Massive development planned in rural part of Lake County

Updated:

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Leaders in Lake County plan to turn 16,000 acres of empty land into a booming area of businesses and homes.

The massive development near Four Corners and Clermont would look very similar to the Lake Nona area surrounding Orlando's Medical City. The project is called Wellness Way and is expected to be built along U.S. 27. The project could bring in thousands of jobs in the healthcare and manufacturing fields.

John Arnold, owner of Showcase of Citrus, has sold fresh oranges from his business for nearly 30 years and he welcomes the new development, which would include 15,000 homes.

"This is an opportunity to collectively and collaboratively put together something the community can hang their hat on," Arnold said.

Wellness Way is a proposal to create a long term master plan for the region while promoting economic development with little environmental impact.

"I really think something like that would really, really help all of us job-wise," resident Nancy Foryan said.

Officials said most of the funding to develop the area will come from private or state sources.