Top 20 in 2020
Looking back on some happy moments from 2020
2020 came and went in a flash and, at times, in slow motion. In a year that was more challenging than anyone expected, Lake Nona was fortunate to continue celebrating new milestones and create excitement for Central Florida’s future.
As we look back on 2020, here are 20 of our favorite moments in Lake Nona:
1. George Jetson lands in Central Florida. America’s first high-speed, electric air mobility hub is coming to Orlando by 2025. Serviced by all-electric, vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Lake Nona will be a hub for an all-new, state-wide urban and regional air mobility network.
2. The 5G future is here. On top of building out a high-speed 5G wireless network, Verizon announced a new Lake Nona 5G Innovation Hub where entrepreneurs from across Central Florida can test and refine their ideas.
3. Bringing the brightest minds in health care together. The eighth annual Lake Nona Impact Forum took place just before the coronavirus pandemic began. HHS Admiral Brett Giroir updated the audience on initial intel while other speakers including Russell Wilson and Dr. Deepak Chopra engaged in innovative discussions on wellbeing.
4. Global companies creating new jobs in Central Florida. SIMCOM Aviation announced a new, state-of-the-art global headquarters and training facility that will add 100 new jobs and train 10,000 pilots per year.
5. Mobility pioneer celebrates one year on the road. Since launching in 2019, the all-electric Move Nona autonomous shuttle program has carried 16,000+ passengers nearly 9,000 miles making it the largest and longest running single site autonomous fleet in the U.S.
6. Sustainable building solutions let the light in. Buildings in Lake Nona added eco-friendly View Smart Windows that predictively tint in response to outdoor conditions, eliminating the need for blinds.
7. Record-breaking residential sales. In spite of the health crisis, Lake Nona had a record-breaking year with the most new home contracts in Lake Nona history and welcomed a new neighborhood, Laurel Pointe, from homebuilder Toll Brothers. The momentum continued in Osceola County where Lake Nona’s sister community, Sunbridge, welcomed its first residents to Del Webb Sunbridge, which ended the year with more than 160 new home sale
8. Orlando’s hospitality offerings are on the rise. The 17-story Wave Hotel topped out in 2020 as Lake Nona’s tallest building. The sleek new hotel will include event space and multiple restaurants and bars further enhancing Orlando’s hospitality landscape.
9. A new approach to corporate training begins. KPMG Lakehouse officially opened ushering in a new era for corporate training with a purpose-built facility where all employees can continue their professional development, nurture their careers, and connect with colleagues.
10. Future of living solutions tested in a living lab. The leAD Lake Nona Health & Sports Tech Accelerator program announced its first cohort of startups from across the globe focused on innovative solutions in sports, health, and nutrition who can test their ideas in different uses throughout the community.
11. Re-imagined events promote safety and togetherness. From a patriotic neighborhood parade to a drive-in movie pop-up and a spectacular outdoor holiday festival, Lake Nona kept health top-of-mind while creating some much-needed joy during our signature community events.
12. The athletes who live here, also play here. Lake Nona resident and Olympian Phil Dalhausser is teaching beach volleyball’s next generation at his new academy now practicing at Boxi Park. Last summer, cheers rang throughout the community as fellow resident and USTA National Campus trainee Jennifer Brady made it to the U.S. Open semi-finals.
13. The fitness center redefined. Opening in summer 2021, the Lake Nona Performance Club will be one of the most comprehensive and thoughtfully curated facilities in the nation providing a tailored approach to whole-person health for all ages and skill levels.
14. Life-changing rehabilitation services. Brooks Rehabilitation will bring its innovative inpatient rehabilitation services to Lake Nona’s growing health and life sciences cluster with a new, world-class hospital.
15. Booming, resident-owned businesses. New restaurant Veg’n Out, fitness facility Neighborhood barre, and indoor soccer center XL Soccer all added to Lake Nona’s thriving local business community.
16. Landscaping innovation supports the environment. The Lake Nona landscaping team relocated more than 250 trees and began testing all-electric autonomous lawn mowers to keep our community looking beautiful.
17. Community strength on display. From colorful words of encouragement lining the sidewalks to neighborhood-organized mask making brigades and food delivery for font-line workers via autonomous shuttle, the Lake Nona community came together to support one another during the pandemic.
18. Long-time wellness ambassador finds a new home. A familiar face is becoming a Lake Nona resident. Dr. Deepak Chopra, the community’s long-time wellness ambassador, announced his intention to move to Lake Nona citing that people here believe in “a more peaceful, just, and a more healthy and enjoyable world.”
19. A new way to stay healthy and active. Countless new baseball teams are saying “play ball!” at the all-new McCoy Community Park, which also connects to Lake Nona’s robust trail system.
20. Art for all. Placemaking continues to elevate Lake Nona through the creative expression of art. New installations include handcrafted nature sculptures and colorful murals.