Medical City Continues to Grow, Add Employment Opportunities

With its location within the community of Lake Nona, the “master-planned” area of Medical City has often been referred to as a new chapter in Orlando’s history. The concept began back in 2005 when the Tavistock Group donated $12.5 million and 50-acres of land to the University of Central Florida (UCF) to establish their medical school.

Educational facilities, as well as a mix of commercial and retail spaces with residential options, surround the now 650-acre site. Once completed, the Medical City is said to bring about 6,000 onsite employees to the community. Arduin, Laffer & Moore econometrics conducted a study in 2008 that projected the health and life sciences cluster at Lake Nona’s Medical City to create more than 30,000 local jobs and have a $7.6 billion impact on the economy.

Medical City is based on the proven theory that a cluster of healthcare and bioscience facilities creates innovation. The hope is, within the next decade, Lake Nona’s Medical City will be home to some of the nation’s top hospitals, universities, research institutions and life science companies.

Recently, the institutions and networks that have been formed are already making Orlando an important landmark in healthcare, research and medical education, while also constructing economic development and job creation that will impact the Central Florida region as a whole.

“There are already thousands of people employed onsite now at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Sanford-Burnham, and the UCF and UF campuses, but about 2,000 more will arrive when the VA Medical Center fully opens next year,” says Rob Adams, vice president of the Lake Nona Property Holdings, LLC. “There are also numerous jobs that are associated with the Medical City anchors that will be created as everything opens.”

Additional facilities coming to the area include UCF’s College of Nursing, College of Dental Medicine, a teaching hospital and the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Upon completion of the various projects, UCF’s Health Science Campus is said to hold as many as 5,000 upper-division, professional and graduate students, as well as faculty members in health-related programs. Medical City will also include up to 2 million-square-feet of research and instruction space.

For those in the health and life sciences space, Adams believes it’s an interesting place to be. He says it’s very rare to find one location that houses two universities, a leading non-profit research institute and two major hospitals. The beauty, he adds, is that it allows a level of convenience and a collaborative opportunity that can lead to exceptional patient care, as well as numerous breakthroughs in research that might not have been possible without the unique situation.

“People see that when they visit and they want to be a part of it,” says Adams.

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By Sarika Ramdular