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That along with the vertical stripes...

Hey everyone, I'm a near-daily reader of these boards but have posted maybe once in the last 8+ years. I appreciate everyone's passion and insight. I wanted to introduce myself because yesterday

I am not altogether mad with the blue color from the front side.  The garage is a different story.   

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Walking home tonight and look whats open.

4306d224.jpg

Downtown isn't perfect, but...I was there Thursday night with the 15K+ runners and walkers for the Corporate 5K. Great energy, even greater crowds. I was disappointed I couldn't get to the Plaza Theater that night for their Movies Out Loud screening of "Can't Stop the Music."

The next night, the Tea Party crowd were bellowing about something or other over at the Disney ampitheatre. Just up the street, thousands of Lady Gaga's Little Monters were parading down Church Street. What a combo!

When we shake off this recession, downtown is poised to be huge.

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I dined at The Rusty Spoon on opening night. Went for the full experience, appetizers + entrée + dessert + drinks. I had:

Appetizer - Onion Rings - Not your typical onion rings. Very unique, way less greasy than most, and overall very good.

Appetizer - Some kind of Potato Thing - This was brought to our table as a free sample. It was a little potato filled breaded deal served with a sauce. Very good.

Entrée - Pork Chop - Perfectly cooked, great flavor. Was served on a bed of grits and rocked my world.

Dessert - Glazed Donuts - These are little glazed mini donuts, cooked fresh. They were warm, great tasting and they didn't overdo the glaze.

Drinks - They have a decent selection of beers (I didn't look at the wine selection). I was really happy with this. They had the standards, but they also had some IPAs on the menu. I was able to try something I had never tried before.

Best bit: Dinner for two with all of the above with 6 alcoholic beverages was just around $100. Very reasonable.

The only thing I will say is that it appears they're just going for a soft opening right now. There was no outside seating despite a large patio area, and the walls were barren -- no art, no digital displays, nothing. The bar doesn't even have television screens. Perhaps they're planning for more and they just wanted to start making money, which I do consider wise.

Their food certainly earns my continued business. Very satisfied!

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  • 1 month later...

Moved into a new unit in 55 West. I'm now north-facing on the 27th floor. 28th and above are not yet built-out.

During the leasing process I inquired about the occupancy rate. I was told they're nearing 90% and should be there by the end of June.

Took a picture of my new view:

5763345099_2dce9ffcd7_b.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Moved into a new unit in 55 West. I'm now north-facing on the 27th floor. 28th and above are not yet built-out.

During the leasing process I inquired about the occupancy rate. I was told they're nearing 90% and should be there by the end of June.

Took a picture of my new view:

5763345099_2dce9ffcd7_b.jpg

Just a discussion thought...

Since 55 west is near or is already 90% occupancy, do you think developers will eye downtown for another condo high rise or possibly revive a proposed one? Not to sure of other occupancy rates, such as Solaire, The Sanctuary, Vue etc.

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Just a discussion thought...

Since 55 west is near or is already 90% occupancy, do you think developers will eye downtown for another condo high rise or possibly revive a proposed one? Not to sure of other occupancy rates, such as Solaire, The Sanctuary, Vue etc.

55 West is 90% occupied of the developed floors, however there are still more floors they can finish and open for leasing...if I am understanding what he said correctly.

The Paramount is 97% occupied and that goes for the entire building which is 306 units total.

However, the reason is that renting at these buildings is far, far cheaper than buying from a monthly payment perspective. The demand to live downtown is there, but it is just not affordable for many people to buy a condo when you factor in the insane HOA fees at these buildings. The Paramount units were very expensive when they went on sale, and they are renting them out for way, way less than it would be for the mortgage + taxes + HOA on a given unit.

101 Eola and The Sanctuary both have only a few units for sale, but I have heard that the banks are not putting all the bank-owned units all up for sale at the same time to make demand appear greater than it is.

My guess is we will not see any more condos go up.

Edited by Pete C
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55 West is 90% occupied of the developed floors, however there are still more floors they can finish and open for leasing...if I am understanding what he said correctly.

The Paramount is 97% occupied and that goes for the entire building which is 306 units total.

However, the reason is that renting at these buildings is far, far cheaper than buying from a monthly payment perspective. The demand to live downtown is there, but it is just not affordable for many people to buy a condo when you factor in the insane HOA fees at these buildings. The Paramount units were very expensive when they went on sale, and they are renting them out for way, way less than it would be for the mortgage + taxes + HOA on a given unit.

