How to build a great American city

Orlando is not just known for Disney World and Universal, it has transformed itself to host numerous commercial buildings and multi-family housing. The city has created 5,000 permanent jobs and expects to add 25,000 more jobs by 2029. A new area named Lake Nona is becoming a global conglomerate. The relative new area is known for it’s medical city. The medical city includes University of Florida’s new medical school, Sanford-Burnham institute and a soon to open Veterans Affairs Hospital and the Nemours Children’s Hospital.  Residential neighborhoods surround the medical city with pedestrian friendly villages and shops. Along with the medical city and residential neighborhoods, Lake Nona features a state-of-the-art technology elite golf course. Lake Nona has combined an appealing, livable residential area while associated the recent medical development.

The article features a rare interview with Joe Lewis, the owner of Tavistock. The interview looks at the roles businessman and politicians play in creating a project and supporting it in a financial crisis.  


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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