For nearly a century, The Walt Disney Company has been based primarily in California. But according to a new report from Orlando Business Journal, things may change soon as the company is reportedly considering moving a number of its divisions to Florida.
Jack Witthaus and Richard Bilbao write that Disney may relocate part of its business to Lake Nona, a master-planned community in southeast Orlando. The move comes as a number of companies, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, have announced relocations to Southeastern states, which tend to be more tax-friendly and support business. Apparently Disney hasn’t signed any deals with the community and it’s unclear what divisions or how people would make the move.
Recently, Disney has had open struggles with California, particularly over state restrictions on COVID-19, which have kept Disneyland Resort parks closed since March. Meanwhile, Florida guidelines have allowed Walt Disney World parks to be open since July.
A Disney spokesperson told Witthaus and Bilbao, “As the largest employer in central Florida, we are still exploring opportunities for additional locations near our theme park, but there are nothing concrete. Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Co. has not commented on the story.
Jeff Sweeney, general manager of Cushman & Wakefield, who is not involved in the possible move, said Disney had “compelling reasons” to move more of its divisions to Orlando, saying, “We’ve seen it time and time again in the past 12 months, companies have moved from California to other business-friendly markets. You look at what happened to [theme] parks in California versus Florida. This has a significant financial impact on the organization, associated with the cost of operation and employee income tax for employees, in addition to other California regulations. ”
Tuna Amobi, director and industry analyst for CFRA Research, added that this is unlikely to be a complete relocation, especially with his film and television production already rooted in Los Angeles and New York. York. More likely, it would be the theme park divisions that would move out, likely additional support and operations departments, much of which would already be in central Florida. Amobi also expressed his lack of surprise at the rumor, saying: “The Covid situation is not under control despite the progress of the vaccine, [but] it gave hope to investors.
Keep reading WDWNT to learn more about this ongoing story.