Monday, August 28, 2006

Orlando's Southwest Still Thriving

There has been must focus on Orlando's southeast side with announments of the Burnham Institute, UCF Medical School, and VA hospital, but Orlando's southwest area is thriving and growing. This area stretches from Bayhill to Winter Garden and includes all the in between such as Windermere, Metrowest, and Dr. Phillips. These areas thrive on tourism for shopping and restaurants, if tourism slows, so will growth. In fact, Millenia Mall and Sandlake shopping have left I-Drive area drained and plans are needed to revitalize the area.

Southwest real estate sales are flat like the rest of metro Orlando. The area has sold a total of $1 billion during 2006 so far. Areas are seeing growth are Metrowest and Winter Garden. Metrowest 1,800 acre project cost $600 million which will include a new Italian themed town center with cafes, shops, and gondola rides on Lake Debra. Metrowest feels it has had unfair tarnished reputation due to rising crime rates. And communities and police efforts are working to change that.

Winter Garden Village at Fowler Groves is being developed by one of the nations leading shopping center developers. It will feature a distinctive clock tower and history walk which will resemble the old Winter Garden. Courtesy Orlando Sentinel 8/25/06.