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Everything posted by klstorey

  1. I stopped by MLK Park in Winter Park to check out the progress of the new library and events center. The exterior looks to be complete with just minor work left on the inside from what I could tell. Landscaping was mostly all in. I love how the exterior walls reference older buildings, the entire complex has a great retro-Florida vibe. This complex really enhances Morse Blvd. I hope it has a good lighting package at nighttime. Does anyone know if the plans for the rest of the park remodel are still happening? The landscaping around the library/events complex really makes the rest o
  2. Society is quickly rising in downtown. I watched them pour these columns the other day. This is looking from in front of the courthouse. The Livingston side is already giving the area that urban canyon feel. The area around the courthouse is really coming alive. I think this will be that big final project to make this area feel like a part of downtown. I know some on here have said they'll miss the views of the courthouse but I think this building will add a nice layering to the skyline. At lunch time, the south side of the courthouse has a lot of activity. That should improve even more
  3. To be clear, the 10,000 rooms includes both the hotels and on-site vacation homes. This would put it smaller than Margaritaville, where 3,000 vacation homes are approved, most of which have three or more bedrooms.
  4. I took a tour last week. It's interesting. Great car museum, ok arcade, decent go-kart track. The biggest issue is so much of it is still not finished. I'd give it a good six months before visiting, just to ensure everything is open. I think this will actually work thanks to the location. Pardon the generalization, but this will be where guys go when their wives are shopping at the outlets. Bass Pro, go-karts, pinball, James Bond museum, car museum, and a movie theater. A lot of guys would love to spend a few hours at a place like that. Here are some pics and thoughts of my tour of the p
  5. WWE supposedly looked at CityWalk back in the day but according to the going narrative Universal went another way and instead added Toothsome's. They also looked at a site near Sand Lake Road on I-Drive, went so far as doing architectural plans but cancelled the plans. I personally think they'd do better in downtown. The Amway can now claim it has hosted the most WWE events of any public site. The training center is in a warehouse park and isn't really in a spot that's conducive to tourism. I think being slightly away from the tourist area will help legitimize it. I believe Rick
  6. Does north Lake County/Apopka area have a thread on here? Tons of new growth all around Wekiva Parkway. Mount Dora seems to have at least 4 new neighborhoods in development. I believe a new apartment complex is also in the works. There's also a huge new assisted living complex being built across the street from Waterman Village. Meanwhile the Avalon Park town center in Tavares/Eustis (behind the hospital) has its apartment complex vertical and commercial area will likely do so very soon. Land is being cleared for a new neighborhood in Tangerine too. There's also a lot of
  7. Wasn't this the plan after the I-4 Ultimate is finished. Have the FDOT/vendor offices on that site been moved yet?
  8. Thank you! I actually did a paper for my Urban Planning History class on the original EPCOT plans. It was good to be able to use some of that in this story. Here is a map from the RCID 2020 Conservation Plan. The land purchased fills in that odd jigsaw area in the upper left between the yellow and the Seven Seas Lagoon. Here is a map of all the buildings, as listed on the RCID ARCGIS. You can see there's a few big areas where development has yet to happen. Lots of area to fill in around existing buildable areas. This map doesn't show ESPN WWOS or the All Star Resorts.
  9. *cough* Skyplex *cough* Also, Epic Universe concept art has three (four?) coasters visible in it.
  10. I just got this press release from C.T. Hsu + Associates regarding the OCCC updates. I've always thought that end of the OCCC looked unfinished, this seems to be help it. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners has selected the joint venture team of POPULOUS + C.T. Hsu & Associates to provide architectural and engineering design services for the Orange County Convention Center’s (OCCC) estimated $605 million North-South Building Expansion. It is an important project for the region that Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said will “sharpen our competitive edge and maintain
  11. Tom is once again taking old stories and trying to claim that they're new... This rumor dates back to at least 2009 when Disneyland got them. It's been long thought that the 'iasw' update will be a part of the 50 updates for the 50th that will be rumored also include updates to Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room, etc. I highly recommend WDWThemeParks for a good timeline on projects and a background on them. Here's the history of the 'its a small world' update. http://wdwthemeparks.com/rumors/2017/03/18/mary-blair-versions-of-classic-dis
  12. Yes! The new park and new hotel are being designed with conventions in mind. That amphitheater will be rented out for conventions and every single land is designed to be accessed via service roads (the single entrance is also in part due to the ability to close them off for special events without a lot of labor costs). Not really seen in the concept art is some convention space within the hotel itself (or the amenities that will be on the other side). The hotel will be on the same level as a Four Seasons/Ritz Carlton. This will be the new flagship hotel for UOR. A big step up from Portofino Ba
  13. I'll be sad to see the St Regis apartments demo'd. I think the region could benefit from more, not fewer, smaller apartment complexes that have character. Garden apartments and the like are sorely needed. That missing middle can add a lot of character to a community and provide a better mix of housing costs.
