Construction begins on Osceola high-tech center


More than a few skeptics had doubts when Osceola County announced plans in June 2014 to become a center of high-tech manufacturing.

After all, Osceola is best known as the home of Disney World employees, low-budget motels and large lakes and wetlands. The idea to build the Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center was only an idea — until now.

Construction crews began pouring the foundation for the $70 million, 100,000-square-foot center last week on the old Judge Farm property between Kissimmee and St. Cloud. At the same time, the group that will run the center has hired veteran Lockheed Martin executive Chester Kennedy as its leader. Kennedy started work Dec. 1 as the CEO of the center’s International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research.