Tavistock to Create Digital Plan for 3.8 MSF Orlando Project

The developer is partnering with tech company Intersection to enhance retail offerings at Lake Nona Town Center, a mixed-use destination within the 17-square-mile Lake Nona master-planned community.

Lake Nona Town Center
Lake Nona Town Center

Tavistock Development Co. plans to take its Lake Nona Town Center in Orlando, Fla., to a new level—a digital level. The real estate firm just formed a partnership with tech company Intersection to create a digital master plan and connected retail experience design for the 3.8 million-square-foot mixed-use destination.

Town Center, which occupies 100 acres within Tavistock’s 17-square-mile Lake Nona master-planned community, is a work in progress; its first phase debuted in January with office accommodations, two hotels and 16,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. There are more offerings on the horizon—including a new office tower and an Arquitectonica-designed hotel and full-service venue that will serve as the centerpiece of the mixed-use destination—and Tavistock plans to make technology the common link. Together, Tavistock and Intersection will turn Town Center into a smart city within a smart city.

“Lake Nona has always been a place of innovation aimed to inspire the future of smart cities,” Jim Zboril, president of Tavistock Development Co., said in a prepared statement. “Intersection will enable Lake Nona to have access to cutting-edge technological thinking and strategic partnerships that will transform the ways in which the community engages in our Town Center and ultimately strengthen the connectivity of our community in a way that many smart cities aspire to, but few have achieved.”

Tavistock and Intersection will spend nine months crafting the digital master plan, which will touch on every facet of Town Center, including parking, wayfinding operational efficiencies and, of course, retail. The partners endeavor to develop what Tavistock describes as the first-ever connected, responsive retail experience that will respond to consumer preferences. It’s a timely undertaking. According to a trend report by investment research firm Jane Hali & Associates. “As the retail industry continues to evolve based on the changing consumer, we expect to see brick and mortar and digital experiences merge to create a type of retail theater.”

The right partner for the job

In establishing a partnership for the digitization of Town Center, Tavistock chose well. Focusing on connecting the digital and physical worlds, Intersection is a leader in the technology behind the evolution of smart cities, and its pedigree is none too shabby either. The firm is backed by Google parent company Alphabet through its urban technology company, Sidewalk Labs.

It’s not all about big-name backing, however; Intersection’s work speaks for itself. The company spearheaded the introduction of LinkNYC, the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. New York City’s MTA On the Go touchscreen subway maps system is among the company’s initiatives, and its client list also includes Hudson Yards, the largest privately funded real-estate development in U.S. history and a model of connectivity.

As placemakers who strive to be innovative and collaborative in everything we do, the relationship with Intersection is a natural evolution to complement our built environment,” Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director of Tavistock Group, parent company of Tavistock Development, said in prepared remarks. “What impressed me most was the brainpower and passion that Intersection possesses and, together, we accept the challenge of creating innovative, value-added solutions within the ever-changing landscape of retail.

Image courtesy of Tavistock Development