  14. There will be a bridge. Reedy Creek has already updated their address map with both bridges. https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=d675187179194132a3abb2b9078a4cbd It should be noted that the map isn't perfect, with none of the Star Wars updates added to the map yet. Also, speaking of Reedy Creek on ArcGIS, this swipe of aerial maps showing growth in the 4 Corners area is pretty fun to look at. https://www.arcgis.com/apps/StorytellingSwipe/index.html?appid=33ae3bc929f94047be9b135f66ba11cb&embed The bridge should allow for some much-needed monorail updates. The r
  15. I think a stadium at the OCCC would be great. The convention center has previously stated they need a large venue for keynote events. Baseball stadiums that don't draw other events struggle, those that can host multiple events weather better. It amazes me that Tampa let that Ybor City proposal fall through.
  16. Yes (kinda), Universal Way (the new road) and the extension of Kirkman will have bus dedicated lanes with a unique elevated roundabout. Here is some I wrote about the updates in an August 2018 article on Orlando Weekly (sorry for the shameless plug). The plans were revised earlier this year. In a February article this year, I tried to give some more details on the interior road network. For now, it looks like a shuttle bus will connect the three resort sites. I would love to see a gondola system like the one at WDW (I just finished an article on that as well) connecting
  17. I know I’ve been a bit MIA on here lately, don’t worry, I still read nearly every single post thanks to the email feature. I just wrapped up my first semester in my Urban and Regional Planning master's program at Georgetown in DC. I’ve been trying to relate everything I’ve learned and all the fantastic people I’ve met back to Orlando. Here a few thoughts from the semester that some of you hopefully find interesting. It seems like everyone on these boards is in a perpetual love-hate relationship with Orlando’s growth, but at least we’re growing! In my classes and in the 4 sympo
  18. More attention needs to be paid to Margaritaville. It's opening in a few short weeks. The water will open a couple of months later. I don't think many realize how much innovation and unique design is going into this water park. Altogether, Margaritaville will add new business to 192 like nothing we've seen in probably decades. Yet, so few are talking about the project. To a lesser degree, but the same is true for Port Canaveral. A new aquarium, new dining, huge new terminals and yet I hear next to no one talking about Port Canaveral. It seems odd to me.
  19. It's nowhere near the SunRail station. I actually used to live directly across the street from there at a small college now known as Johnson University. My first real job in college was working security and parking at the Heritage Park. I remember living on campus when spring training was taking place, we had security to shoo away the sports photographers who would try and go to the second floor of the dorms to get photos of the Astros new players. This is very close to Kissimmee's NeoCity tech district. I'm curious if the Orlando Seawolves (the arena soccer team whose home is the Silve
  20. Things are in the works. This is a big year for Orlando, from start to finish.
  21. Dockless bikes have had many issues in other cities but I think many of those issues result from inappropriate use by users. I think we have an opportunity in Orlando to learn from cities like Beijing, LA, Houston, and Tokyo to see what works and what doesn't. The biggest issue seems to be bikes just being dropped anywhere. This tells me we need to work on better and larger bike storage options. Also, not to sound negative but I doubt Orlando will see the issues other cities have faced simply because even if bikes were free and readily available I doubt many here would choose bikes
  22. I'll believe it when it opens. Right now, this seems right up there with the Vertical Medical City and the I-Drive megamall as possible but I'm not holding my breath.
  23. A- Tom at WDWNT has great info on Epcot but hotels but other parts of WDW his track record is questionable. B- These same gondolas have worked in other areas just as hot as here with no issues due to a system to move air thru the cabins (look at the vents on the bottom of the gondolas.) I'm concerned but wont write off the system until I can actually ride the system.
  24. I recall something about Google looking at a tech park in Sarasota. I know they have an office in Miami. I'm pretty sure Google dropped it's plans for a Central Florida office. According to this article from June, it looks like there's still hope that the tech research park is eventually developed around FPU. Honestly, as it grows I could see Florida Poly being a big competitor against UCF. Here is the original master plan. This is the one that they had the scale model for in the Polk State College board room. Sadly, the state spent all the money on having a star architect design
  25. I know for many of us this might not be a big announcement but the match will be aired in 170 countries. 170 countries were imagery of downtown Orlando will be seen. Where our skyline will likely be shown and where our hometown soccer stadium is showcased. This could be a positive step forward for helping Orlando outside of the tourist district develop its own identity. Event by event, person by person Orlando is becoming a sports mecca and is quickly moving beyond I-Drive being the only area tourists visit.
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