More than 500 real estate professionals from across Florida, including development professionals, civic leaders and land use experts, gathered in Orlando for the Urban Land Institute’s annual statewide summit. They spent two days sharing best practices and new ideas, as well as delving into some of the most significant issues impacting all corners of Florida’s real estate market today.
Under the theme of “Moving Florida Forward,” the two-day ULI Florida Summit was held June 12th and 13th at Walt Disney World’s Swan Resort in Orlando. Schwartz Media Strategies was a proud sponsor of this year’s conference and your Soundbytes team was there in full force to take it all in.
Among the speakers were professor and top economist Dr. Robert W. Burchell, who discussed how Florida’s workforce is evolving and its impact on real estate. Andy Corty, Publisher of Florida Trend Magazine, placed a magnifying lens on public spending for some of the large-scale projects being developed in the state. While speaker Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution and ULI District Councils of Florida talked about how projects and places are being built to improve health and wellness.
Small bus tours enabled participants to explore the projects shaping Orlando’s economic future. One tour included a visit to downtown Orlando’s new Amway Center and a hard-hat tour of the under construction Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Other participants were treated to inside look at plans for Disney Springs, a new retail and entertainment complex that will open in two phases beginning in 2015. Disney’s Imagineers have dreamt up an entire story hinged on the evolution of a Central Florida town dubbed Disney Springs.
A third tour transported attendees to Orlando’s Medical City for a first-hand look at University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine and a walking tour of Lake Nona’s
mixed-use town center and residential community.
Author and journalist Carl Hiaasen closed the summit on a comedic note as the keynote speaker, sharing some of his favorite headlines, insight into the creative process for writing his books, and his thoughts on the Sunshine State’s past, present and future.