This Photo IS licensed under CC BY

Colin Tongs and Rees Jones the world-famous Golf Course designer, standing right in the middle of what is now International Drive.  They  we were guests of Reynold Smith & Hills the Architects and Engineers at that time.

This photo was taken in 1987.

Below is the completed Convention Center.

Colin Tongs and Rees Jones standing right in the middle of what is now International Drive
The Orlando Conventions Center

As it is today, The Orlando Conventions Center is at 9800 International Dr. Orlando, FL approx. size 48 acres.


Growth Factors



Oceola County is on the verge of transformational change that should be realized over the next decade. Except for the Villages in Sumter County, no place in Florida has experienced such rapid population growth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Osceola’s population growth over the last five years has exceeded 20 percent. So, by the year 2030, Osceola could be home to a half million people or more.

“By 2030, at the current pace in growth, Osceola County will pass Seminole County becoming the second most populated county in the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Service Area,” County Manager Don Fisher said. But those numbers only tell part of the story. The influx of new residents will bring new housing to areas that have served as cattle ranches for generations.

Tavistock Development Company will have completed the first phase of its 19,000-acre Sunbridge community in Northeast Osceola by 2030 on ranch lands previously owned by the Mormon Church. Based on plans now being reviewed by the county, Tavistock will complete Phase 1 by 2025 — including 3,095 homes and 475 multifamily units as well as shopping centers, offices, and other non-residential uses.

A half-dozen new developments could join Kindred along the eastern shore of Lake Tohopakaliga. Those communities comprise more than 11,000 acres and have combined entitlements for 16,380 single family homes and 11,800 multi-family units. The county’s economy will be largely transformed, as well, thanks in large part to the opening in 2017 of a high-tech research park on the E192 corridor.

“The Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (Sensor Project) will have 15 years under its belt and as a result, ICAMR and imec will have attracted at least two dozen high-tech companies to the FARM in Osceola County,” Fisher said. “Osceola’s economy will have diversified adding advanced manufacturing and research and development to its already strong agriculture, tourism, and construction industries.”

Kissimmee SunRail Rendering

This is a rendering of what the Kissimmee SunRail station might look like when it opens in 2018. By the year 2030, Osceola County could be home to a half million people or more. (Courtesy SunRail)

By Laura Kinsler GrowthSpotter Staff Writer.


Osceola’s West 192 tourist corridor will have seen an influx of new, high-end hotels and attractions. Projects such as Magic Place — a Pininfarina branded community — will transform the West 192 skyline with luxury towers reaching as high as 25 stories.

St. James’s is conveniently set 1/3rd of a mile off the State Road off West 192!

Margaritaville Resort should be completely built out, and the mysterious $400 million “Project Edison” should bring more four-star hotels and a high-tech convention center to the tourist corridor.

“West 192 is going through a metamorphosis right now and our near-term future looks amazing,” said David Buchheit, executive director of the West 192 Development Authority.

Vacant land along the tourist corridor should be a scarce commodity by 2030, which will lead investors to demolish many of the 1970s-era properties and build taller, more luxurious hotels. (Hence the 99-year Lease with exit options.)

SunRail will have been operating for 12 years in the county with stations next to Tupperware, in downtown Kissimmee and in Poinciana with connections to Orlando International Airport. Bus Rapid Transit will be serving The State Road West 192 Corridor and new toll roads, such as Osceola Parkway Extension and Northeast Connector, should be open for business.


International traffic predicted to swell by 315 percent at Orlando International Airport

  • By 2030, leaders at the Orlando International Airport are scheduled to be more than halfway into a 25-year project designed to expand the airport to the size of current day Los Angeles International Airport.
  • Phase one of the airport’s South Terminal project, scheduled to start construction in 2017, will already be 10 years old, having added between 16 and 21 new gates to the airport. The entire build-out will add 120 gates to an existing 129 in the North Terminal, which airport leaders say has been operating over capacity for years
  • Airport traffic is expected to increase to 61 million passengers annually by 2031, according to the airport’s current master plan, which was designed several years ago. Domestic traffic is forecast to increase 57 percent by then, with international expected to swell by 315 percent, according to the plan.
  • Forecasts were made based on projections from around 2011 and 2012, before the recent surge in passenger traffic airport leaders have seen. Estimates in the master plan are conservative, said Carolyn Fennell, an airport spokeswoman
  • “Today’s travelers to Central Florida demand a memorable experience, so it is essential that we strive to stay at the forefront of design, innovation, customer care and improved connectivity,” said Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown when the South Terminal’s construction was approved in November
  • Orlando International reported 41.5 million passengers for the 12 months that ended in September. With full expansion expected to handle up to 80 million passengers, the airport could be handling about 60 million passengers by 2030
  • “The tripling of international passenger traffic will clearly require new passenger processing facilities,” reads the plan.
  • Ground travel from a train station under construction at the airport to South Florida also could be frequent via the Brightline train with 10 train sets operational by 2030, according to Anne Marie Mathews, Brightline spokeswoman.

Taken from excerpts of the Orlando Sentinel and various State Agencies.




How the Brightline train will transform the Sunshine State and its real estate


Brightline Train

By Dan Weil

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train service between Miami and West Palm Beach, scheduled to begin this summer, has the potential to be transformational for South Florida, local real estate experts agree. “This will change the way travel and development and redevelopment occur in South Florida,” said Rick Gonzalez, president of REG Architects in West Palm Beach.

“You can now work in downtown Miami and live in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach.”

Brightline, which has been under construction for almost three years, also includes a stop in Fort Lauderdale and will ultimately be extended to Orlando as well, possibly by next year. Developers will benefit from the consumer traffic around the stations, said Arden Karson, senior managing director of CBRE South Florida, adding, “Brightline will … ultimately make these downtown areas much more attractive as a destination for residential, commercial and retail real estate investment and development.”

The train line will be a boon for tourism as well. “Someone visiting Miami can also stay a weekend at The Breakers,” Gonzalez said, referring to the ritzy Palm Beach hotel.

In addition to making a trip between the cities quicker and less stressful than driving, Brightline has the benefit of taking cars off the road.

“We can’t keep adding lanes to I-95 and the turnpike,” said Harvey Oyer, a partner specializing in real estate at the Shutts & Bowen law firm in West Palm Beach. “We’re out of space to build more roads, and we need a more environmentally friendly way to transport people.”

Jeff Greene, the billionaire real estate investor who owns about $300 million of property in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, hopes that Brightline will usher in a lasting era of mass transit for the region.

“Millennials have opted for a simpler life oriented toward mass transit,” Greene said. “Maybe they will be more inclined to ride trains.

Orlando Station