Orlando has been on the national stage for a very long time thanks to Disney, but a new development is putting Orlando on the map in a more professional sense. In the coming years, doctors, researchers, and medical companies will fill Orlando just as entertainment execs and Mickey Mouse impersonators do.
The New York Times reports on the 14-square-mile Lake Nona project that will encompass hospitals, hotels, office buildings, schools and colleges, recreational and sports training facilities, retail centers, entertainment spots and, ultimately, about 11,000 homes and more than 25,000 residents.
Now known as Medical City, its 650 acres are host to Nemours Children’s Hospital; the University of Central Florida Medical Center; the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; the University of Florida Research and Academic Center; the GuideWell Innovation Center, a research, education and incubation hub; and a Veterans Affairs hospital, the first for the 400,000 veterans who live in the Orlando area.
The developer, Tavistock, is making Lake Nona a center for healthy living. The company is using green construction practices to reduce waste and energy needs, and is limiting use on nonrenewable energy sources like gasoline. Tavistock has also invited the 11,000 residents there to consider themselves a 'living laboratory' and participate in formal health studies run by the on-site institutions.