The South Seminole Hospital in Longwood will soon close, and Orlando Health will build a new healthcare hub in its place.
The hospital is located at 555 W. State Road 434, where it has been for 40 years. It sits next to Reiter Park, which has been referred to as Longwood’s crown jewel. City leaders think new plans for the property will be a good thing for the area and for business owners.
“We want it to be uniquely Longwood, but we also want to be in the future and modern like every other place,” Elijah Ramsay, owner of Back to Basic Barber Shop in Longwood said.
Ramsay is one of only a few business owners in the quiet, historic downtown Longwood area. He has owned the barber shop for six years, but there’s not a lot of foot traffic.
“You know you have Winter Park, and they have their little downtown area, and Altamonte has their little area, so we’ve been wondering how are we going to get something like that that would attract people to Longwood to build it up,” he said.
Ramsay thinks new plans for the city could be that “something.” Orlando Health announced it will close its South Seminole Hospital and tear it down by next year. A stand-alone emergency department will go in its place. Plans are also in the works for a mixed-use building on the property. It would possibly include restaurants, shops, and residential space. Orlando Health is working with city leaders on the plans.
“I have no doubt in my mind it’s going to be an enormous win for the city of Longwood,” Commissioner Matt Morgan, city of Longwood, said. “It’s going to make this historic district more of a walkable area. You’re going to get more of a downtown feel.”
More plans are also in the works. The city bought land behind the hospital with plans to build a new fire department. Renderings show it will be big enough to also house the police department. City leaders said that will open up space in the old buildings for even more business.
Ramsay hopes that business will only continue to grow.”If it could be something like Sanford where they have a downtown area where people feel like they can be comfortable, walk around, shop, and eat, then that would be great.”
Orlando Health expects construction on the emergency department to start sometime in 2023. The construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2024.
Source: Fox 35