Disney cancels $1 billion development in Florida and creation of 2,000 jobs in the state KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Thursday, May 18, 2023

Disney cancels $1 billion development in Florida and creation of 2,000 jobs in the state

Disney cancels $1 billion development in Florida and creation of 2,000 jobs in the state.

Disney announced Thursday that it canceled plans for a new campus near Orlando, Florida. The development was planned for the Lake Nona region.

"Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership and changing business conditions, we have decided not to move forward with construction of the campus," Disney said in a statement.

The decision comes at a time when the company is openly feuding with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to officially enter the 2024 GOP presidential race next week, CNN reported Thursday.

DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern
Disney and DeSantis have been sparring for over a year about controversial legislation the governor signed that restricts the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. Critics have labeled the law “Don’t Say Gay.”

The fight has intensified in recent months after DeSantis moved to take over the company’s special tax district, setting rules for Disney World and surrounding areas.

DeSantis has tried to install a hand-picked board to oversee the district. Before the Florida governor selected the board in February, Disney had reached agreements with the outgoing board that limited the power of DeSantis’ appointees.

The cancelation comes as Disney executives have recently blasted the state as anti-business amid an ongoing feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis. The company spoke out against the state’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, prompting the state legislature to strip Disney of special privileges granted to the company in the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Disney sued the governor and state on May 2, accusing the state of harassing the company for exercising its first amendment rights.

Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park and consumer product chairman, sent an email Thursday to company workers announcing that the Lake Nona project has been canceled. It would have brought more than 2,000 jobs to the region, with $120,000 as the average salary, according to an estimate from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The campus was originally slated to open in 2022-2023 but was later delayed to 2026.

Disney is headquartered in Burbank, California, but operates a number of satellite offices across the country and the world.

D’Amaro said employees who have already moved to Florida may be able to relocate back to California.

D’Amaro stated in his memo that the company still plans to invest $17 billion in Florida over the next 10 years, including the addition of around 13,000 jobs. The company currently employs more than 75,000 people in the state.

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