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Super jealous. I know many people here turn up their noses at skyscrapers and instead preach urbanism and street walkability, but the crown jewel of a city is its skyline. I’d be happy with ONE 550-footer, don’t @ me.

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3 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

Super jealous. I know many people here turn up their noses at skyscrapers and instead preach urbanism and street walkability, but the crown jewel of a city is its skyline. I’d be happy with ONE 550-footer, don’t @ me.

I think we can have our cake and eat it, too. There are still a lot of places to plant high rises on empty parking lots or unremarkable places without destroying beloved neighborhoods. 

City Hall just needs to step up and guide the developers instead of just rolling over at whatever comes along.

Of course, when you have a mayor who remains strangely quiet about our most interesting neighborhoods, we should not be surprised.

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9 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

I think we can have our cake and eat it, too. There are still a lot of places to plant high rises on empty parking lots or unremarkable places without destroying beloved neighborhoods. 

City Hall just needs to step up and guide the developers instead of just rolling over at whatever comes along.

Of course, when you have a mayor who remains strangely quiet about our most interesting neighborhoods, we should not be surprised.

To be fair, there’s not much that comes along. We’re thrilled to have any semi-tall buildings being built in Orlando because the demand isn’t very high. There’s a lot of low-rise and apartment buildings proposed, but Orlando doesn’t demand luxury towers or office space or major corporations for some reason. I don’t even think it’s becasue of the Mouse’s shadow. But I don’t actually know why similar-sized cities like Austin or Nashville or even Tampa have so much demand (or in Tampa’s case, a billionaire that actively cares about downtown) while Orlando is left grasping at the leftover scraps.

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I know that some here think tall buildings are the be all and end all of everything. If one’s primary choice for a city is tall buildings, just as if it’s vital to live in a city that has a pro football team, then Orlando is probably not the best choice.

Indeed, I left both Nashville and Atlanta because easy access to walkable neighborhoods and downtown was my first priority (not to mention I loathe cold weather).

Interestingly, tall buildings aren’t necessarily what moves the needle on perceptions. For the last decade, Brooklyn has been the “It” place to be in NYC, even though the buildings in Manhattan are a lot taller.

The place to be in Washington is to live in the District, even though the tall buildings (by law) are in Northern Virginia.

Again for the last 15 years or so, the part of LA that has gotten the most attention is “the OC”, which is suburban almost by definition.

Of the cities you mentioned, despite the fact we are ostensibly vertically-challenged, only Austin is growing faster.

It may also be that the developers and real estate experts already have embraced the “Orlampa” concept. That is, we are on our way to a contiguous megalopolis stretching along the I4 corridor from St. Pete to Daytona.

If that’s true, the whole notion of an Orlando separate and apart is going to be an anachronism. Could it be that Jeff Vinik and Bill Gates, with that in mind. are going all in on downtown Tampa being the sine qua non (did you like that one, dcluley?) of the traditional vertical cluster?

If it is, there’s a bit of a conundrum relative to the “One True Model” of what a city must be.

Within a decade, Orange County will be more populous than Hillsborough.

How our downtowns developed and continue to going forward reflect the histories and decisions made in both counties.

My best guess is that 100+ years of background have led us to this point and we’ll see that reflected in the urban geography of the region going forward.

As a result, it may require individual decisions as to the best place to live based on what’s most important.

That’s hardly new, of course. Folks from New York and LA have long been snarky about which is the better place to live. It has always come down to the question of, better for what?

In the end, what place makes you most happy?

Edited by spenser1058

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2 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

Looking for the latest tall buildings? Go West, young man!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/western-cities-changing-skylines/

From the Washington Post 

 

The article is puzzling. Florida alone probably has as many ‘tallest cities’ as the entire American West. Denver may have the stalest skyline among top-tier cities. San Francisco and Long Beach are the only cities getting new tallests.

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^DTLA just got a new tallest, last year. Another is proposed. Dozens of other skyscrapers u/c all over downtown and the city at large.

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8 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

^DTLA just got a new tallest, last year. Another is proposed. Dozens of other skyscrapers u/c all over downtown and the city at large.

DTLA’s is tallest via a ‘flagpole.’ “Go East” would have been more accurate.

 

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4 hours ago, Dale said:

DTLA’s is tallest via a ‘flagpole.’ “Go East” would have been more accurate.

 

Flagpole, no flagpole, still taller than anything in Florida. Your point is puzzling.

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On 2/4/2019 at 10:10 PM, prahaboheme said:

Flagpole, no flagpole, still taller than anything in Florida. Your point is puzzling.

I’m puzzled that you’re puzzled. Stick a 200’ flagpole on BB&T and you’d say it’s taller than SunTrust ?

I’m puzzled by the article, since there are a paucity of new tallests in the west.

Edited by Dale

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On 2/4/2019 at 4:06 PM, Uncommon said:

To be fair, there’s not much that comes along. We’re thrilled to have any semi-tall buildings being built in Orlando because the demand isn’t very high. There’s a lot of low-rise and apartment buildings proposed, but Orlando doesn’t demand luxury towers or office space or major corporations for some reason. I don’t even think it’s becasue of the Mouse’s shadow. But I don’t actually know why similar-sized cities like Austin or Nashville or even Tampa have so much demand (or in Tampa’s case, a billionaire that actively cares about downtown) while Orlando is left grasping at the leftover scraps.

It can only be some kind of market driven phenomenon.

If there was a demand for tall downtown office towers, we'd have them.

We can't even get the old BellSouth building renovated.

For whatever the reason, there is just very little corporate interest in downtown Orlando.

