A Hospital, Research Space And More Among The Projects In The Works For Lake Nona
Rasesh Thakkar sees technology as the next area of development for Lake Nona.
The southeast Orlando community is building out a robust 5G network with Verizon. That includes a “living lab” environment that will allow organizations, including those in health care, to test the new capabilities, said the senior managing director of Tavistock Group, which is Lake Nona’s master developer.
“Verizon will be championing this effort along with other partners in Lake Nona’s Living Lab environment,” Thakkar said. “The hospitals, research institutions, incubators and organizations in Medical City all will have access to that Living Lab network and be able to test and innovate to see what this new era of connectivity can achieve in the health care space.”
But it’s not just technology that will move health care development forward in the community and its 650-acre Medical City life sciences district. New facilities from the University of Central Florida and AdventHealth are in various stages of development and preparing to add to medical concepts already in the area.
For example, just outside of Lake Nona’s official boundaries, Orlando Health is building a three-story, 42,000-square-foot freestanding emergency room that’s expected to be completed in April 2021, Orlando Health spokeswoman Sabrina Childress told OBJ. The site, on 15 acres at the northeast corner of Dowden Road and Randal Park Boulevard, has future plans which may include a hospital as a phase of development.
Read on for more details on the hospital and other major health care projects in the works for Lake Nona:
UCF Lake Nona Medical Center
The completion of the University of Central Florida’s planned new $175 million teaching hospital has been delayed until early 2021, rather than fourth-quarter 2020.
UCF is building the 64-bed hospital at 6700 Lake Nona Blvd. in southeast Orlando in partnership with Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA Healthcare Inc. (NYSE: HCA). Construction started on the 204,079-square-foot hospital in October 2018. The facility is expected to employ 300 people when open, as well as expand medical residency opportunities in the area. The hospital has the ability to expand to 500 beds in the future. Additional details on the hospital were not available from UCF or HCA.
An adult hospital with the ability to provide training opportunities for UCF medical students was one of the missing pieces for the community, Thakkar said.
UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center
Another project in the works is the interior buildout of UCF’s future Lake Nona Cancer Center.
The 175,000-square-foot facility — formerly occupied by Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and later bought by UCF — will provide cancer research and working space for multiple organizations. The UCF Board of Trustees on March 24 approved leases for four companies that will take up a total of 57,752 square feet.
UCF will dedicate about half of the building’s space for cancer researchers from its College of Medicine and other university scientists. The college is continuing to talk with other organizations about the rest of the space in the building, previously said Dr. Deborah German, dean of the UCF College of Medicine.
The center originally was set to open in early 2021, but it is not clear if that timeline has been affected by Covid-19. Additional information was not available from UCF.
AdventHealth Lake Nona Health Park
Altamonte Springs-based nonprofit health system AdventHealth has plans for a pair of medical office buildings near its 19,000-square-foot, 24-bed freestanding ER at 10080 Lake Nona Blvd.
A 36,418-square-foot medical office building — which fits in with plans to open a Health Park concept there — will be part of an initial phase and a 29,000-square-foot medical office building will come later. The health system opened the freestanding ER on Aug. 26.
AdventHealth owns both the 6.5-acre parcel at 10080 Lake Nona Blvd. with the ER and the roughly 8.42-acre parcel across the street where it may build. AdventHealth couldn’t be reached for more information.
Brad Hillmon, vice president and chief operating officer of AdventHealth’s ambulatory services, previously told OBJ the Health Park concept — which includes a freestanding ER with a medical office space — is something the health system plans to replicate throughout the area, with one completed in Osceola County between St. Cloud and Kissimmee and another planned for Clermont. “As we have urban sprawl in Orlando and health care continues to evolve and get easier to perform in an outpatient setting, we want to get in those communities and provide most of the care people need with high standards.”