Disney’s Lake Nona Headquarters Project has been approved unanimously by the Development Review Committee.
Lake Nona Headquarters Project
The vote was held on March 9 and was known as the Lake Nona Parcel 20A Office Complex. The project passed through the Development Review Committee with a unanimous vote of 5-0 by its members.
The site plan called for six office buildings, two flex space buildings, and a central plant. All together, it would equal over 1.8 million square feet of space.
Lake Nona Site Plan
In addition to the main buildings, there would also be three parking garages to support the campus. The buildings would range from one to seven-stories tall.
The Campus will be home to the Disney Parks division of the Walt Disney Company.
Lake Nona Campus
Originally announced in July 2021, Disney planned to relocate 2,000 Cast Members from their California campus to Orlando. Disney planned to invest $864 million into the new Lake Nona campus.
The Lake Nona campus will house Walt Disney Imagineers and more professionals in the Disney Parks, Experiences and Products division who are not fully dedicated to Disneyland. The 2,000 positions represent less than 5% of Disney’s total jobs in California.
The $864 million is the current projection, though Disney says the cost could grow. At least $624 million of the funds will go to equipment and furniture for the new campus.
Disney has applied and been approved for a capital investment tax credit through the state, which was one of the incentives for selecting the Florida location. Its proximity to Walt Disney World was another likely incentive, as most of the jobs will be from the Parks, Experiences, and Products division.
The Orlando Business Journal reports that, “The company said Lake Nona’s advantages include nearby infrastructure such as available homes, schools not at capacity and proper commuter roads, as well as the state’s lack of an income tax. The disadvantages it cited included the potential for disruption by moving the jobs away from its headquarters, loss of talent, and the potential “poaching” of key executives by other firms.”
It was originally slated for a 2023 move-in date, but has been delayed to 2026. The delay was due in part to Disney’s conflicts last summer with Governor Ron DeSantis and the State of Florida. This caused many problems among Cast Members relocating because some had already sold their homes in California and were then left in limbo.
Other Imagineers were upset by the relocation plan already, and some chose not to stay with the company. Many have urged Disney to reverse the decision to move, especially considering DeSantis’ attacks on the company and the passing of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The Walt Disney Company has purchased over 60 acres of land for the new Lake Nona campus.
Now that this project is moving forward, the next course of action include reviews for the building elevations and landscaping plans. Once that is complete, the project will move on to permitting.
What do you think about the latest developments with the Lake Nona Headquarters Project? Let us know in the comments.
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