a small part of the work will happen in — an area where Lockheed Martin has more than 7,000 employees — 20 other locations throughout the U.S. and overseas will get a piece of the contract, as well.

Central Florida is a major player when it comes to defense contracts. The region snags about $4 billion in government contracts each year, which helps make Orlando the modeling, simulation and training capital of the world, according to the Orlando Economic Partnership.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin’s Gyrocam Systems LLC division in southwest Orlando won an $80 million contract with the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency on July 3. Gyrocam Systems is at 5600 Sand Lake Road — the same location as Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Missiles & Fire Control facility, which has more than 4,500 employees.

Core Logic report of Homes Sales Statistics



The CoreLogic Home Price Insights report features an interactive view of our home price analysis through May 2018 with Forecasts from June 2018 including live maps.

CoreLogic HPI™ is designed to provide an early indication of home price trends. The indexes are fully revised with each release and employ techniques to signal turning points sooner.

CoreLogic HPI Forecasts™ (with a thirty-year forecast horizon), project CoreLogic HPI levels for two tiers—Single-Family Combined (both Attached and Detached) and Single-Family Combined excluding distressed sales.

The report is published monthly with coverage at the national, state and Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA)/Metro level and includes home price indices (including distressed sale); home price forecast and market condition indicators. The data incorporates more than 40 years of repeat-sales transactions for analyzing home price trends.

May 2018 National Home Prices

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 7.1 percent in May 2018 compared with May 2017 and increased month over month by 1.1 percent in May 2018 compared with April 2018 (revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results).


Forecast Prices Nationally

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 5.1 percent on a year-over-year basis from May 2018 to May 2019, and on month-over-month basis home prices are expected to be up 0.3 percent from May 2018 to June 2018.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.