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Everything posted by VistaLakes01


  2. If McDonald's is the same prototype that many upscale centers (areas) are using in the Orlando market it can actually be a good thing. McCafe's are a major competitor with Starbucks right now here. The upscale store design and push for coffee and breakfast items and wifi options attract even the most pretentious customer who needs his $3.60 for a gallon of gasoline and not a cup of coffee. Another McDonald's prototype in the Orlando market is Bistro Gourmet, once again pushing the coffee, pastries and wifi with an entire different line for ordering panini type menu options. These stores resemble Starbucks or Panera with sofa areas, no playplaces, warm brick fireplaces, etc. In this economy this could be a more important draw to get this center moving in the right direction than even Apple. McDonald's brings in repeat customers daily and builds it's customer base rapidly. Someone stopping by daily is bound to notice each new shop in the center as it opens and check it out. And remember, the focus of these restaurants aren't Big Macs. Chipolte was a McDonalds brainstorm and was touted on Oprah as being the healthiest fast food outlet available.
  3. I believe most of the new bars, restaurants, galleries and bits of retail are based much more on residents of the central city area, much different than the businesses of the 90's when clientele for the bars and clubs would drive in to downtown to party from the suburbs, Tampa and Jax. There would be a much larger mix of rednecks, curiosity seekers coming clubbing based on the party reputation of downtown, college kids, etc. The clientele now has shifted to a less rowdy customer who is more sure of himself and what he wants. (Manhattan in the 70s, 80s, 90s had a large Jersey, L.I. influx on the weekends trying to get in the clubs, not being "on the list" and paying $30 covers to get in. With nearly every Manhattan neighborhood revitalized now such as Chelsea, Meat Packing District, etc now containing their own residents, there has been a shift to more local customer based businesses, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.) You get the feeling in downtown Orlando that Chillers, Antigua, and Latitudes are nearly all that's left of the "let's go downtown" thrillseekers from Winter Haven type of crowd. Even Amway Center event crowds appear to "know" there are neighborhoods and residents downtown now and don't appear to "get out of hand" and relax more and enjoy the city. The maturity and establishment is coming to pass finally and the future is really looking promising for an established downtown Orlando with all sorts of options.
  4. Hot weather rapidly approaching!!

  5. Hot weather rapidly approaching!!

    1. VistaLakes01


      Upper 80's already! No humidity yrt, thankfully!

  6. Orlando is the bomb!

  7. You know Orlando Fashion Square is not nearly in as bad od shape as has been reported. Still pretty full and has plenty of national retailers (I';ve seen it in worse times when the mall had quite a few asian gift shops) Mos t metros dependending on the size these days only hav e one or two "major" enclosed malls and ikf lucky there is an upscale level center of some sort. My last visit to OFS I was surprised to see nearly 80-95% occupancy besides the fact that central Orlando maintains a Macy's, Dillard's,Sears, and JCPenney. They may not have the premium selection of their chains but lots of downtown department stores are a bit scaled down unless the city's main store is located there. The mallinterior itself is quite attractive in comparison to many generic simon type malls (think of the horrid Countryside Mall in Clearwater) (shudder) Hopefully this Orlando shopping landmark will conitnue to survive these tough times, Stick a Five Guys in the food court and that couldm do wonders! Look at how the SoDo area has turned in to the lamest part of the city in to quite the trendy little neighborhood in just a couple of years. I think Planet Fitness will be a major boost in activity for the mall and will get some of the downtown "pretty people" in to the mall. The eastside downtown trendies already frequent a lot of the surrounding businesses on the outside. The mall needs to localize itself and forget about the Waterford customers it's lost. The gym is a stepc in the right direction. When the economy improves an apartment/condo/loft development in the area like in SoDo would do wonders. Could bring in some better dining to Colonial Plaza also. (In Tampa and South Florida, TooJays is considered some hip dining) Got Houlihans, how about Crave, or Elephant Bar, Seasons 52 or Bahama Breeze? Orlando the city treaditionally has grown to the east, Colonialtown is downtowns largest neighborhood, got Baldwin Park now just need to get it going on. We are in better shape than Tampa or Jax when it comes to center city mall shopping and liveable neighborhoods.College Park is happening, SoDo, Ivanhoe Row has really picked up, Parramore is starting to happen, Baldwin Park, Thornton Park, South Eola DOWNTOWNN ITSELF! Colonialtown and the ViMi, Winter Park from the WP Village all the way to Park Ave has filled in nicely, Maitland and Uptown Altamonte,Millenia, MetroWest and Dr. Phillips, not all downtown but unique in comparison to or other rival Florida cities. if there is ever another boom, Otown is set to be THE city!
  8. Don't know if this helps but it sure can't hurt! The very popular and quite nice Mister Sisters nightclub/restaurant has opened along this stretch of Colonial, at least it's a move in the right (gay) direction. Nice bar with a beach on Lake Barton operatged by the popular and well known Brian Humphries.So this is attracting a couple thousand citybois (and gals)O to this area to a clean establishment. Start bringing in the gays as they say and neighborhoods start happening! (Better than nothing for this nasty stretch of roadway!
  9. Was a beautiful day in the city today! Go Magic!

