No, I am not referring to International Drive here – this is International Parkway, and it is located in Lake Mary (admittedly, I confused those two when I first moved to the area…). In fact, International Parkway starts in West Sanford and connects all the way down to Lake Mary. The most famous section of International Parkway and also the one I am referring to here is the “business corridor”, the part of the street where multinational companies like Triple A (AAA) and Mitsubishi Power Systems are located.
This business corridor played a big part in making Lake Mary the fourth best place to live in the USA and the best place to live in the Southern USA (a CNN Money Magazine study showed that in 2007). It provides major employment in the area. AAA alone has several hundred of employees.
International Parkway expects a lot of growth in the near future. A lot of construction has already started including a new hotel (across from Colonial Town Park which is also located off International Parkway) and there are rumors about a new Convention Center…
With all this growth and business going on I want to point out though that International Parkway has some of the nicest nature in the area. As you can see in my daily picture, the trees are just amazing and there is a large section of International Parkway that offers this type of nature, the section between Paola Road (aka H.E. Thomas Parkway) and Lake Mary Boulevard. This section is also the ideal place to go for a walk, jog or ride your bicycle. It’s peaceful and quiet (thanks to the 30 speed limit) and the roads are safe for pedestrians.
It broke my heart though to see how the upper part of International Parkway fell victim to “tree cutters”. When we moved to the area 5-6 years ago you could find amazing trees and nature along International Parkway. Then, over the years and with the construction boom a lot of this nature got destroyed. I can only hope that trees get re-planted when the construction is done or that builders start using environmentally friendly ways to build around existing nature..
Below is a map so you can visualize the “Lake Mary/Sanford business corridor” a bit better. As you can see it runs parallel to Interstate 4 and Rinehart Road in Lake Mary.