Reshaping the landscape of Lake Nona, one learning experience at a time.
Drive or fly anywhere near Lake Nona, and it’s hard to miss the massive construction project underway on the south side of the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club.
An impressive structure is rising from the earth along Lake Nona Boulevard, dominating the landscape and drawing the attention of passersby in cars, on bicycles, and in running shoes along the main thoroughfare not far from the United States Tennis Association facility.
KPMG Lakehouse, the learning, development, and innovation facility of one of the world’s leading professional services firms, is reshaping the landscape of Lake Nona one learning experience at a time.
By early 2020, KPMG Lakehouse will be fully operational as a wellspring of inspiration, professional growth and opportunity for the firm’s U.S.-based professionals.
“We expect up to 800 KPMG partners and professionals will come to Lakehouse each week for hands-on, collaborative learning experiences,” said Matthew Gomez, longtime central Florida resident and KPMG spokesman. “We anticipate offering more than one million hours of in-person professional development in our first year of operation.”
What Is It, Really?
There’s much more to this project than the heavy dirt-moving vehicles and army of more than 700 construction workers busily building KPMG’s future from the ground up.
Since its groundbreaking in May 2017, this project has grown rapidly from a 55-acre expanse of dirt fronting Lake Nona and Red Lake. The 780,000-square-foot superstructure seems to grow in scope and stature each day, and it is visible from many portions of Lake Nona, which makes it a point of curiosity for its neighbors.
“Lakehouse is a cornerstone of a strategic learning transformation at KPMG designed to ensure we will attract and retain the best talent, equip our professionals to help clients meet the challenges of a dynamic marketplace, and support innovation throughout the firm,” said Gomez.
The $450 million investment by KPMG in Lakehouse, he said, reflects the firm’s commitment to its most valuable asset – its people.
“Lakehouse is a place to renew, reflect and reconnect as professionals,” said Gomez. “It will be a catalyst for transformative growth and a place to inspire, spark curiosity and collaboration.”
While Lakehouse is not a hotel, it will feature 800 single-occupancy guest rooms and multiple dining options exclusively for the firm’s partners and professionals. The focus at KPMG Lakehouse will be on learning, innovation and professional development. It is privately owned by KPMG and is not open for public use.
“We aim to build a world-class center that inspires innovation, connects our people to KPMG’s rich culture and heritage, and provides an immersive, fun and engaging learning and development environment,” Gomez said.
Professional Training and Economic Growth
The firm has committed to providing 75 KPMG positions on site in Lake Nona, and the selected operator will fill nearly 300 non-KPMG jobs as part of the operations staff, which should provide more fuel for a growing central Florida economy.
Having an impressive and comfortable physical space to call its own is of paramount interest to KPMG as it relates to the experiences of their professionals.
While many have participated in professional training sessions at hotels and conference centers, the experience will be different at KPMG Lakehouse, says Gomez. Every bit of the interior and exterior space at Lakehouse has been designed to maximize learner development, collaboration and well-being.
“We surveyed our KPMG professionals and researched the marketplace to find out what would be most beneficial to the total learning experience at KPMG Lakehouse – including leading-edge technology,” he said.
What if learners had a mobile app with wayfinding technology on a smartphone to help navigate from class to class and among the many cuisines offered in a cashless dining environment? Imagine if they could use that app to meet up with colleagues, new associates and old friends, building solid relationships that might serve each professional well into the future with the firm and beyond?
What if the training center had a 15,000-square-foot fitness facility, hiking and biking trails, recreational playing fields, a wine bar, multiple dining options and coffee bars, and even a pub-like social venue?
“Professionals will be immersed in KPMG culture,” said Gomez. “They will learn about the firm and its history. They will have the opportunity to interact with current and future leaders. We’re focused on developing our people so they can grow their careers and better serve our clients.”
Why Lake Nona?
Site selection was very important as KPMG executives considered nearly 50 U.S. locations, said Gomez, and viewed the Lake Nona community in Orlando as a thriving locale – an innovative, “smart city” with active and engaged residents and neighborhood business leaders. The Lake Nona community, conveniently located near Orlando International Airport, will allow the firm’s nationwide professionals and partners to experience lifelong learning and innovation at Lakehouse with minimal disruption to their clients.
“We have an established KPMG office presence in downtown Orlando, and the innovation opportunities at Lakehouse will fit right into the fabric of the Lake Nona community,” he said. “We know we will be an outstanding neighbor among the many already established neighbors and organizations here. We’re excited and eager to get things started.”
To get an inside view of the beautifully-designed Lakehouse, watch the Welcome to KPMG video by going to this link: http://nonahood.to/kpmg.
Sophia Rogers leads The Rogers Team at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.