  10. Now that the six laning of 50 is completed, it is very disapointing to see it looks juat as trashy as before. No landscaping and no streetlights. Looks like the West Colonial widening is much more attractive. Does anyone know if there are plans to landscape East Colonial and add street lights? I heard of a plan several months ago to beautify Semoran through Azalea Park. Anyone know anything about that progect?
  11. Just curious, was or is there any residential planned for Chenal? Most lifestyle centers here are built along with homes/apartments/lofts/condos. I don't see how it can attract major tenants without the density. What is the population in a ten mile radius? (I know I'm an outsider, but I am interested in the Little Rock thread because a friend of mine moved there recently and I like this topic because I'm very into retail)Y remember the speculation and how frustrating it is waiting for new to market to come to town. Orlando metro was about Little Rocks size in 1980. We didn't get an Apple store until the metro population was over 2,000,000. Now there is two stores within 6 miles of each other. They seem to enter a market with stores like Zara, Sony Style,Hugo Boss,Tiffany & Co,True Religion,Crate & Barrel,Bang & Olefson and anchors like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales,Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters. If you have any stores such as these in your market, then they willl probably come for sure.If you have just one of these stores in a center, I bet that's where Apple will go.
  12. Latinos in the I-4 corridor (Tampa-Orlando-Daytona)have primarily Democratic leanings. The Cubans in South Florida have usually gone Republican because they believe on a hard line position on Castro. But in thia region rhwy have definetly leaned favorably towards more liberal issues, including supporting GLBT rights.
  13. Hey Forrest check out these sites: Tuesday Night: Monday and Friday night: http://www.revolutionorlando.com/index.php Thursday Night: http://www.parliamenthouse.com/front/Thursday.htm http://www.parliamenthouse.com/front/Thursday.htm Chuchifrito Thursdays" Mondays http://frontpage.jumponmarkslist.com/iso/us/fl/tpa/bars/valentines.htm Also the current winner of RuPauls drag races is a major latin drag queen in Orlando, Tyra Sanchez Don't find ;latins socially conservative at all
  14. Living in a heavily hispanic area (Orlando) the city is still becoming more open and gayer. Most of the crowds at the gay clubs are a majotiy hispanic, all the clubs have Latin nights and their are totally latin clubs, same in Ft.Lauderdale and to some extent Tampa. The clubs play a lot of reggaeton and hip hop except for the house music nights. I don't think the Latins in our area are a majority Catholic. They are mainly Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and Columbians and there are a lot of Protestant Hispanic churches. I just think the churches in general have been more open lately to homosexuality and have a more liberal attitude. I don't know much about the Mexican scene though which may be what's happening in Charlotte,
  15. This is a topic that I've thought about constantly throughout my life. There was a time starting back in the 50s (before my time) where "Orlando" started at Bennet Road. Pre-Fashion Square, Colonial Plaza ruled East Colonial and the street was "the drag" for teenagers on the weekends, driving between the Steak and Shake drive in and the Pig and Whistle drive in. The Vogue theater at the corner of Colonial and Mills in the heart of Colonialtown was a big hangout for movie theater goers and the new Plaza Rocking Chair theater at the Colonial Plaza Mall quickly became popular. In the 70's as you drove east on Colonial, the road was concrete and right after the Bennett Road traffic light merge it changed to asphalt. There was definetly excitment generated by a drive down E. Colonial between Bennett and Mills, Rolling the windows down the smell of