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1 hour ago, Dale said:

I’m puzzled that you’re puzzled. Stick a 200’ flagpole on BB&T and you’d say it’s taller than SunTrust ?

I’m puzzled by the article, since there are a paucity of new tallests in the west.

I’m not saying one way or the other about how building heights are classified . It is what it is.

Regarding the article, its point was pretty straightforward. Cities in the west are growing upward and inward. It’s quite a simple article hardly worthy of dissecting.

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Think about our tallest office buildings, SunTrust and BoA.

Both came about not only because they were corporate headquarters but, even more importantly, their leaders were Orlando folks.

Sun Bank Center was the replacement for the First National Bank at Orlando Building. Just as SBC would be downtown’s tallest upon its completion in 1987, First National’s was the tallest when it opened in 1959 (it still exists, it was just absorbed into the newer complex).

duPont Center (BoA at the moment) was the new headquarters for First Federal Savings & Loan of Orlando (The First). 

Both were local firms with local leaders born and raised in Orlando.

Hughes Supply built their building in Parramore just a couple of blocks away from their original offices and warehouse on W. Central, in no small part at the behest of local folks David “Bumpy” Hughes had gone to school with and who were probably all members of the University Club, the Country Club of Orlando or both.

CNL is another local firm that has come along since, but while their CEO was certainly an active part of the community, I don’t think he was originally from here.

The other buildings downtown mostly came about due to developers who sought to find tenants to fill their projects.

Office towers have been declining across the country for years (even The NY Times has noticed the trend in Manhattan, for heaven’s sake) as back office functions have moved to remote locations where costs are lower.

There are certainly exceptions - the clustering function so central to urban economics is more crucial than ever. It’s why so many bankers and financial firms are gravitating to Charlotte.

Orlando’s major industries, our “three legged stool”, are tourism, tech and growth.

The first two have never been downtown and never will be. The third, growth, is supported by all the architects, planners, attorneys, accountants, etc. who support the building trades and who like to be near the government functions that have to approve much of what they do. That’s how downtown continues to grow. (The two main hospitals are located just out of the core and, as our population grows and ages will provide lots of well- trained folks who will support the arts facilities downtown and will find it convenient to live downtown in many cases).

Downtown Orlando is what it is for a reason. That we’ve been as successful as we have been is testament to a lot of hard work by a lot of folks. I think we should be amazed we’ve done as much as we have given what we had to work with.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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3 hours ago, prahaboheme said:

I’m not saying one way or the other about how building heights are classified . It is what it is.

Regarding the article, its point was pretty straightforward. Cities in the west are growing upward and inward. It’s quite a simple article hardly worthy of dissecting.

And I thought it was odd that the least noteworthy region, in that respect, was the one profiled.

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5 minutes ago, Dale said:

And I thought it was odd that the least noteworthy region, in that respect, was the one profiled.

A silly article that paints with a broad brush as do some of its readers, apparently.

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Beyond the article, having recently traveled to Denver, I found the infill development surrounding the Union Station / LODO neighborhood to be very impressive.  I kept thinking about how that area is about 15 years ahead of Lynx Central Station / Creative Village area, if only the latter had a unified vision like Denver did when it set out to redevelop LODO.

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A word about posting things that pertain to Tampa: unlike SSC, Urban Planet doesn’t have an active Tampa room. As a result, it seems like a good thing to note goings on in an even larger MSA that’s only 80 or so miles away.

For the last couple of decades, Orlando’s and Tampa’s growth have been similar (even though we’re pulling ahead- yay us!). We’re also facing many of the same issues and have to work with the same urban-resistant state government.

And, if we’re fated to become “Orlampa”, we probably need to know what they’re up to.

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5 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

Is Jeff Vinik taking control of the Tampa Bay area’s institutions? Some of Tampa’s mayoral candidates think so:

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/straz-calls-for-investigation-of-tampa-bay-lightning-owner-jeff-viniks-influence-in-tampa-20190211/

From the St Pete Times 

Let’s hope this Straz character doesn’t get elected mayor, for the sake of Tampa (which seems to be turning the corner).

Calling for investigations as a campaign strategy seems familiar....

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7 minutes ago, prahaboheme said:

Let’s hope this Straz character doesn’t get elected mayor, for the sake of Tampa (which seems to be turning the corner).

Calling for investigations as a campaign strategy seems familiar....

An interesting aside - he seems to be the fellow Tampa’s PAC is named for.

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5 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

A word about posting things that pertain to Tampa: unlike SSC, Urban Planet doesn’t have an active Tampa room. As a result, it seems like a good thing to note goings on in an even larger MSA that’s only 80 or so miles away.

For the last couple of decades, Orlando’s and Tampa’s growth have been similar (even though we’re pulling ahead- yay us!). We’re also facing many of the same issues and have to work with the same urban-resistant state government.

And, if we’re fated to become “Orlampa”, we probably need to know what they’re up to.

I think this idea is a little overstated and wishful thinking. Orlampa won’t happen in our lifetimes, if ever. The two cities are too distinct, too individually-important, and too far from each other. Even if Lakeland and Polk get built up, I still do not believe Tampa and Orlando become part of the same metropolitan area. They might as well be in two different worlds — geographically, economically, and culturally, not to mention there doesn’t seem to be much secular overlap or connectivity between the two. I don’t even see a CSA occurring between the two, though it’s probably more likely than an MSA.

I’d compare it to something like DC and Baltimore. Or maybe Austin and San Antonio. Two distinct urban areas that people have been trying to combine for what seems like decades but rightfully so to no avail.

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