A look at why downtown Orlando is attracting new businesses: Part 1- Focus on Downtown

Florida has a diverse and complex real estate market.  The state has recently surpassed New York as the country’s third most populated state, and is forecasted to be the fastest growing state in populace between 2015 and 2025, adding an estimated additional 4.49 million people.

100 East Pine Street website (2)That being said, this population growth is not equal.  These new residents are not all moving proportionately into each of Florida’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (“MSAs”).  Each market has its own strengths and weaknesses and each real estate product type within them will benefit from this population growth differently.  Let’s take a look at how population growth is affecting Orlando, one of the more interesting markets in Florida.

Orlando is the 25th largest MSA in the country, with 2.25mm people. According to Moody’s, it is also one of the country’s most dynamic growth markets, with a projected five-year population growth of 10.7 percent (ranking it fourth in the country) and a five-year employment growth of 15 percent (ranking it first in the country).

Orlando is the most visited city in the United States (more than New York and Los Angeles), welcoming over 63 million visitors in 2014 and accounting for $31 billion in annual tourist spending.   The impact of tourism on Orlando is undeniable.  It has afforded Orlando the ability to spend a tremendous amount to invest in its infrastructure to further enhance the quality of life within the City.  However, only one of every five jobs in Orlando is classified in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.  Orlando is now home to 2,600 companies in the technology industry, employing over 42,000 people.  The top sectors include film and digital media, modeling and simulation, aviation/aerospace and information technology.

Look around downtown Orlando and you’ll find new developments everywhere, servicing a wide variety of industries, attracting a plethora of businesses and transforming it into an entirely new downtown destination.

For example, Orlando Magic Sports and Entertainment District Complex is a $200 million mixed-use, sports and entertainment complex.  It will serve as the Orlando Magic’s headquarters and will have a hotel, dining, retail and entertainment options.  Additionally, recently completed major developments in downtown Orlando include a brand new $500 million Performing Arts Center and a newly renovated Citrus Bowl.

In March 2016, Governor Rick Scott approved $20million of state funds for a UCF Downtown campus (UCF’s Center for Emerging Media) and will enroll 7,700 UCF and Valencia College students by Fall 2018 and is expected to create 2,000 more jobs.  This is the start of the planned $1 billion mixed-use development called Creative Village.  Creative Village is to be a 68-acre, mixed-use development billed as Orlando’s future tech mecca for businesses, colleges, and residents.  The development plan entails 1.2 million square feet of office/creative space, 500,000 square feet of higher education space, 500 residential units, 150,000 square feet of retail space, and 225 hotel rooms.

These are a few of many driving forces behind the exciting and dynamic changes that are being made in Orlando, and its downtown.  Denholtz Associates strongly believes in Orlando’s future, its growth, and continues to look to acquire underappreciated assets, like its recent acquisition of 100 East Pine Street, a mixed-use office building in downtown Orlando.