Legoland expands in Winter Haven

Legoland Florida is one of several companies expanding in Winter Haven.

Among the numerous new home community locations offered by Highland Homes, Lakeland and Winter Haven are two of the most favorable settings for both residents and business owners. These cities are home to some of Florida’s fastest growing businesses, best attractions, dining options, entertainment and thriving local economies. Whether you’re looking to establish a new home or grow your business, Lakeland and Winter Haven provide financial stability within Florida’s beautiful natural surroundings.

The Lakeland-Winter Haven area has seen significant business opportunities created within the last year, the most notable being Amazon’s new distribution center which welcomed 400 full-time job positions when it  opened in August 2014. Several other businesses have recently announced expansion or moves to the area, creating jobs and stimulating the economy. Here are some of the recent economic opportunities announced for Lakeland-Winter Haven.

LEGOLAND to Open New Hotel and Attraction: The LEGOLAND Florida theme park opened in October 2011 on the former site of Winter Haven’s historic Cypress Gardens theme park, and expanded soon after opening with a water park in May 2012. Once again, Winter Haven is gaining a new LEGOLAND expansion with the new LEGOLAND hotel, featuring five stories with150 LEGO-themed rooms and even a LEGO Dragon! Set to open in May of this year, this spectacular hotel is truly a child’s dream come-true. (That goes for the inner-child in all of us, too!) The opportunity of LEGOLAND visitors not just coming to the park, but staying at the park, is an incredible opportunity for Winter Haven and Polk County businesses due to the flocks of tourists that will be looking for other things to do in the area!

In addition, LEGOLAND is scheduled to open a new “land” called Heartlake City. Based on the LEGO Friends product line, Heartlake City is aimed towards young girls ages 6 to 10 and will include a horse-themed disc coaster ride, an interactive show set in an indoor theater, new shops and a TV Studio based upon one of the LEGO Friends characters.

Thanks to these expansions, several new Winter Haven job opportunities are being offered for LEGOLAND’s hotel and theme park.

Massive Renovations at Winter Haven Hospital: A $51 million expansion was recently announced by Winter Haven Hospital to help prepare this facility to accommodate healthcare needs of today and tomorrow. Among the transformations scheduled for WHH, phase one of the expansion includes two additional parking decks totaling approximately 200 spaces, a new two-story building connected to the current hospital building, which will house a new Emergency Department and a space for future ICUs and Cath labs, and renovation of the existing Emergency Department. With additional investments expected for the project, Winter Haven Hospital plans to provide better-equipped and more technologically advanced healthcare services to patients in the community. These renovations will put Winter Haven on the map for superior health care and provide several career opportunities for those in the medical field. To accommodate the newest expansions, Winter Haven Hospital will need to hire several new staff members including nurses, technicians, therapists, behavioral analysts, emergency responders and several other positions.

New Medical Center in Lakeland: Lakeland Regional Health (formerly known as Lakeland Regional Medical Center) is expanding its health care services with a new $25 million, 60,000 square-foot medical center, which will be located right next to its existing 20,000 square-foot Lakeland Orthopedics and Lakeland Sports Rehabilitation center on the corner of Harden Boulevard and Edgewood Avenue. Together, the old and new buildings will be connected by a walkway to form one complex called Lakeland Regional Health Grasslands Campus. The new center will provide numerous career opportunities in orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, lung care, primary care, obstetrics-gynecology and ear, nose and throat care. This exciting expansion is intended to bring together numerous LRH outpatient services in a location that is convenient and accessible for outpatients and families, and is expected to officially open in April 2016.

Wes-Garde Creates High-Paying Jobs in Lakeland: Having relocated its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Lakeland in 2014, Wes-Garde has already provided a significant boost to the local economy. The company is a wholesale distributor of electronic components, and has had a warehouse in Lakeland since 1980 along with 11 locations throughout the US.. Wes-Garde’s new corporate headquarters offer an advantage since a large majority of its clients are located in the Southeast, with one-third of its Florida business related to marine clients. Taxes, affordable cost of living, and the Lakeland Economic Development Council (LEDC) were also key in making the decision to relocate Wes-Garde to Lakeland.

According to the LEDC, the average wage in Polk is $37,157, and a company can qualify for incentives by offering jobs that pay 115 percent of the average or an annual wage of $42,731. Wes-Garde went above and beyond and proved its potential  by creating 28 new positions that pay 150 percent more than the annual wage in Polk County, and it plans to create another six to eight high-paying positions in the next year. High-wage jobs in this growing high-tech company are a win for workers in Polk County.

In addition to Lakeland’s flourishing business economy, home building is booming as well. 2014 marked the best year of Lakeland new home sales for Highland Homes since 2005. The city is home to several beautiful Highland Homes communities, the newest of which is Sundance Place, located in the south Lakeland area. Florida new homes in this neighborhood are priced from the $150,000s, with a variety of home plans to choose from offering three to four bedrooms and popular layouts with open great rooms, convenient drop zones, luxury master suites, and covered lanais for enjoying the natural conservation views offered on many of the home sites in the community.

Buyers will soon be able to experience these options for themselves as the Sundance Place model home is set to open this spring! Interested buyers can learn more about Sundance Place by stopping by the Highland Homes model center at Imperial Lakes, visiting our website or by calling our Lakeland new home specialists at 863-425-0365.

Winter Haven also features several Highland Homes communities, including new homes at Country Club Estates priced from the $130,000s. These stylish new homes include three to five bedrooms and are located minutes away from LEGOLAND Florida, parks and recreation and numerous options for shopping and dining. Interested buyers can stop by our Country Club Estates model home at 3858 Fieldstone Circle, or contact our Winter Haven new home specialists at 863-875-4806.

With stylish new homes in Winter Haven and Lakeland, and job opportunities in this growing local economy, Lakeland-Winter Haven is a Florida hot spot. Highland Homes makes it easy to purchase the home of your dreams with a $99 down payment offer, with qualifying financing. Learn more about our new homes in Florida and find the new home of your dreams by visiting the Highland Homes website.