California Construction News staff writer
The Walt Disney Company has cancelled a $1 billion office complex that was scheduled for construction in Orlando, Florida. Instead, the company — and more than 2,000 jobs — will stay in California.
The Florida development, Lake Nona Town Center, was a massive new complex and the company planned to relocate 1,000 workers from Disney’s Southern California offices and add another 1,000 to work on Imagineering projects.
Disney boss Josh D’Amaro wrote in an email to employees that was obtained by The New York Times that “changing business conditions” led Disney to abandon its plans for a new office development in Florida.
The Times reported that Disney’s current legal battle against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “figured prominently” in the decision to cancel the Lake Nona Town Center project.
California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement responding to the decision.
“Authoritarian policies have consequences,” Newsom said. “This announcement is a victory for California, and the tens of thousands of Disney employees who know they can live in a state where they are respected and safe.
“Disney has invested billions of dollars in California, and we look forward to their increased investment and growth in our state.”
He said the cancellation followed “ongoing conversations with the company and the public urging the Disney to continue to grow and invest in its home state of California.
“Disney, the door is open to bring those jobs back to California – the state that actually represents the values of your workers,” Newsom wrote on Twitter.