klstorey

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About klstorey

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    Whistle-Stop
  • Birthday 08/15/84

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    orlandotourismreport.com
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    KenLStorey

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    Male
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    Winter Park
  • Interests
    Urban Sociology, Urban Design, Tourism, Economic Growth, Creativity

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  1. Other Metro Area Projects

    "Economic leaders in Orlando said the region continues to struggle to put together a cohesive pitch that clearly defines the region’s strengths, which include a deep tech talent pool and available land. That’s a problem they say likely contributed to failing to make the cut." - Orlando Sentinel - Orlando leaders: Amazon cut shows need to refine pitch I think this is key. Yes, we didn't get HQ2 but I think this showed a few important ways local leaders can improve how they work together. We've done a lot of good some areas but at times it feels like Osceola, Seminole, and Orange/Orlando act like there are walls between them, not even mentioning what the other counties are doing. Orange and Orlando great but they need to pull in Seminole and Osceola more. Ironically, the one area they seem to work best together is in one that I think likely leads the pack in reasons why we didn't HQ2; transportation. Amazon stated one of the things the location must have is; "Direct access to rail, train, subway/metro, bus routes." Yes, we have bus routes but even that is stretching it when you're talking about a place like Lake Nona, NeoCity, or anywhere large enough for this in Seminole County. (Going back to my original point I'm still not sure how Lake Nona, the Creative Village, and NeoCity aren't competing with each other.) Yes, when looking at how Tampa is struggling with mass transit it makes Lynx and SunRail look like a dream come true but we've got so far to go. SunRail is great but anyone who tries to ride it on a regular basis knows how it easy it is to go. We need multiple lines in multiple directions connecting the region. NeoCity and Lake Nona need transit beyond buses connecting to downtown and MCO, if for nothing else than the psychological factor. Personally, I'm hoping the Disney gondolas cause Orange County to dust off its discussions of that along Hwy 50 from UCF to downtown. I'm not sure what it will be but we need start moving forward with our post-SunRail connections for the region. Off topic (well, kinda on it) but my dream location for HQ2 was the fairgrounds on 50 in/near Pine Hills. I know I've praised this location for the village every time any Olympic bid discussions happen on here but this large tract of land seems ripe for a huge development. I understand that the fairgrounds is a money maker but I'm not convinced that is worth it. It seems the largest percentage of renters are gun shows, something that Pine Hills could probably do without, and concerts. Honestly, it might be cool for the development there to host concerts, even of the size its currently bringing in, if it had well-connected transportation. Plus we have the Citrus Bowl/Tinker Field (literally a 'field' nowadays) that is nearby and probably more than willing to host the concerts that the fairgrounds has). It'd even be easy to expand the fairgrounds redevelopment by cobbling together some of the nearly dead strip malls and car lots that sit nearby. The biggest thing holding it back IMO is the lack of meaningful transportation downtown. Gondolas, tram, Lymmo style bus dedicated lanes, just something that signals a reliable connection between the fairgrounds and downtown.
  2. Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

    Very true. I meant more that I wish both projects could've been designed and done at the same time so that it had less impact on the lake and surrounding area. I agree that the other links are more important but I feel like Lake Ivanhoe needs to be better connected and updated so that it can take some of the pressure off of Lake Eola. Even moving a few events to Lake Ivanhoe would help Eola, which seems to always be under a state of setting up or breaking down from an event. It's a beautiful park but it's totally being overused IMO. I hope that the new Holocaust Center spurs on more events in that area. Another random thought, many Holocaust Centers focus not only on that event but human rights as a whole. I think the argument that the Pulse shooting was a hate crime against a specific group of people is very strong. Could it be possible to combine these two centers? I know they have very different demographics but it might be interesting to see what that would look like. The more I think about the permanent off-site Pulse memorial the more I think it needs to tell a bigger story of equality, LGBTQ/human rights, and how Pulse plays a part in that. If not combined with the Holocaust museum it might be good to have the Pulse museum nearby, possibly on the old WDBO site or the old Evans Group building. My ideal location for the off-site Pulse museum is the fire station/empty lot nearby. That station looks like its in need of an update anyways. Or the empty lot in front of the DPPAC. That site is very special and makes sense for it if it is going to be off-site.
  3. Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

