Osceola County Commissioners were presented with a 50-year masterplan for NeoCity by Austin Texas’ Stephen Coulston of Perkins + Will who identified how it will become a “significant and comprehensive global center for smart sensor, photonics, and nano-technology research and development, big data/predictive analytics, and workforce talent concentration” with a long-term economic output between $25.3 and $28.5 billion.
“This is a game changing opportunity for Osceola County, and looking at it from a global perspective all the way down to the regional perspective we feel that you’re moving on to the map in a completely different way and that Florida uniquely within the tech corridor is positioned to file what we see as the next disruptive market opportunity.” Coulston described
With a population that has expected to double by 2040, Osceola County is one of the most rapidly growing, and evolving counties in the United States, and with that comes the need for jobs, and not just service industry jobs. One of NeoCity’s main focus is to create high paying technology-based jobs and to bring opportunity for those who are focusing on technology-based career paths.
The School District of Osceola County, Valencia College and the University of Central Florida are all heavily focused on careers based on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, (STEM) making NeoCity a natural part of the vision and the local community.
Key features of the plan that was presented at the meeting were the integrated functions of water management, functional and active landscape features, urban farming, transit connections and hub, and cutting-edge research and development within a walkable urban fabric.
Osceola County has invested more than $200 million in construction of the Center for Neovation, formerly known as the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (FAMRC). This 109,000-square-foot, two-story state-of-art R&D facility will focus on the manufacturability of novel materials critical to the commercialization of next-generation universal smart sensors. Osceola County is partnering with BRIDG, a Florida non-profit, to manage, develop, and commercialize the completed facility.
Worldwide tech company LG has its eyes set on NeoCity. It is looking to build a 30-acre, mixed-use, city center. The company plans to use its smart technology in every aspect of the development.
“They want to use it sort of what they call a test bed, which means they want to put their best technology in and make sure it all works perfectly and that kind of thing, so even the people living here will be part of research in their daily lives,” said Mark Miller, chairman, NeoCity Links.
The county hopes to sign a deal with LG this fall. Construction on the city’s so-called downtown could start as soon as next year.
For the masterplan and the presentation go to http://www.osceola.org/neocity/ and click on resources.