Chamber of Commerce starts Horizon West Task Force

The West Orange Chamber of Commerce’s Horizon West Task Force seeks to expand business opportunities in Horizon West.

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  • | 12:00 p.m. August 4, 2016
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HORIZON WEST Jose Cantero’s family has owned property in Horizon West’s Village I since the 1980s, before Village I or Horizon West was a concept. 

There, the family owns about 120 acres on which the family business, Cantero Holdings, is based. The company’s work isn’t limited to Horizon West; it works in Orange County and much of the surrounding areas.

But Cantero is watching the development grow in Horizon West, and he’s paying attention. 

“We’re looking to the future, seeing what’s coming and trying to plan for the property appropriately,” Cantero said. 

Cantero is part of the West Orange Chamber of Commerce’s Horizon West Task Force, a group of about six chamber members who have banded together to promote business and business opportunities in Horizon West. 

The task force hopes to aid the West Orange Chamber of Commerce in providing opportunities and resources for existing business owners in Horizon West. But it also has the goal of making businesses aware of opportunities within Horizon West. 

As Horizon West continues to grow, more business opportunities will become available in the area. The community is about 23,000 acres and comprises six smaller communities known as “villages” — Village of Bridgewater, Lakeside Village, Town Center, Village F, Village H and Village I. 

“The Butler Chain creates almost a captive audience because there’s only one way to get to (the Sand Lake area),” said Kevin Merideth, of Boyd Development Corporation. “It’s tough for them to enjoy Sand Lake and some of the other commercial hubs.”

Most villages are primarily residential but will provide their own opportunities for business — each community will have a commercial center. However, the Town Center is intended to be the commercial hub of the entire community. The Town Center, a Boyd Development project, contains Hamlin and soon will be home to a luxury movie theater, Orlando Health Hospital, Walmart and Publix. 

But there is still space left in the Town Center’s 8 million square feet, and a portion of that space is set aside for retail, commercial and office space.

On July 28, the task force held its first major event — a bus tour through much of Horizon West. The event was coordinated with the Orlando Economic Development Commission, which serves businesses looking to locate in the Orlando area. 

Casey Barnes, vice president of business development for the Orlando EDC, lives in Gotha and attended the tour. As a West Orange resident, he has driven along State Road 429 on his way to Walt Disney World many times but has not taken much time to explore what is beyond the highway. 

After learning more about Horizon West, he sees the potential, specifically for white-collar positions. Many Horizon West residents often are people who already hold these kind of positions. Within a five-mile radius of Hamlin, the average price of new homes is $460,000, Merideth said.

“There’s a couple of major employers there, obviously Disney being the largest, but there’s not a ton of large employers in that side of the Orange County market,” Barnes said. “So for us, I expect to position Horizon West much more aggressively now since we have the demographics and parameters there.”

Many of the white-collar workers who live in Horizon West must commute to downtown Orlando, Lake Mary or other parts of West Orange for their jobs. Bringing these jobs to Horizon West could shorten commute times.

Horizon West is also a place for entrepreneurs who want to shape the area as it forms, such as Cynthia Dailey, the owner of Scribble-Space and a member of the Horizon West Task Force. 

ScribbleSpace, located in Summerport Village, is a co-working space for entrepreneurs and other people who want a space to work other than from home. 


Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].


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