Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, is proud and optimistic about The City Beautiful.  In a recent interview with CNN, he spoke about the economic growth of Central Florida -specifically within education, technology, housing, and construction development.  Simply put, Orlando IS becoming known for more than just theme parks.  The next 15 years has an exciting agenda. Watch the interview with Dyer.

“We are in recovery,” Dyer says.  From the real estate perspective, industry professionals, buyers, sellers, and investors, have all seen the rise in housing prices.  The interview with Mayor Dyer, however, discussed more than housing.  Tourism is Central Florida’s top industry.  Orlando tops most other destinations in the US for the number of annual visitors.  Last year, Orlando welcomed 55 million out-of-towners, topping 50 million just 2 years ago.  Tourism, Dyer says, is roaring back!We already know that Orlando’s economics are driven by housing and tourism, but what else?  Education, medicine, and technology are other top industries.  The University of Central Florida ranks as the second largest university in the nation.  For the 2012-2013 enrollment, UCF is looking at over 60,000 students, and may have inched to the #1 spot.  UCF is undeniably the economic powerhouse of East Orlando.

Several years ago Lake Nona was a quiet, modestly developing master-planned community in the Southeast corner of Orlando.  Not only has the area seen incredible housing growth over the last few years, but is now the home of the highly anticipated Medical City.  What began as a 50-acre, $12.5 million dollar donation from Tavistock to UCF to establish a medical school, is now a 650-acre health and life sciences park that holds some of the biggest biomedical names.  New residents include the UCF Health Sciences Campus, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital, M.D. Anderson Orlando Cancer Research Institute, University of Florida Academic & Research Center, and the VA Medical Center.  According to the Orlando Business Journal, Medical City, over the next decade, is expected to create 30,000 jobs and have a $7.6 billion impact on the economy.  Visit LearnLakeNona.com to learn more.

While tourism is Orlando’s claim to fame, technology has been rapidly gaining momentum.  There are now half as many workers in technology as there are in tourism and leisure.  Orlando is home to over 100 simulation and technology companies, including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.  With its roots firm in defense training, the simulation technology has crossed into many other industries, including EA Sports in Maitland, incredibly immersive theme park attractions, and the 3D online showings at Mainframe Real Estate.
As Orlando has always been innovative and forward-thinking, the planned Creative Village will bring countless other tech companies to the area.  On the site of the old Amway Arena downtown, this 68-acre mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban infill neighborhood will be home to leading higher education providers; high-tech, digital media and creative companies; and a diverse mix of students, employees and residents. This project, over the next decade, will revitalize the area west of I4 and have a tremendous impact on the whole Central Florida economy.  Visit CreativeVillageDevelopment.com to learn more.
Dyer says Orlando will continue to strive toward a more diversified workforce, especially in the medical and technology industries.  Our local economy is moving, and growing.  While many of these projects are part of a 10+ year plan, their effect on the future of Orlando will be profound.