Brian and Julie Watson can spot a good investment from a mile away. A corporate finance lawyer, Brian is no stranger to making sound financial decisions. When he and his wife Julie decided it was time for a new home, they quickly turned their discerning eyes to Lake Nona.
With the rise of Lake Nona Medical City and the expansion of the surrounding neighborhoods, buying a home in the Lake Nona Golf & Country Club seemed like a smart choice. “As soon as we saw all of the amenities Lake Nona offers, we knew it would be a great place for us and our growing family,” Brian said.
Now that he, Julie and their two boys, five-year-old Blaine and three-year-old Reid, are settled in their Lake Nona home, they know they made the right move. Much of their decision to live here had to do with the community’s strategic design.
“It’s well thought-out and organized,” Julie noted. “And we like the fact that Lake Nona offers us direct access to the local expressway system. We can get anywhere in Central Florida easily.” To Brian’s delight, especially, commuting to work became much easier. The drive to his downtown Orlando office takes him less than 25 minutes, which means less time sitting in traffic and more quality time at home with his family.
And that’s the best part. The Watsons spend lots of time together in Lake Nona. From golfing, tennis and exercising at the fitness center to swimming, kayaking on the lake and eating in the Club’s Grill Room, there’s plenty of ways to connect, and stay healthy while they’re at it. Brian even has a cocktail named after him, which he orders at the clubhouse bar. “We’re really looking forward to making use of the Club’s newly renovated Bath & Racquet Club, too,” Julie said.
The Watsons’ love for the community has turned into a deeper commitment since they first put out their welcome mat. The whole family is involved at the Lake Nona YMCA. Brian is also a representative for the community on the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the Board of Directors as chairman and currently as general counsel.
“We truly feel that we’re a part of something special by calling Lake Nona home,” Brian commented. “When we arrive in Lake Nona after a busy day, it’s like we’ve escaped to a better place. We feel at home.
Julie’s parents have also made the move to the Nonahood. To this hardworking mother, family comes first, and home is certainly where the heart is. “Lake Nona is a safe place for us and our kids,” she continued. “Our neighbors are absolutely incredible. There’s a tremendous feeling of community that we haven’t seen anywhere else we’ve lived.”
There’s everything a family could want in Lake Nona, and having neighbors like the Watsons is just the beginning.
To learn more about Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, visit lakenona.club.
Even more shops and restaurants are about to open in Lake Nona. Just two miles from Lake Nona Medical City and walking distance from both Valencia College and the Primrose School, Vickrey Place will bring 10,500 square feet of retail space and an oversized, covered patio area with comfortable outdoor seating.
Adding to our community’s growing list of restaurants, Vickrey Place will include a Jersey Mike’s, serving fresh-baked subs, soups and salads, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner option.
Nearby, Hand and Stone will offer a variety of personal services, from facials to massages, for those days when you need something extra to help you unwind.
Just down the road, a specially designed, 9,600-square-foot Ace Hardware store will help homeowners make the best use of their space with an open-air garden section stocked with a wide variety of plants, outdoor furniture and grills, and a home center with more than 24,000 hardware items and gifts from top brands. The location will also feature a full kitchen and bath showroom.
And after much anticipation, the green mermaid will soon be making her way to the Nonahood! Starbucks will open a 2,105-square-foot location within Vickrey Place complete with a drive-thru lane and, of course, all of your favorite beverages, snacks and treats.
Town Center Gets a BrightStart!
Great news for little learners: Nemours Children’s Hospital recently inked a lease for 30,000 square feet of space in the developing Lake Nona Town Center office building. This all-new site will be home to various departments including fundraising, human resources and the hospital’s early childhood reading initiative, BrightStart!, helping our community’s youngest minds get the early education they need. If you’re interested in being their neighbor, please contact the Lake Nona Information Center for more details on available office space at (407) 888-6500.
The University of Central Florida’s College of Medicine in Lake Nona Medical City has already started to produce some of the brightest minds that will lead the future of our nation’s health care industry. From doctors and nurses, to researchers and caregivers, UCF medical students are already finding better ways to help us live well here in the U.S. But it doesn’t stop there. These aspiring physicians are putting theory into practice 900 miles offshore in underserved countries such as the Dominican Republic, where they practice their skills to help those less fortunate.
UCF’s annual medical mission trips, led by Dr. Simms-Cedan, allow students to work together while teaching locals how to better maintain their health. It’s an interdisciplinary method of service where teams of medical, nursing, pharmacy, and engineering students work together to learn each other’s skills and processes, giving them a more well-rounded health care background.
According to Dr. Simms-Cedan, the student trips exist to accomplish three goals: improve community health, develop patient-centered education, and promote collaboration among doctors. And it’s been a great success so far. UCF COM students have treated more than 3,000 Dominican Republic citizens, gained real, hands-on medical experience, and developed new systems for care. “We actually brought an electronic records system to the country, which means easier access to health care for locals and more organized treatment plans for doctors,” said Dr. Simms-Cedan.
While in the Dominican Republic, students educate patients and local doctors on topics from basic hygiene and wound care to healthy eating choices and preventative measures for chronic diseases. The mission groups have even provided dental care to help young children suffering from cavities.
We’re proud to see our neighbors putting their education to good use and wish Dr. Simms-Cedan and this year’s team all the best as they return to the Dominican Republic in July.