Craig Ustler – Ustler Development, Inc.
Few words have been diluted through excessive use like “visionary,” but in Central Florida, one individual that has lived up to the term is Craig Ustler. Capturing Orlando’s imagination, Ustler joined with others to turn the aging downtown neighborhood of Thornton Park into a trendy mix of residential condos, offices, restaurants and retail shops. He then began working his magic with the North Orange project at the intersection of SR 50.
Health Village, a holistic environment which will be on the campus of Florida Hospital in Winter Park, is redefining what a health center can be. “What was and is engaging is community building, neighborhood building and ultimately city building,” he said. “Development is a tool that I use to accomplish that objective. For me, the end game is good neighborhoods and good places, creating spaces where people and businesses want to be.”
His magnum opus, Creative Village, is one of Orlando’s most far reaching collaborative projects and could change not only the look, but the cultural environment of the downtown district, which recently got a major boost by UCF president John Hitt’s announcement of the push for UCF’s downtown campus. Ustler commented, “The commitment by UCF, and its partnership with Valencia College, was a great validator for Creative Village. Our plan has always been anchored by education, and the idea of ‘live, learn, work and play’ runs through our vision. The large-scale presence of UCF and Valencia, with over 10,000 students, ramps up the scale and activity at Creative Village and sets the stage for private development to occur concurrently with the academic facilities.”