John Cunningham, Orlando managing principal for Zyscovich Architects, in his new office in downtown Winter Park.
John Cunningham, Orlando managing principal for Zyscovich Architects, in his new office in downtown Winter Park. (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)

Veteran architect John Cunningham has placed his personal touch on some of downtown Winter Park's most notable buildings over a 22-year career, and is now driving the growth of Zyscovich Architects' local office with a bird's-eye view of it all.

The 25-year resident of Winter Park and Baldwin Park joined Zyscovich in February 2016 as managing principal of its Orlando-area office. At the time, the firm had a staff of two with 780 square feet in Foundry Commercial's Heritage Park building, at the corner of Morse Boulevard and Denning Drive.


Insight on this Winter Park-based developer's goals for getting the highest use out of 37-plus acres that lie within walking distance of UCF's campus entrance.

That team has since grown to 10, so when Cunningham saw an opening to move Zyscovich's office into a 2,000-square-foot space this year in Battaglia Group's 250 Park Ave. building, it was a unique opportunity to finally inhabit a property he had once worked on.

"Battaglia Group has been a long-time client of mine, and in 2003 when I was with my prior firm we did all the facade redesign of this building," Cunningham told GrowthSpotter. "Taking space in this building was like coming home."

From the windows of Zyscovich's fifth floor office space, Cunningham can see various high-profile projects he's designed in Winter Park over the past two decades. Those include the downtown SunRail station, luxury condominium buildings The Landmark and The Residences, the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce building, and the multi-colored glass "The Fiction" office building north of the SunRail station.

Zyscovich's Winter Park office has steadily grown its local client base over the past year, and is now leading multiple projects for Unicorp National Developments and The Allen Morris Company, Pelloni Development's Shoppes at Trelago in Maitland, public school design for Orange and Seminole counties, UCF's student union, and Ocoee's new city hall building.

Insight on what lies ahead for the staged takedown of 60 developable acres over the next year by multiple developers, and what Related Group wants to buy next.

"We're on our way to doubling the staff size here to 20, I believe," said Cunningham, who is still seeking project architects with experience in education, vertical mixed-use, retail and office properties. "We far exceeded our (revenue) goals in the last two years, and for 2018 our growth is hopefully another 15 to 20 percent."

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