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Lake Eola Neighbourhood.


idroveazamboni

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I’m not sure why you’re neglecting how this got started. The Rosalind Club has nothing to do with it because they had no plans to sell. If they did, we’d of course want to buy their property and would likely go through a similar process, especially if a 30+ story tower were the alternative.

So far, that’s not the case. It WAS, however, the case with the 7-Eleven. The two ladies wisely were moved to act when they realized that a new tower would likely prevent expanding the park there for at least 50 years or longer (given our oldest modern tower goes back to 1959 and the remaining masonry towers back to the ‘20’s).

It’s a process that has played out several times in the past. Most recently, Buddy did so with the Eola Five to prevent a proposed tower by Highwoods. Before that, Mayor Glenda did the same thing to prevent development of the area across Osceola Avenue from Post.

Prior to that, the area where the Sperry Fountain (actually, its facsimile) sits was  obtained from St. Luke’s. Other pieces came from the Musselwhites and Summerlins with the provision they had to be used for public purposes. 

Nothing happening here is out of the ordinary from the way the park has come to be over the past 100 years or longer.

Hopefully, we’ll continue the process to expand the park across Eola Drive and, as has been suggested here previously, to perhaps pick up the Cambria Suites lot across Rosalind.

In the recent cases, the decision to move forward at the time they did was to keep towers from being built on the land and instead to provide green space for downtown residents. It also is a huge draw to downtown for other folks (on a per acre basis, Eola Park is even more popular than places like the National Mall in DC).

More popular than the Baker Barrios towers we’d probably get if the park weren’t expanded as downtown Orlando has become Ground Zero for boring architecture.

I, as well as most of the city council and the current and all living former mayors (including a former county chairman) embrace this idea. In fact, there’s really no organized opposition to it. Let’s get it done and then move on to the next piece.

And, yes, if the Rosalind Club one day chooses to sell, let’s add their spot as well if we can’t find a good use for their century-plus historic facility, just as we did with Eola House.
 

 

Edited by spenser1058
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15 hours ago, nite owℓ said:

I wouldn't say the ladies own the club individually, but I'm pretty sure the Rosalind Club's members can vote to dissolve the club or sell the property... Same as U-Club, except the RC can use the proceeds to move elsewhere. The RC members are the ones to pushing to demo 7-eleven as part of their agenda to expand the park - so yes, now they too can abide by their own standard.

I'm certainly not against park expansion and I understand the need for it. We've already expanded the park years ago to the tune of $8.5M and you know what that got us? 1.8 ACRES = 78,408 sq. ft. of actual usable park spacehttps://goo.gl/maps/KKsQaxr8PZveh8xCA (https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2013-02-01-os-lake-eola-houses-20130201-story.html). Granted some of the old historic homes had to be demolished, but the South Eola expansion was definitely worth it. And since it's located on the quieter end of Lake Eola, people are more inclined to set out blankets and chill, practice yoga, etc. OLT wants to spend $3.5M to acquire a little more than 5,000 sq. ft. That is an absolute joke for what we'll be getting with no guarantee that City Centre will be next.

Personally I like having storefronts frame that entrance leading to Lake Eola park. The unwelcoming ambiance I mentioned goes well beyond the pedestrian scramble (which is something I've requested the city traffic engineer to implement years ago - and I continue to request crosswalk improvements). I live next to Lake Eola so I kinda get to see the usage patterns of where people congregate, etc. The outer perimeter of Lake Eola Park along Rosalind and Robinson does not get utilized on a day to day basis unless there is an event (although Lake Eola Charter School uses the Northwest lawn for PE/recess on school days). People naturally gravitate towards the inner areas within the park away from heavy car traffic. Who wants to sit down and read a book or have a picnic on the corner of Rosalind and Central breathing in noxious fumes, next to loud traffic, bass music, Harley's revving, etc. It's simply not a welcoming ambiance and that has more to do with the high volume of traffic on Rosalind (which sees 17k+ vehicles daily). Does that rendering look like a place where you'd sit down & relax? I can tell you one of the things it'll be used for... a place for dogs to relieve themselves used by nearby residents who don't want to walk further to one of the other lawns. Hmm, now that I think of it another dog park could actually work here lol.

The hard transition I spoke of is quite visible in the rendering especially with City Centre's huge wall looming over it. Does that look welcoming to you?? 7-eleven and the other storefronts currently serve a purpose and they help ease the transition down Central Blvd into the park. This pocket park literally looks like the vacant lot on Orange/Pine that has persisted for years after the original structure burned down or one of the many blighted lots in Parramore where the city bulldozed a trap house to get rid of a plague on the neighborhood. It's not an organic transition - it's a transition by demolition and it looks horrible. It's not my job to fix all the ills of Rosalind Ave, however, I think it's pretty naive to assume the existing problems on Rosalind won't affect the usage of the new pocket park. Even if they manage to come up with an easement into the main park, it will still seem like an island unto itself. I'd rather have all or nothing - either demo Rosalind Club, 7-eleven AND City Centre or don't touch any of it.

