klstorey

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About klstorey

  • Rank
    Whistle-Stop
  • Birthday 08/15/84

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  • Website URL
    orlandotourismreport.com
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    KenLStorey

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

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Orlando Attractions Area News & Developments

    Here is the website for all the social media info for Orange County. http://www.orangecountyfl.net/Home/SocialMedia.aspx#.ViRz4RCrRuk And a petition for Skyplex (do these things ever really work?) http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/let-skyplex-become-a-symbol-of-orlando-let
  11. Orlando Attractions Area News & Developments

    I have to disagree. I think this project is exactly what I-Drive needs. It will help clean up one of the most blighted and overlooked areas of I-Drive. It will also help bring more attention to the tourist district overall. I'm extremely disappointed in the P&Z for this one. Most of this property has sat empty for decades, now a major new investor wants to bring a world class, modern attraction to it and they vote it down. I think it shows an unwillingness to think outside of the box when it comes to tourism on the part of the P&Z board. Let's hope the BoC is more willing to let new private investment help improve one of the most hard hit areas of I-Drive.
  12. Orlando Attractions Area News & Developments

    CSI and all of 7220 closed. The parent company closed all locations except Vegas and Mexico City. They give the employees less than a week notice. The building is up for sale. IMPO this doesn't bode well for Titanic next door. They did a lot of joint marketing and shared a lot of customers. With 7220 gone I imagine Titanic will see a drop in attendance. In other news Skeletons isn't performing well either. Most of the staff have been let go, from my understanding all that's left is front line employees and the family is running back of house themselves. It seems like everyone was hoping for a bump from the Eye and even they are getting well below their expected attendance.
  13. Downtown Orlando Project Discussion

    It would be nice near Lake Eola but I think property values will prohibit it. Honestly I expect to see in Parramore and I'm ok with that. It would be a great anchor for the Creative Village. I also love the Lake Lucerne location but sadly I think that development will happen before OMA can get the funds in place. The restaurant and glass blowing school interest me the most. I would love to see something like what Hollywood Florida has with Hollywood Hot Glass's set up in Young Circle Park. I'd love to see a similar public hot glass studio in an adjoining park to OMA. Food as art is a cool concept. I've long wished that the OSC added a molecular gastronomy restaurant. I do hope that the science center gets first dibs on the old OMA building. In my perfect world the Shakes would move downtown too (to Church St to help create that theatre district with part of the building being a replica Globe Theatre) leaving Loch Haven to the children. The science center and Rep could expand with the science center taking over the day to day ops of the fire house museum.
  14. Orlando Attractions Area News & Developments

    The I-Drive pedestrian bridge connecting OCCC to the Hyatt Regency is coming along. Looks like it'll go vertical very soon. Some new news regarding the future of the OCCC. The most interesting to me was activity hub on the West's buildings entrance. I wonder if that will be like the commercial district once planned for the eastern side of the North/South building along Universal Blvd. That Youtube video has since been locked but is still up last I checked. I think it was dumb to let the baseball spring training center die. That would've been a nice addition to all of this. Overall it looks like the convention center is doing a good job of building up on its space. Ideally I'd love to eventually see hotel or other tower like developments on top of the large convention halls but I know that's years away at best. Just seems like such a large roof and nothing really on it other than a few solar panels.
  15. SunRail [Phase 1 Completed]

    I totally agree. I work from home a lot and have mid-afternoon meetings with clients in downtown on a semi-regular basis. I'm rarely able to use SunRail because of its mid-day schedule. Of course, I'd prefer both but in an either/or type of situation I think its smarter to go with mid-day vs evening. I'd be willing to give up both though if it meant weekend service. Any word on that?