restaurants and food was always in the air and many conversations were started between cars and at traffic lights. I think the resurgence of this area needs to start with the downtown "colonnial town area. I think some La LSTYLE APARTMENT COMPLEXES THROUGHOUT THE AREA WOULD BUILD MORE OF A RESIDENTIAL BASE. tHE APRTMENTS ARE NOT HIGHRISES OR NIEHTER A COLLECTION OF 3 OR FOUR STORY BUILDING COMPLEXES. tHEY BORDER THE STREETS AND ARE USUALLYU A BLOCK LONG IN AREA AND ARE BOUT 4=6 FLOORS HIGH, WITH THE SWIMMING POOL AND RECREATION AREAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COMPLES NOT VISIBLE FROM THE MAIN STREETS. tHE SIDEWALKS SHOULD BE HEAVILY LANDSCAPED EITHER IN TTROPICAL STYLE OR THE DOWNTWON oRLANDIO STLEYLKE OF lARGE OAKS HANGING OVER THE STEREET.. tHESE DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD MAINLY BE IN THE COLONIALTOWN AREA BETWEEN mILLS AND bUMBY. tHE CURRENT CcOLONIAL pLAZAS COULD BE A DRAW FOR PEDESTRAIN TRAFFIC. eVERYTHING NEW BUILT SHOULD BORDER cOLONIAL AT STREET LEVEL LIKE THE NEW wENDY'S AND oFFICE dEPOT. mMills Park is perfect for this area, a couple of those on East Colonial would make a major difference. The tough part is between Primrose and Baldwin Park. I think East Colonial beyond Bennett should just be written off as a commuter road, There is a gay club opening on Lake Barton on Colonial called Mister Sisters. Semoran Blvd. should be the next urban planning stage for "East Orlando." Azalea Park, Englewood Park, Monterrey used to be a major boon to Semoran, there was a time when the area was called "Restaurant Row." I heard on the new that there is a beautification project in the works for Semoran from Colonial to Curry Ford. There should be a accent on the Latiness of the area, since most of it is in the city limits it could be the city of Orlandos Calle Ocho area. Don't know what should happen with Fashion Square, maybe the department stores will survive and be kind of mixed in with an uptown Altamonte development which would join Colonialtown with Baldwin Park. Maybe at some point there should be some signage that directs people on Colonial to Baldwin Park neighborhood and straight ahead to the "Eastern Suburbs." The 436 exit could direct people to the airport, and the East Orlando neighborhood, such as Azalea Park. After 436 the rest of East 50 should be left up to the county or state to deal with. Just my thoughts on the subject.
  16. Well, at this point we will just have to blame any negativity with retail on the economy, For a project like Chenal top even break ground at this point is a miracle within itself. So instead of focusing on Apple, lets just focux on the actual shopping center being built. If it is getting built, there will be a day when Apple returns to its list of tenants. Please be patient and lets watch Chenal grow bit by bit. With each store opening you will have the latest flagship of each tenant. Good Luck Little Rock!
  17. Even though I've never even been to Little Rock, I would think the developers of the project know what they are doing. And the location will end up being a plus to the community. Speaking from experience of an area (Orlando) that has developed rapidly and has both types of development (near an expressway and off the beaten path), the off the beaten path type of development benefits the community much more and brings a sense of place and more of a true , stable village and is more of a permanent part of a community. It actually incorporates the development in to the city and makes it a true neighborhood, much more urban appeal. The "close to the exit on the interstate" mall uses the interstate as the main street and does not develop a true neighborhood. And every few years a "new" major exit comes along a little further up the highway and can attract another new development surrounding the new exit and render the current development (mall) obsolete. It sounds like your community has some sound urban planning happening with this project that could make it a permanent part of your city. So many malls these days along the interstate only last 15 to 20 years before they begin their downfall. Hopefully I was able to get my point across without too much babbling. This sounds like a first rate project in a first rate location, hope it works out well for your community!