    The current building is 7,569 (nice) sq. ft., with an additional 20,000 sq. ft. that would make this Holocaust museum just a tad larger than the one in St. Pete (which is 27,000 sq. ft.) and one of the largest in the country. I'm very curious how they're going to make the addition work. My quick thought would be to use the current parking lot as the expansion area. One or two stories there would still allow the current building to tower over it and look nice and could provide a great rooftop that would be ideal for special events or a sculpture garden. I'd love to see the Ivanhoe Building mold removal finished around the same time as this opens. The Ivanhoe Bldg is perfect for a nice food hall and East End Market style retail mall. Together these two could really make North Quarter/NODO/Uptown really come alive. Too bad the beautiful WDBO building is gone but hopefully, this spurs some development of that site. Ideally, that long forgotten proposal for a pedestrian bridge along the eastern side of I-4 across Lake Ivanhoe also finally gets greenlit, giving this area a nice walking loop. I'm still a little miffed that the pedestrian bridge wasn't included in the I-4 Ultimate work. It should have all been done at once.
  4. Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

    The restaurant with the drive-thru might be a great option for the lost Lake Eola Panera but I doubt the city lets them keep the drive-thru in the plans. I know this is mostly a personal storage facility but I do like the nearly 12,000 sq.ft. of retail along Colonial Drive. The parking seems small for any type of big business but this would be a great spot for a late night dining spot, could easily grab the downtown and the Ivanhoe Village crowd. While this isn't as fancy as I'd like I think this is a huge improvement over the current site and nicer than many of the other recent additions in that area *cough*Ugly metal building hotel*cough* I think this will be a nice stairstep from the arena and Ultimate I-4. I think we've been overlooking how the new I-4/408 ramps will add some unique visuals and height to that area. I hope that the history center across the street gets more love and becomes a more active facility now that the area is getting more foot traffic.
  5. Uptown

    I'd love to see the OBX just go south stopping at the Sunrail stations CSS, SODO, SLR, then going on out to the airport (hopeful) station. It'd be great to go from Eustis to the airport via a train. I bet a lot of The Villages would love to just park in Tavares or Eustis and just take a train to the airport. It'd also be great for tourists to hop on at the SLR station and head to Mt. Dora. The biggest issue is still the lack of weekend hours. Back to Uptown, I'm curious if the Ivanhoe pedestrian bridge will ever be built. It should've been done while I-4 is being done.
  6. Uptown

    I love the complex on Dale Mabry. It's a bit odd to move from shop to shop but super easy if you're just going to a single shop. I prefer its layout over the SODO layout. I think Uptown would do great with a few retail spots. For me, it's mostly just a pass through as I head from Ivanhoe to downtown. I live in Winter Park and I usually go to the SODO Target because the Fashion Sq one sucks. I think Uptown could easily sustain its own Target or Wal-Mart (I think the closest is JYP/Princeton, that's at least the closest to me).
  7. Oh, I complete disagree. The I-Drive area is becoming a major urban dense area with multiple tall buildings. It's really becoming a great mixed use district with numerous new apartment complexes, office buildings, and retail. The way P&Z is treating the Universal redo of the WnW property shows that. Much of the same comments as they have when reviewing downtown projects. Urban parks, pedestrian interest, blocking garages, etc. Our view of this area as strictly a tourist focused suburban district is dated by even the reality on the ground today in that area IMO. Regarding Skyplex. I haven't spoken to Wallack in a few weeks but last time we met he said it should break ground this winter (I would say just after the Christmas rush at Mango's but that's just me guessing). Part of the delay seems to be funding due to various international programs that are now in flux due to the change in D.C. (that's all I say regarding politics). The funding still is there but certain groups are shifting around for best I can tell. Also, the hotel is now no longer on the top of the garage. It was going to cost millions to place it due to ground issues. SkyPlex will be roughly 600 ft tall including the multi-story observation level that will feature a restaurant/club. One other interesting note is Wallack said that there will be security at the entrances, all areas inside Skyplex will be secure with metal detectors at the doors. He's really focused on safety which is good for that area. Off topic but of interest here, the StarFlyer in front of King's Bowl is now under construction. It will be a bit taller than the Orlando Eye. The old taxi stand that stood in that area just got demo'd this week. Between the Eye, StarFlyer, and soon Skyplex that area will really shine. It'll be great once I-4 is finished because it seems like parts of I-4 will be higher than they are now which means visibility of I-Drive from a distance may be greater, especially in the downtown area.
  8. Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

