Resort with Lagoon & Condos Coming to Lake Nona

Condos coming to Lake Nona’s new resort with 11-acre man-made lagoon

A new Lake Nona Resort that embraces a recently forgotten housing type — condominiums — will straddle an 11-acre man-made lake, according to plans unveiled Thursday by Tavistock Development. The eight-story health resort will have 250 hotel rooms and 80 condos coming to Lake Nona, overlooking Crystal Lagoon and its water sports offerings.

The development’s signature sport is likely to be beach volleyball; it will have a venue with 120,000 square feet dedicated to that activity.

The resort’s mix of residential offerings doesn’t necessarily signal a return of condo construction in Central Florida, but it does indicate renewed interest in a housing product that was all but written off during the recession.

Condo sales in the core Orlando market of mostly Orange and Seminole counties still make up a small share of the region’s housing market. Last month’s 490 sales were quadruple from October 2007, when the housing collapse hit the region, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

“We’re beginning to get requests for land suitable for condos, mostly at infill locations,” said Steve Flanagan, senior adviser for The Land Advisors real estate brokerage. “Tavistock is creating a pretty special place out there, and they’ve been spot-on with their choice of products. Based on their track record, this has a pretty good chance of success.”

In addition to the product mix, Tavistock Development Co. President Jim Zboril said the amenities and architecture will distinguish the resort in one of the nation’s most competitive hotel markets.

“Our focus is on sports and performance, and we believe this is the first-of-its-kind performance-driven resort created from scratch in the United States,” he said.

The resort further cements a years-long brand shift for the Lake Nona community, which had long been known simply as Medical City for its health-related research. As Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Center refocuses its energies on its headquarters in La Jolla, Calif., research work in Lake Nona continues but no longer defines the development.

The neighborhood lacks condos today, but more are expected in another upcoming expansion.

Tavistock said it is building condos in the gated Lake Nona Country Club neighborhood in an expansion that also includes shopping, medical and other development.

Two other Lake Nona hotels are in design — one is near a Publix-anchored shopping complex on Boggy Creek Road, and the other will be part of the next phase of Lake Nona’s retail town center.

The latest announcement for Lake Nona follows two others in the past week: the three-story Drive Shack golf-entertainment center and the Nona Adventure Park water-sports attraction with a floating obstacle course and wakeboard cable track on Adventure Lake.

Crystal Lagoon will be constructed next to the U.S. Tennis Association’s national campus featuring more than 100 courts. Miami-based Arquitectonica designed the horizontal glass-enclosed resort that appears pinched in the middle to better accommodate the lagoon underneath.

“At its center, the building bridges over the lagoon, forming a gateway into the long perspective of the lagoon as it fades into the horizon,” said Bernardo Fort-Brescia, principal of Arquitectonica. “The building skyline lowers at the roofline to create an open terrace overlooking the lake and the USTA tennis complex.”

Construction is to start next year with completion in 2020.


Sources: “Lake Nona Resort adds condos to mix,” Orlando Sentinel; “First look: Lake Nona to open new resort and spa by 2020,” Orlando Business Journal