Could Orlando and Tampa Bay form the next megaregion?

A "megaregion" is a region that connects and overlaps with its neighboring regions until the boundaries between them are no longer clear. 

Many consider South Florida to be a megaregion. The borders between Fort Lauderdale and Miami are hard to see making it feel like one big metropolitan area. 

Some experts believe the next megaregion could be in Central Florida, right along the Interstate 4 corridor between Orlando and Tampa.

"Orlando 10 years ago is not the Orlando we live in today," said Andrey Bustamante, owner of Bustamante Real Estate.

The Orlando metropolitan area has rapidly expanded over the last twenty-plus years. Its footprint is now pulling in the suburbs that contribute to Orlando’s growth. 

"People that live in Saint Cloud, live in Kissimmee, live in Winter Garden and for their friends who live across the country, they tell them that they live in Orlando," said Bustamante. 

The same thing is happening in Tampa Bay. Developer Fletcher Moore predicts that those two areas will combine into one megaregion. 

"Those two regions are starting to do the same thing that I saw in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and now into Palm Beach and that is everything in between is gone," said Moore, the Head of Origin Construction’s Central Florida Division. 

Moore believes much of this has to do with business moving to central Florida along with more young professionals. Couple that with good schools and strong infrastructure and you have a recipe for success. 

"All of that is lending itself to more and more recognizing the central Florida region and Orlando as the next mega boom," said Moore. 

Transportation plays a key role in forming a true megaregion. The Central Florida Expressway Authority's approval to support Brightline’s planned expansion from Orlando to Tampa is the next big step

"I think we will continue to grow but we need to make sure that we grow in a smart way. In a sustainable way," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. "That means a lot of urban infill rather than sprawling growth."

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