Tavistock plans private Lake Nona Academy near USTA National Campus

April 27, 2019

Lake Nona’s developer is laying the foundation for a proposed private college-preparatory academy for more than 1,500 children in southeast Orlando.

Tavistock Group, the conglomerate behind the fast-growing 17-square-mile neighborhood, wants to build the Lake Nona Academy just south of the USTA National Campus, according to a document describing an open job position to lead the school.

Lake Nona already has 15,000 residents, 12,000 employees and 14,000 students at its schools. However, a “strong educational ecosystem” has long been a top development priority for Lake Nona.

Tavistock wants to open the Lake Nona Academy by fall 2022, but didn’t reveal when construction may begin. The academy’s mission would be to prepare students for college, with an “academically rigorous” curriculum focused on areas such as foreign language, global awareness, athletics and the arts.

Lake Nona’s higher-education institutions also are expanding. Valencia College wants to build a $42.6 million second academic building for the Lake Nona campus, while the University of Central Florida is underway on its $175 million, 204,079 square foot UCF Lake Nona Medical Center.


New Hotel coming to Celebration

April 25, 2019

Mississippi hotelier making Florida entry with new extended stay asset in Celebration…
Heritage Hospitality Group bringing Homeward Suites to Celebration…

Click this link: https://www.heritagehg.com/celebration


It’s official: AARP designates Fla. an Age-Friendly State

April 25, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 24, 2019 – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joined American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) CEO Jo Ann Jenkins to announce that Florida has been designated an Age-Friendly State, making Florida the fourth state in the nation to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

“As our state continues to grow, we must ensure that we do all that we can to meet the needs of our residents. I am proud that Florida is leading by becoming the largest state to commit to this important effort,” DeSantis said.

Florida’s designation as an Age-Friendly State demonstrates a commitment to building livable communities that enrich the lives of people of all ages. Member states develop and implement plans that address any or all of the eight Age-Friendly domains: Transportation, housing, public spaces, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, social participation, community and health services, and communication and information.

“This designation opens the way for important partnerships in many parts of state, city and county government, and in the private sector, to make Florida an even better place to live for people of every age,” said AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson. “For the more than 8 million Floridians age 50-plus and the 2.8 million AARP members statewide, this is a big step forward.”

© 2019 Florida Realtors®


Fla.’s housing market: Pending sales, median prices up in March

April 24, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. – April 22, 2019 – Florida’s housing market reported more pending sales, higher median prices and increased inventory (active listings) in March compared to a year ago, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 25,013 last month, about the same level as March 2018.

“Along with low mortgage rates, the pressure on home prices is easing due to increased inventory, which is a positive trend for housing affordability and could encourage some buyers to enter the market,”says 2019 Florida Realtors President Eric Sain,

In March, statewide median sales prices for both single-family homes and condo-townhouse properties rose year-over-year for the 87th month-in-a-row. The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $256,000, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $189,500, up 3.6 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors(NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in February 2019 was $251,400, up 3.6 percent from the previous year; the national median existing condo price was $534,140; in Massachusetts, it was $377,000; in New York, it was $280,000; and in Maryland, it was $273,762.

Looking at Florida’s condo-townhouse market in March, statewide closed sales totaled 10,340, down 6.1 percent compared to a year ago. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

According to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor, March is typically a busy month for real estate in Florida and March 2019 was no exception.

“On a statewide basis, more homes typically go under contract in March than in any other month of the year,” O’Connor says. “And compared to March of last year, new pending sales of single-family homes this March were up by 2.6 percent to a total of 31,383. In fact, this is the highest number of new pending sales we’ve seen in any month across the previous 11 years in which Florida Realtors has tracked this statistic.

“New pending sales in the condo and townhouse category, by the way, were also up, rising by one percent from last March’s total. Of course, not all homes that go under contract end up as closed sales, but this is a pretty good sign for the market going into spring.”

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.27 percent in March 2019, compared to the 4.44 percent averaged during the same month a year earlier.


Disney shares sneak peek at new Epcot nighttime show

April 11, 2019

Walt Disney World’s latest nighttime show, Epcot Forever, now has a starting date and a few newly shared details.

The show, which begins Oct. 1, is the latest homage to the iconic theme park that celebrates various cultures of the world. The new show will have similar elements seen in previous shows such as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show, which runs until the debut of Epcot Forever.

“Epcot Forever is a celebration of what Epcot has been and is going to become. We are using some of the greatest aspects of the park over its past 30 plus years, especially the music,” said Alan Bruun, Epcot Forever show director with Disney Parks Live Entertainment, via a preview video.

The new show will introduce new elements such as special effect kites that light up in the sky, fireworks and many other aspects that make nighttime shows a must-see for guests.

Disney previously described Epcot Forever as a limited-time experience with a new show debuting in 2020.

This is one of many new attractions in the works at Epcot, including Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the France pavilion and a new Guardians of the Galaxy ride in Future World.

In February, Disney announced it also will spruce up the entrance to Epcot, as well as redevelop the Wonders of Life pavilion into a new “Play Pavilion.” Those additions also are toying with the same 50th anniversary timeline. Renderings provided by Disney showed a dome-like projection attraction also could be at play for the new Play Pavilion.


Unicorp plots $125M project on Disney-owned land

April 11, 2019

Unicorp National Developments Inc., one of the most prominent Orlando-based developers, is “under agreement” for 33 acres of Walt Disney Co.-owned land in Celebration, President Chuck Whittall told Orlando Business Journal.

The property, in near World Drive and Interstate 4, may be the future home of a large $125 million entertainment concept, hotel and restaurants, he said.

Whittall described the location as “A-plus,” but declined to give further details. Whittall and Unicorp presented future project plans on April 10 at Retail Live, a networking event at Orlando World Center Marriott. No renderings were immediately available. A general contractor and architect haven’t been selected.

Burbank, California-based Disney (NYSE: DIS) couldn’t be reached for comment.

It’s the latest Unicorp project proposed in the tourist corridor. The developer also plans to build the $1 billion O-Town West — a 200-acre development that will feature shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, a thrill ride, roughly 1,600 apartments and a $40 million office tower.


Celebration Exotic Car Festival 2019

April 6, 2019

The largest Exotic Car Festival in the US is taking place in Celebration Florida today!

Come out to see hundreds of exotic cars .

Award ceremony starts at 3:00 this afternoon!

Visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CelebrationFloridaLifestyle/ to see photos and short videos of many of the cars.