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Another downtown-adjacent neighborhood, but one that doesn’t get a lot of attention, is Holden Heights. Essentially, it lies south of Parramore and west of SoDo.

In the Jim Crow era, Holden Heights was the neighborhood for working-class white residents. Because it was mostly white, it did not have the industrial intrusion Parramore endured. As a result, it’s mostly residential with sagging retail along South OBT.

Because the white residents of Holden Heights were not subject to the same restrictions of where they might live prior to passage of fair housing laws in the ‘60’s, the population of the area began to decline as affordable neighborhoods like Pine Hills, Azalea Park and Sky Lake were built.

Today, it’s an area that is quite diverse and should be ripe for the same sort of restoration we saw in Thornton Park and would like to see in Parramore.

While the Dyer administration has plans, just as in Parramore, to assist with housing, there has never been a concerted effort to make what’s available known and to jumpstart the process and simply to recruit the type of urban pioneers that could assist in making the area grow and prosper again.

Certainly, when neighborhoods like Pine Hills were first built, there was aggressive advertising and realtors to help first-time homeowners navigate the process.

Because qualifications for today’s programs aren’t as readily available as VA and FHA loans were for new construction back in the ‘50’s and the ‘60’s, the folks Under the Dome would have to make it a priority to get things moving.

However, like downtown retail, that just hasn’t happened. The concept instead just to wait until on of the favored corporate interests proposes some massive complex that will solve the problem and relieve City Hall of any need to do the work. Of course, developers have precious little interest in affordable housing these days and, even if they did, such developments rarely inspire the residents to put down roots that reestablish the community in the long run.

That’s something else we’ll be looking to see once we move forward with elected leaders who share our priorities.

 

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I prefer the Crayolas district.

meaning "your" priorities.

Isn't Holden Heights also part of the county and not the City?  That's a whole other thing.  I seem to feel like if its in the County, its a lot more wild west when it comes to development.  The Count

Isn't Holden Heights also part of the county and not the City?  That's a whole other thing.  I seem to feel like if its in the County, its a lot more wild west when it comes to development.  The County isn't going to do anything for you.  Just look at the houses immediately surrounding the Hourglass District in the County vs the City.   There's a noticeable difference in style and upkeep.  I'd imagine the same will be said for Paramore vs. Holden Heights in a number of years. 

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8 minutes ago, codypet said:

Isn't Holden Heights also part of the county and not the City?  That's a whole other thing.  I seem to feel like if its in the County, its a lot more wild west when it comes to development.  The County isn't going to do anything for you.  Just look at the houses immediately surrounding the Hourglass District in the County vs the City.   There's a noticeable difference in style and upkeep.  I'd imagine the same will be said for Paramore vs. Holden Heights in a number of years. 

Good point. There are parts in both the city and county (it is one of the worst divided parts of town) and that has caused its own issues over the years. 

To their credit, their have been a few joint projects over the years that have helped, but the turf battles are still fairly easy to see as you go through the area.

Interestingly, in some parts of the neighborhood, OC has done a better job than the city (we’re also seeing more evidence of that in environmental issues lately, but that’s a different issue - suffice it to say, with new administrations coming in to the county, it’s more difficult to let bad practices slide than it is over 17 years).

Edited by spenser1058
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3 hours ago, codypet said:

Isn't Holden Heights also part of the county and not the City?  That's a whole other thing.  I seem to feel like if its in the County, its a lot more wild west when it comes to development.  The County isn't going to do anything for you.  Just look at the houses immediately surrounding the Hourglass District in the County vs the City.   There's a noticeable difference in style and upkeep.  I'd imagine the same will be said for Paramore vs. Holden Heights in a number of years. 

Yes. The part that is in the City is included in the Parramore Comprehensive Plan, along with Lake Dot and Callahan. You may have heard there is no plan for the area, but there actually is. I would argue it is too much plan, but nonetheless there is a plan. In fact, the most recent portion came out in May- yes, it really is nearly 200 pages. https://www.orlando.gov/files/sharedassets/public/documents/city-and-district-plans/posted_hcd_final-draft_may-13_2020_commissioner-distribution_.pdf

If you dig planning, have a truly keen interest in the neighborhood or if you're into real estate there really is a lot of interesting stuff in here. If that doesn't describe you, this may not be your thing.  https://www.orlando.gov/Our-Government/Records-and-Documents/Plans-Studies/Parramore-Comprehensive-Plan

As spenser said it would be great to see the two governments work on this together, but the County is very much behind on any concept development from what I can see.

Edited by AmIReal
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It’s hard to think that Holden Heights is in the same universe as Parramore outside of maybe a tiny 1-street subdivision (Lake Arnold?) off the west end of Pineloch.

The majority of it is accessed by Drennan and Holden and to that end makes it South of SoDo more than west of it.   SoDo is already sprawling south largely thanks to BlueRock and If it wasn’t for the train tracks and some cul de sacs it won’t be much different than Wadeview or Delaney down the road.


Its also not very diverse at all but will change as the longtime homeowners pass away and property changes hands.   The school zone doesn’t help (Lake Pineloch Elem).  Largely it’s still old white and redneck who just love their lake and minding their own business.

I’m very confused by the original post.

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1 hour ago, Jernigan said:

It’s hard to think that Holden Heights is in the same universe as Parramore

Ok, don't shoot as I'm just passing along what I see. But looking at the maps provided by the Parramore Comp Plan it looks like the City counts the area South of Gore to Kaley, but only as far west as OBT as Holden Heights. That makes no sense since Holden Heights has an official designation in the county beginning at Michigan, east of I4.

There doesn't seem to be a name for south of Kaley to Michigan while west of I4, unless someone here wants to stake a flag and name it...?

1 hour ago, Jernigan said:

I’m very confused by the original post.

Me too, but I'm even more confused by the maps and what I posted above.

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  • 1 year later...

I couldn't find an "OBT" page, but this article mentioned Holden a few times.

This is a Growthspotter article highlighting plans for OBT, from Downtown west (SR 50) over 8.3 miles to Sand Lake Rd.   

https://www.growthspotter.com/news/retail-dining-developments/gs-news-obtnext-orange-blosssom-trail-master-plan-cra-20210901-inopj23ytnhatc6kreiocjdsry-story.html

This links to GAI's study and reveal. 

https://gaiconsultants.com/project/obt-next/

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