Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
Orlando Health unveiled plans Thursday for an $810 million expansion at Florida Hospital.
The expansion is focused on biotech and luring companies from other countries.
Two companies already plan to bring collectively 100-125 jobs; jobs that one company said will pay $80,000 a year.
"Central Florida's been doing it right," said Fla. Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll.
Orlando beat out big name cities like Philadelphia, New York and Boston to have bioscience companies vying for a spot in Health Villages, a new science park that will work closely with Florida Hospital.
"To really innovate the next generation of research and transitional breakthroughs for medicine," said David Banks of Florida Hospital.
Organizers said Health Village will be more than a science park.
"That's why you're going to see apartment buildings, you're going to see new restaurants opening up, pocket parks," Banks said.
The project was such a hit that companies like Mazor Robotics, whose headquarters are in Israel, are expanding in Health Village before their offices are built.
"It's not just talk, there's actually stuff going on, action," said Chris Prentice of Mazor Robotics.
In the short term, at least a thousand construction jobs will be filled to build the $55 million bioresearch center at Health Village.
Although the facility isn't supposed to be completed until 2015, Mazor Robotics has already started. "We're already posting jobs and I'm already interviewing for jobs," Prentice said.
It's welcomed news for Orlando and Central Florida's economy.
"They buy homes, they purchase items and it adds to our sales tax and our revenue for our state so it's a win across the board," said Carroll.
When the entire Health Village is completed in 2023, it's expected to bring 8,000 jobs to the Central Florida area.