  18. Wow! Sorry about that, I responded to an email notification I just recvd. I'm sure lots has changed in 4 years as this issue has rapidly become a non issue all around the country. Sorry about my comments!
  19. I have to totally disagree about negative press from the media here in Orlando, the big morning radio djs have a float and the festivities are actually broadcast live from the top 40 station XL106.7, The Orlando Sentinel has a float, the Orlando Weekly has a float, the media bills it as Orlandos Most Colorful Parade and it goes through the city streets around the main city park (Lake Eola) and through the trendy neighborhood of Thornton Park. The neighborhood id very mixed and very tolerant straight parents bring their kids to watch the parade. Of course it is much more tasteful than barechested lesbians although there are a few leather chaps to be seen. There are beautiful corporate floats from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Anhauser Buswxh Sea World with the Klidesdale horses, lots of club floats with shirtless employess dancing anmd having a good time, but that is what your average straight Orlandoan expects to see in a club and with most of the clubs being ultra lounges, strraight people hang out there too since most of the clubs are in their neighborhood. Most ki9ds know their godp;arents or uncles and visit thier friends reegularly. The mayor kicks off the parade with the lead floatr. Then after the paqrade there are performers in the bandshell such as Rupaul or Donnsa Summer, ect. and all diverity of people dance and have a good time. There haven't been any protestors in several years and the city doesn't allow them near the event if there are any, they are in a roped off area pretty far from the events.. The event always gets a colorful front p;age photo in the sentinel and is pplayred in full on a couple of tghe nretwork tv \stations. The mascot is a stuffed character called Lola the Swan from Lake Eola and hands out treats to kids. It happens in October since we have the Gay Days party in June at the attractions which attracts up to 200,000 queers. The parade is up to 80,000 participants and is moving up to the 2nd largest in the state. St. Pete is now the largest, Ft. Lauderdale was second but Orlando may bypass Lauderdale this year. Miami is just in its 3rd year this year and has been small but growing on South Beach. First year 9000, 2nd year 17000, this year Miami is expecting 30,000. How disapointing Charlotte, I thought you were a progressive city. We've got tons of churches but the main downtown churches allow and accept homosexuals. I was actually under the impression that the nation had changed rapidly. Since I am unemployed I have to check carefully the metro areas and regions I apply for jobs at. Sad. No negativity meant towards Charlotte, just in shock and a little heartbroken. Orlando really has no "gayborhood", we all just live together. Even the very distant suburbs are very open. Good luck Charlotte, we had the same type of situation in the late 80's. Thought cable and the internet changed things. Is there a large college population there?
  20. I haVE to disa \gree, we get very positive media coverage here in Orlando. The4 parade itself is billed "Orlando;s most Colorful Parade" and it goes through the trendy neighborhood of Thornton Park.....gaystraoighted mixed neighborhood. People line the streets with their kids to watch the parade, although a lot of iot is done with taste, corporate floats from Walt Disney World , Sea World Universal studio i have to say i disagree. We get very positi\ve media
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