Like I said earlier, we already know things take forever and a day to come to fruition in Downtown Orlando. We will be stuck with an ugly pocket park for years to come if 7-eleven is allowed to be torn down without assembling all parcels first! Take a good look at it:

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Interesting info on the clubs.

I'm not sure where you got that 1.8 acres from as the article you linked mentions 1.3 acres (56628 sqft). That 1.3 acres also includes Eola House, so the actual usable park space is less (about 46000 sqft). That ends up at about 185 USD/sqft. The corner property is 700 USD/sqft, so about 3.7 times as expensive per area unit. For property that is closer to the CBD and at a major intersection, I don't think this is that extreme.

I agree that those portions of the park are underutilized. However, that is more a lack of vision on the city's part. If the road is the problem, which it definitely is, then make the park feel more separated from the road. A row of shrubbery/hedges or a berm would fix that but the balance here is between making the park accessible, peaceful, and safe. I personally would put a see through fence, like on Eola Drive. It makes it safer to use the park with kids near the road, but it also keeps line-of-sight to ensure security and safety.

Your last points show the difference in our opinions well. I am okay with gaining something small in route to the larger goal, but you do not believe that the larger goal is reasonable or even possible in the short term. The result being something that neither of us want, which is the pocket park pictured. This is the first project of the Orlando Land Trust, and I hope that in the future they improve. Part of this would be having commitments or, at least, verbal agreements that all of the lots are purchasable before buying the first one. This may have occurred for this project, but I honestly do not know. I am okay with a bumpy ride and hope all involved use this as a learning experience that will advise future purchases.

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22 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

It also is a huge draw to downtown for other folks (on a per acre basis, Eola Park is even more popular than places like the National Mall in DC).

So is my closet if I sleep in it. But I wouldn't actually call it a huge draw, much less compare it to the National Mall.

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10 minutes ago, F-L-A said:

So is my closet if I sleep in it. But I wouldn't actually call it a huge draw, much less compare it to the National Mall.

I was comparing numbers. On a per acre basis, we’re right there. The National Mall, however, has a ton more acres so more people in aggregate. The point is the park is a draw to downtown that none of our towers is.

As WAJAS points out, there is a lot the city could do to increase programming as the park grows and attracts even more visitors.

Edited by spenser1058
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2 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

I was comparing numbers. On a per acre basis, we’re right there. The National Mall, however, has a ton more acres so more people in aggregate. The point is the park is a draw to downtown that none of our towers is.

But how many of those numbers are homeless people?

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Just now, F-L-A said:

But how many of those numbers are homeless people?

The fixation with homeless folks on this board amazes me. Every city of any size has them. I can also say, as someone who has lived directly across the street from Eola Park for 18 1/2 years, the ones we have are quite a tame group.

 

 

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4 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

The fixation with homeless folks on this board amazes me. Every city of any size has them. I can also say, as someone who has lived directly across the street from Eola Park for 18 1/2 years, the ones we have are quite a tame group.

 

 

Not sure I’d call it a fixation, but homelessness is always something to be concerned with. Just because homeless in the area are tame doesn’t mean the issue of homelessness should be ignored or accepted. I recently moved back to Orlando 2 years ago after being away for 3 years and was shocked and continued to be more shocked every few months at just how much the homeless population/panhandling is skyrocketing. Yes, every major city has homeless but I want nothing to do with Orlando becoming Jacksonville or Seattle or Portland or any city in California. 

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42 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

Not sure I’d call it a fixation, but homelessness is always something to be concerned with. Just because homeless in the area are tame doesn’t mean the issue of homelessness should be ignored or accepted. I recently moved back to Orlando 2 years ago after being away for 3 years and was shocked and continued to be more shocked every few months at just how much the homeless population/panhandling is skyrocketing. Yes, every major city has homeless but I want nothing to do with Orlando becoming Jacksonville or Seattle or Portland or any city in California. 

I’ll certainly agree with that and I support finally financing programs and shelter for the homeless with an additional 1c sales tax as places like some of the governments in South Florida have done .

I encourage everyone to volunteer with places like the Christian Service Center to do what we can in the meantime.

For those of us who are LGBTQ+, it’s important to remember a staggering number of the young who are homeless were tossed out by their families due to their orientation. Find out more about Zebra Coalition, Covenant House and others to help.

The point I was trying to make inartfully above is that if you get to know many of the homeless folks who frequent Eola, you’ll find they’re not so different from you and me, they often just ran out of options and had no place else to turn.

A shocking number of Americans are only one paycheck away from homelessness as we discovered just during the past week.

Edited by spenser1058
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True, but there are also homeless people who choose to live on the streets, albeit many of them suffer from mental illness or addiction. It's easy to call them "tame" when you are not privy to regular reports of what goes on behind the scenes. People have been physically assaulted, threatened, experienced theft, breaking and entering, trespassing, littering (including needles, human waste)... and I hate to keep bringing up past incidents of the women who were raped. Yes homelessness is everywhere, but to pretend like our homeless are "special" is kind of asinine. To me it's more cruel to see someone living on the street and think that is acceptable, normal or humane - it's really not, and I think non-enforcement and lack of intervention leads to bigger issues. Everyone is sympathetic to the homeless until the problem lands on their doorstep/neighborhood. The same people handing out food (instead of supporting the local agencies who know what they're doing) would call police in a heartbeat if they found a homeless person camping out in the bushes of their home, but for some reason they think every street corner in downtown should have a homeless person parked there like some kind of perverse ornament.

