Ponte Health looking to plop 40-story Vertical Medical City in Downtown

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The online forums are abuzz at the moment with rumors of a potential 40+ story, three-tower high rise coming to Downtown Orlando called “Vertical Medical City.”

The pie-in-the-sky project would see the erection of a massive self-sustaining, tech-driven, LEED Certified complex in Downtown Orlando, to provide an array of medical services from preventative to intensive care.

The Vertical Medical City (Website) project is being spearheaded by Ponte Health (Website),  a company with ties to Lake Nona.

The Ponte team posted this alleged video conference footage to their YouTube and Twitter feed, depicting a meeting they held with various stakeholders on February 1, 2018.

Ponte Health is shown pitching the scope and design plan for the potential construction of a project called “Vertical Medical City” to be built in Downtown Orlando. The project would see a high rise built to cater specifically for “assisted living for the 60+ market.”

Notable buzzwords dropped during the above video include “urban farming,” “artificial intelligence,” “GPS … internal … scanning and biometrics,” “big data is a big issue for this project.” According to the above video, the building could even be encapsulated in a solar film that would generate solar energy via a series of interlaced photo-voltaic lattices, a sort of “Smart Skin” that could also interact with the wind.

The Ponte team state that they have begun negotiating the sale of the property already, but the current owner is apparently being “difficult.” The exact location of the project has yet to be publicly released, but according to the rendering, it appears as if they are looking in the area of North Orange Avenue, North Garland Avenue, West Washington Street, and Robinson Street [GMap].

UPDATE: A Public Information Officer at the City of Orlando has confirmed that the developers are indeed looking at the surface parking lot located at 110 W. Jefferson Street [GMap].

The project lead, seen in the above video, mentions bringing it to Director of Sustainability, Chris Castro, who is quoted as having said it would be a “great addition to our skyline” but the project has yet to be pitched to the City to see if it’s viable. The VMC team has a pre-design meeting scheduled for February 8 with the City of Orlando, according to their website. This was confirmed by the City of Orlando – City staff has been asked to speak with the development team.

Castro reiterated with Bungalower, prior to us posting this story, that the feasibility of the project is a bit questionable and that it was in its very early stages of being developed.

The Vertical Medical City Twitter page, @vmcorl, posted the following projected milestones on their Twitter feed on February 3.

(1) APPROVAL FOR DEVELOPMENT ; SUMMER – FALL 2018
(2) FOUNDATION / SITE PACKAGE ; SPRING – SUMMER 2019
(3) BREAKING GROUND ; FALL – WINTER 2019
(4) BUILDING PACKAGE ; SPRING – SUMMER 2020
(5) BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ; WINTER – SPRING 2020
(6) CONSTRUCTION COMPLETION ; WINTER – SPRING 2023
(7) OCCUPANCY ; SUMMER – FALL 2024

The attached plans are very early, preliminary sketches and will undoubtedly change as this project moves forward and is formally submitted to the City for approval. The smaller tower is expected to house emergency surgery uses, and is located approximately on the northwestern part of the property. The remaining two would be a mix of office, assisted living, hospice, and other uses.

If this 550-foot project moves forward in its current form, it would be the largest building building in Orlando, dwarfing SunTrust by over 100 feet. Which brings in FAA regulations and the nearby Executive Airport which will have to be dealt with.

Editor’s Note: Again, this has not been formally submitted to the City at this time. The team behind it is in the very early stages of vetting the project’s viability with City staff and potential funding sources.

1 COMMENT

  1. the developer of this project has no money, she needs equity partners first and foremost. they don’t have the property under contract. This project has very little credibility.

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