The Orlando metropolitan area (generally defined by the four counties of Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola) boasts more than 2.1 million people, making Orlando the 26th largest metro area in the U.S. While Orlando is renowned worldwide for its tropical climate and relaxed lifestyle, the region also is one of the top 10 locations in the country for business.
The region’s employment is led by leisure and hospitality, with Walt Disney World Company ranking as the largest employer with a 69,000-person workforce. The metro area is home to more than 50 corporate headquarters, including AirTran, JetBlue, NBC Universal, Darden Restaurants, Tupperware Brands Corp., American Automobile Association (AAA) and Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Additionally, Orlando has one of the finest research and development parks in the United States, located at the University of Central Florida. One of three universities in the metro area, Central Florida, with its student body of approximately 60,000, ranks as the second-largest university in the country. The university is also home to one of the nation’s top tech incubators and receives more than $122 million in annual research dollars, many of which are matched with company dollars in joint research projects.
The Metro Orlando office market consists of more than 78.8 million square feet (msf) of space. In general, the macro-economic drivers for the region are consistent with those of the overall state of Florida. Benefits such as no state income tax, a more business-friendly environment for start-ups, and a relatively low cost of living make Florida a top choice for both individuals and companies scanning the country for a quality place to live, work and play.
The regional office market gains from a high-tech ecosystem that has been building here since the 1960s. Today’s technology industry, the region’s second-largest sector, includes more than 5,000 companies that employ more than 70,000 people. Top sectors within the tech industry include film and digital media; modeling, simulation and training; optics and photonics; aviation/aerospace and defense; advanced technologies and information technology – and all have strong demand for office space.
The Metro Orlando retail real estate market consists of more than 158 msf of space. The regional economy benefits from a globally-recognized tourism industry that saw a record 59 million visitors in 2013, an economic impact of more than $50 billion.
As one of the top vacation spots in the country, Orlando International Airport is ranked as the 13th-busiest passenger airport in the nation and the 29th-busiest in the world and is the third-largest airport for origin and destination.
The Metro Orlando industrial market consists of more than 140 msf of space. The industrial sector stands to gain from ongoing expansion at the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Coupled with Orlando holding the state's largest foreign trade zone designation, SFB ranks as the third most active international airport in Florida and the 12th most active in the United States.
The industrial market also benefits from proximity to two deepwater ports and extensive road and rail systems that connect here, in the heart of the nation’s fourth most populous state.
The Metro Orlando investment real estate market has gained from strong ongoing domestic and international demand in recent years. Investors are attracted to the region’s large tourism and tech sectors and three international airports, including Orlando International Airport, which is the third-largest origin and destination airport in the U.S. Investment demand is also buoyed by the region’s extensive ocean, road, and rail transportation systems that connect here in the heart of the nation’s fourth most populous state.
Avison Young commenced operations in Orlando in November 2014 through the firm’s acquisition of Morrison Commercial Real Estate. As a result of the acquisition, 11 members joined Avison Young, with Greg Morrison becoming Managing Director in Orlando. Avison Young assumed Morrison Commercial Real Estate’s significant leasing portfolio, including the representation of more than 3.4 msf of office space in the Central Florida marketplace. The purchase also gave Avison Young a strong base in the Orlando retail, industrial and investment real estate sectors. Orlando-based brokers work closely with colleagues in Avison Young’s other offices in Florida and brokerages throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and overseas.