I've posted this before, but there are better ways to deal with homelessness. Definitely worth the watch if you ever have some down time:

 

Edited by nite owℓ
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3 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

The South Eola curse is alive and well- Great Harvest Bread Co. is no more:


https://bungalower.com/2020/12/28/ask-bungalower-whats-happening-with-great-harvest-bread-co/

From Bungalower 

 

 

That’s a real shame. Never had a chance to try it. One reason: they were not open on Sundays. Always seemed like that was a bad business decision, as that part of downtown is pretty active on Sundays.

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I went once about a month after they opened to pickup a quick breakfast on my way to the office. It seemed like a bread place first then a restaurant second (as compared to, say, Panera which- despite the baked goods case- is really a restaurant first and foremost).

The very small menu, lack of weekend hours as mentioned, and less-than-attentive morning staff doomed them for me which is a shame because the idea and location were great.

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15 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

The South Eola curse is alive and well- Great Harvest Bread Co. is no more:


https://bungalower.com/2020/12/28/ask-bungalower-whats-happening-with-great-harvest-bread-co/

From Bungalower 

 

 

Met them before construction started and they told me they never went downtown and asked where people went. Knew this would be doomed after that. Seemed like nice people but this is why you don't rely on demographic data for street level retail.

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On 12/29/2020 at 7:28 AM, spenser1058 said:

The South Eola curse is alive and well- Great Harvest Bread Co. is no more:


https://bungalower.com/2020/12/28/ask-bungalower-whats-happening-with-great-harvest-bread-co/

From Bungalower 

 

 

I went once in late summer.  The menu was pitiful, and the food was lackluster.  This was my bacon apple grilled cheese.

2HtbC74JkjCIRvvKic-SkPK4SlER5lRTmX4d91UysNehgenmiWwUN_ojZzMsOwSJU81EzbOLoIJbBCWoyYgsXE3zj6vXPoSS98ewu8ZTwT14MKoKaUcvgotBM51CEImXYAGuVeefaL6JrK5mESBuVmJLtZgXAaFFgWklb_AWDDhLuTZqxiLkjS9RaKZlSlab5CICG07BX5SrZZw39DQ2DvP1wdrn51qObe2uFblgFO9iOkNP7_HfUb65N3EehL4_O76s1RIroIj41NB7ay4zGoc6RcPnYd6KX49PHSC02Om9jGA6W2m8QB_r8q11Oovtq_f3QOBUQIxeb-y83DgKMRBOu-dpytrg2gfoXdx2q9lHGXqPy2kG4xs_3lQbPYaQgkCM6tsDEZxHPm2sx4_Qgj3iKZAigWk-wA8AS3aS_V5_OBkoYL1i0EXj3V5GnWP76QQGGlRcV-WqVslICsSaoQCFi7RhBLVX5bCGvvMK823NaR6pJFKBWnO5eE556fkPQM7Sxl6-6GQBdOFqj6ZReTnY-FD0vzBJJdScE_7eEgh_CT2ICc2cCdnixwdOqeWQGyP8vomXKSvJ3REZi8GT8MmMs7tcMDwQdepfH7tOJ6wWZgV7nakBFKHXs1JDJ5EqDfn6ZyVEgYJsrR5KA0hlYmbsxrjukeWl5DpJpD9VMls2LUOWsCe_2JX324Gwk7U=w692-h1230-no?authuser=0

17 hours ago, popsiclebrandon said:

Met them before construction started and they told me they never went downtown and asked where people went. Knew this would be doomed after that. Seemed like nice people but this is why you don't rely on demographic data for street level retail.

... Wut.  Why in the world would you open a downtown food spot without having been there?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Orlando Weekly weighs in with a call to make those donations to OLT so the expansion of Eola Park continues.... just $85,000 to go. Call now! Operators are standing by! Well, maybe not, but we’re almost there...


https://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2021/01/13/orlando-land-trust-needs-your-help-raising-the-last-funds-needed-to-expand-public-green-space-in-lake-eola-park

 
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  • 2 weeks later...

Mayors Glenda and Bill discuss why taking this opportunity to expand Eola Park is so important :


Lake Eola Park expansion means a more beautiful Orlando, former mayors write | Commentary
https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/guest-commentary/os-op-lake-eola-park-expansion-mayors-hood-frederick-20210131-m66dasvouzgo5kclmy5ctp7usa-story.html

From The Sentinel 
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Biked through Eola Heights today and there was a massive film/tv shoot going on near the intersection of Cathcart and Harwood. Carthcart was closed from Livingston down to the Handy Pantry. There were cast and crew and production equipment all over the street. I'd seen a collection of large trucks parked at Sorosis Women's Club yesterday and wondered what they were there for (now I know). Anyone in that area got any idea? Just curious. My old place might end up being in a background shot there. Cheers.

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