Ocoee Construction Project Begins and more news …

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Ocoee construction project begins

City Center West Orange in Ocoee will cover 100 acres and is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs.

Developers held a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction of City Center West Orange in Ocoee. The $400 million mixed-use destination will be a city-style mix of retail, condominiums, a hotel and office space on 100 acres of lakeside property facing West Colonial Drive, near the junctions of state roads 429 and 408 and Florida’s Turnpike. Construction will commence on the roads and stormwater pond first and should take 10 months before building construction begins. Phase I is expected to be completed by the third quarter in 2019.

Destination Dining: Winter Garden

Sample, Sip & Savor Your Way Through This West Orange Gem!

by Kirsten Harrington

With a weekly farmers market; lively festivals; numerous restaurants; and artisan shops selling gourmet goods like craft beer, chocolate and olive oil, Winter Garden is a food-lover’s paradise. The following is just a small peek at what the area has to offer:

Upcoming Events

• This weekend is a great time to head to Winter Garden for the sixth annual Blues & BBQ (Feb. 18, from 4–10 p.m., at the Downtown Pavilion, 104 Lakeview Ave.). Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the sounds and flavors of the South, with all profits benefiting the American Cancer Society.

A Historical Look at Winter Garden

Cherishing the Past While Progressing Into the Future

by Debra Wood

One of the most successful efforts at embracing history in Central Florida, downtown Winter Garden has become an active, engaging area full of shops, restaurants, a hotel and a theater.

Men, women and children work the fields in the 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation)

The city formed a community redevelopment agency in 1992, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation was created in 1994, and the History Research and Education Center opened in 2015.

Valentine’s Day Wishes

Valentine’s Day is that special time of year when we celebrate the cherished bonds we share with family, friends and loved ones. In honor of the romantic holiday, we asked you to send us your sweet nothings, and the responses touched our hearts.

Read below for outpourings of love from residents across Southwest.

Jay Welsh Repeats as Head Coach and more sports news …

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Jay Welsh kicks off another season as head coach of the Winter Garden Squeeze.

Florida League officials announced head coaches for the 2017 baseball season. The mission of Florida League is to help college athletes hone their skills on the diamond and gain valuable exposure to professional scouts before heading back to school in the fall. A key component to player growth is the leadership and ability of the head coach. The Winter Garden Squeeze will welcome back head coach Jay Welsh to his third year coaching the team, second year as head coach.

I-Drive 360 Offers Something for Everyone!

I-Drive 360 lights up the night with the CocaCola Orlando Eye observation wheel.

IDrive 360 is a new $250 million entertainment complex and home to the iconic CocaCola Orlando Eye observation wheel. Located in the heart of Orlando’s popular International Drive, I-Drive 360 features a mix of attractions, restaurants, clubs and shops.

William Merritt Displays Lego Model and more news …

compiled by Lauren Salinero

Dr. Phillips

William Merritt, grandson of Dr. Phillips residents Art and Karen Brown, displays his Lego model of renovations made to Health Central Hospital.

Art and Karen Brown of Dr. Phillips congratulate their grandson, William Merritt, on the Lego model he created of Health Central Hospital’s emergency room expansion and newly constructed patient tower. William was contracted to design and construct the model, which was on display at the grand-opening celebration and is now displayed at the hospital. During the grand opening, William greeted attendees and explained how he designed …