Kissimmee, formerly called Allendale, had its beginnings as a tiny trading post on the northern bank of Lake Tohopekaliga. The community was incorporated in 1887 and renamed Kissimmee. It later became the Osceola County seat and, by the 1930s, cattle rivaled citrus as its main industry. Looking to diversify in the 1950s, Kissimmee launched a major campaign to attract relocating retirees. But when Disney opened in 1971, people of all ages came in droves. The population multiplied while the employment base shifted from agriculture and cattle ranching to tourism related service industries. Today, more than 100 hotels and motels are located on or near Irlo Bronson Highway, along with countless restaurants and strip shopping centers. Right now, it’s a great place and time to buy real estate. There are many forclosures on the market in residential areas as well as in the short-term rental areas which are closer to Disney.
Housing is going to power the Osceola County economy in the foreseeable future. With developable land becoming scarce in Orange and Seminole counties, about 40 percent of the region’s residential growth for the next 25 years is expected to take place in and around Kissimmee, according to a study by the Urban Land Institute. Over the next 15 years, about 35.000 homes are expected to be built in five mega-developments already approved east of Lake Tohopekahga: Westlake Cove, Mariner’s Cove, Edgewayer, Bella Terra and Green Island. The Hispanic relocation market is particularly vibrant in Osceola County. Two large communities, in particular, have been magnets: Buenaventura Lakes and Poinciana, both of which are marketed heavily in Latin America and in Northeastern cities with large Hispanic populations. These are just two of the many residential communities. However, many tourist have grown accustomed to living, and vacationing near the Walt Disney Resort locations. There you can find wonderful vacation properties at Windor Hills, Windsor Palms, Reunion Resort, Lake Berkley Resort, Terra Verde, Compass Bay, Emerald Island, Sandy Ridge, and many more. Be sure to consult with Michael Johnson about these great short-term rental communities. For you investors,there are some foreclosure bargains in those vacation resorts as well. The fishing in Kissimmee is excellent. Yet another great reason to live in Kissimmee Florida.
To make certain that at least some of Kissimmee’s heritage is preserved, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency has actively sought to improve the historic downtown district through such projects as a cowboy-themed arched gateway at Main Street and U.S. 192 and several major streetscape efforts. In addition, the Italianate Osceola County Courthouse, built in 1890, was renovated when a new government complex was built in 2000 and still houses county offices. Kissimmee is also a sporting paradise, with numerous boat ramps on the shores of Lake Toho, which is known for excellent bass fishing. Southport Park offers covered pavilions, grills and campgrounds, while picnic areas abound at Partin Triangle Park and Whaley’s Landing. Hunters can enjoy the wide open Osceola Plain, home to turkey, white-tailed deer and fox squirrels.