    My dream is that businesses would sponsor signs, similar to how they did with the See Art Orlando. I'd love to see the signs scattered around Orlando, each in a clear protective shell or in an indoor setting. A few on Church St., a few along Orange. Maybe have a couple in local mall food courts or at I-Drive 360. In my dream world Orange Ave and Church St in downtown would glow with neon signs. I bet you could get many local businesses to get in on it. It can't be that expensive, compared to other large public art initiatives, to keep these things in operating order I think it's so sad that they're just sitting in a warehouse when no one gets to see them. Each deserves to be restored and displayed with pride.
  9. Uptown

    I'm glad that the Sevens will have decent lighting. I'm not a fan of their signage though. It looks like a cheap casino IMO. I do love how this building creates a nice feel along Orange Ave.
  10. Orlando Transit

    Speaking of loving trains, I was talking a some people last night about the new OCSC Training Center in Lake Nona and they brought up the mass transit ROWs that go thru the Town Center. Any idea if those ROWs link to the sports village as well? It would be great for SunRail Phase 3 to go past MCO to extend thru Nona. Being able to take a train from the OCSC to the downtown stadium would be fantastic.
  11. One of three Zoe's Kitchens planning to open this year in Central Florida. Corner of Lee and 17/92 in the K-Mart plaza is Winter Park is getting one as well. I can't recall where the third one is, I want to say Dr. P area.
  12. Other Metro Area Projects

    We really need a WP thread. I'd venture to say there's more action happening right now in WP than almost anywhere else in the region. Of interesting note, my building and few others along New England Ave here in Hannibal Sq were recently bought by Owens from Sydgan (Dan Bellows). My guess is Bellows is looking to get some quick cash for a new project somewhere in the city. Ravadage just isn't performing like he seemed to imagine it would. His latest project is the steeple on the wedding chapel, a small project but one that will help make the area by the Farmers Market all the more charming.
  13. Other Metro Area Projects

    I got a thing in the mail saying a new mixed-use development is looking to go into the southeast corner of Lee and 17/92. Up Developments wants to incorporate it into the larger Whole Foods right there as well. The new development includes a parking structure, offices above retail with a corner restaurant spot. On the southern end of the development, they have plans for a multi-story hotel, looked to be around 4 if my memory serves me correctly. If I had to guess I'd expect some type of business hotel. Oddly enough Unicorp has proposed a similar sized business hotel as part of the Mt Vernon project at Lakeside Crossing but as the project went through approval the hotel part was canned. This is directly across the Ravadage project where TR's just opened. On the other corner, you have Flemings and the K-Mart plaza that's getting a remodel. A Zoe's Kitchen is going in there along with Home Goods, Ross and some other generic chains. (Sadly still no place to buy basic toiletries that Publix or Walgreens doesn't sell) The flyer development seems include demo'ing the office building at the location. I recall a few years ago someone tried to put a bank in there with a drive thru, it was voted down. This new development seems right in line with what Winter Park has been pushing lately. Modern, upscale dense micro developments; Lakeside and its neighbor being built across the street. (side note- I'm still not convinced Chuy's is right for that location. Rollins kids will love it but is Chuy's what people seek out in Winter Park?). In other quick WP news - New York Ave is now closed between Lyman and Fairbanks. That streetscape project will eventually redo the street from Fairbanks to Morse (sadly and tellingly the West Meadow and the Post Office section of New York aren't included in the modernizing of the street).
  14. Other Metro Area Projects

    Does Winter Park have its own sub now? Sorry if this is in the wrong spot. Here's some recent Winter Park news- Ross, Home Goods planned for former Kmart plaza. The plaza is also looking to get a major modern update. The Burger King is still closed after its fire. The Subway has officially moved to the new location a few blocks south on 17/92. Some fancy, Phil Kean style modern doctor's office is going in just north of Canopy Cafe. Very odd location for it. Rollins got approval for its new daycare center on the corner of Holt and New York. The current building will be demo'd soon. The bowling alley is all but gone, the new fields should be ready by Fall 16. A few smaller things as well in the Hannibal Sq area. Overall lots of new growth in the area. Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
  15. Orlando Attractions Area News & Developments

    Yep. I was there. Also a bit of a shameless plug but I'll have Wallack on my radio show this Thursday (10a-Noon on 91.5 WPRK). As far as the financing is concerned some have pointed to Wallack Holdings overall financing, and yes that is not enough, but the main source of financing is EB-5 and a rumored yet to be announced large US financier. Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk