Florida's Loss Of $1B And 2,000 Jobs: The Fallout of DeSantis' Woke War With Disney

Disney abandoned its plans to construct a $1 billion office building in Florida after CEO Bob Iger suggested last week that the firm would act in this way given what it perceives as the difficult time Gov. Ron DeSantis is giving it. The Lake Nona Town Centre project has been shelved, according to a statement sent out to staff on Thursday by Josh D'Amaro, director of theme parks, according to the New York Times. 

D'Amaro attributed the project's success to "Florida's business-friendly climate" two years ago. However, Disney and DeSantis have been at odds for the past year. This conflict has involved threats, legal action, and a dispute over a special tax area that contains Disney World. The memo from D'Amaro recognized the "changing business conditions."

With the previous proposal, which entailed relocating more than 1,000 employees from California to Florida, not everyone at Disney was happy. The majority of employees in the renowned Imagineering division of the corporation would have had to move. A Florida tax credit that would give the corporation up to $570 million over 20 years in return for completing the project was one of Disney's incentives. A contributing cause, according to the Times, was Iger's opposition. When he returned as CEO, Iger claimed he didn't understand the necessity of having Imagineering located thousands of miles from Disney's film studios.


According to CNBC, D'Amato's memo listed Iger's homecoming as a justification and noted that staff who had already relocated to Florida might do so. Florida had predicted that the planned office complex near Orlando International Airport would provide 2,000 jobs with an average annual income of $120,000. 

Disney said it will continue to invest $17 billion in construction at Disney World over the following ten years, creating an additional 13,000 jobs. Iger, who returned to his previous position in the fall of last year, said last week that making that investment isn't assured. I really hope we can," D'Amato said.

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