Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Report: Disney May Move Some CA Operations To FL

The Walt Disney Co., owner and operator of Walt Disney World and the largest employer in Central Florida, is in talks to relocate some of its office divisions from its headquarters in California to Lake Nona, a master-planned community in southeast Orlando, Orlando Business Journal is reporting.

Sources with knowledge of the deal tell OBJ nothing has been signed, and it isn't clear which Disney divisions or how many people would move to Lake Nona. The discussions come as many big-name California firms like Hewlett Packard Enterprise in recent months have revealed relocations to Southeastern cities, which are seen as more business- and tax-friendly.

California is home to many Disney operations, including its corporate headquarters, film, theme parks and other related operations. That's in addition to the company's operations in various parts of the world such as theme parks in the East Coast, Europe, Asia and more.

“As the largest employer in Central Florida, we are always exploring opportunities for additional locations within the vicinity of our theme park, but there is nothing concrete," a Disney spokesperson told OBJ.

Representatives with Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Co. weren't available for comment.

Laureen Martinez, spokeswoman for Orlando Economic Partnership — Central Florida's economic development group that's often involved with attracting corporate relocations — said it doesn't comment on any projects it may or may not be working on.

The discussions may be a sign of Disney's increasingly difficult relationship with the state of California, which has shuttered Disneyland since the Covid-19 pandemic's beginning, while the state of Florida allowed Walt Disney World to reopen after closing briefly last spring.

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