101 Eola and The Sanctuary both have only a few units for sale, but I have heard that the banks are not putting all the bank-owned units all up for sale at the same time to make demand appear greater than it is.

My guess is we will not see any more condos go up.

Wow, I didn't know that 55 West still had shell floors left, well that changes my perspective.

You're correct about renting is a whole lot cheaper and in demand for it is a renter's market. I have seen many couples starting to rent because the banks would advise them to rent to build their credit even higher before they even thought about giving out a loan.

One project I would love to see revived would be Tradition Towers I read somewhere (not recently) that they wanted to just make it a luxury hotel instead of a mix of condo/hotel.

tower_popup.jpg.

Maybe it is just one my wild projects, but I can see hotels coming to downtown Orlando. With the Sunrail done with Disney's connection, they can advertise "Only 20 mins from Disney by train" and offering a slightly cheaper price or just to attract people not interested in just Disney hotels.

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Wow, I didn't know that 55 West still had shell floors left, well that changes my perspective.

You're correct about renting is a whole lot cheaper and in demand for it is a renter's market. I have seen many couples starting to rent because the banks would advise them to rent to build their credit even higher before they even thought about giving out a loan.

One project I would love to see revived would be Tradition Towers I read somewhere (not recently) that they wanted to just make it a luxury hotel instead of a mix of condo/hotel.

tower_popup.jpg.

Maybe it is just one my wild projects, but I can see hotels coming to downtown Orlando. With the Sunrail done with Disney's connection, they can advertise "Only 20 mins from Disney by train" and offering a slightly cheaper price or just to attract people not interested in just Disney hotels.

Tradition Towers is my absolute most crushing disappointment of projects that didn't make it. I loved the tower and thought it would be a signature building for the skyline that people would identify Orlando by.

Pretty sure that the developer (Broad Street) doesn't even exist any more. Wasn't there a tragic end to the person driving this project? I remember at moments this one was rumored to be breaking ground any day. So sad....

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I'm with you guys...that project looked awesome, and it was also the building I was looking forward to the most. I keep dreaming that we will read a headline one day that it is being revived.

The one tower I could see resurrected in this market would be The Montage, since it was going to be built as apartments from the start rather than condos. It was to be an art-deco styled luxury tower located right behind the Paramount. The sign is still sitting there on that plot of land, however there is no sign of any sort of activity or news of it coming back. The other empty plot just to the south of that was going to be phase 2 and 3.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2008-10-13/business/real13_1_montage-downtown-orlando-lake-eola

Edited by Pete C
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FYI 55 West is near 90% occupied with all but 3 floors built-out.

29, 30 are shells -- these are the "deluxe suites" ... larger units than the normal floor plans (which is like 18 units per floor)

31 is the two-level pent house -- it is also a shell.

So, 90% occupancy is pretty significant at this point.

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FYI 55 West is near 90% occupied with all but 3 floors built-out.

29, 30 are shells -- these are the "deluxe suites" ... larger units than the normal floor plans (which is like 18 units per floor)

31 is the two-level pent house -- it is also a shell.

So, 90% occupancy is pretty significant at this point.

Thanks for the info castor!

I guess the next tall high rises I see going downtown would be hotels, particularly around the new DPAC. Although with the location we won't see any very large buildings due to the executive airport's cone of descent being within that area. I think we should see at least a proposed new high rise by mid to end of next year.

Edited by XpressEnterprise
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I would be happy to see another Thornton Park Central type infill project in the central business district. After 10-15 years, this is still arguably the most successful development in and around downtown Orlando, and I think it exemplifies the Orlando "mood" almost perfectly.

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Wow, I didn't know that 55 West still had shell floors left, well that changes my perspective.

You're correct about renting is a whole lot cheaper and in demand for it is a renter's market. I have seen many couples starting to rent because the banks would advise them to rent to build their credit even higher before they even thought about giving out a loan.

One project I would love to see revived would be Tradition Towers I read somewhere (not recently) that they wanted to just make it a luxury hotel instead of a mix of condo/hotel.

tower_popup.jpg.

Maybe it is just one my wild projects, but I can see hotels coming to downtown Orlando. With the Sunrail done with Disney's connection, they can advertise "Only 20 mins from Disney by train" and offering a slightly cheaper price or just to attract people not interested in just Disney hotels.

If this did come back as a hotel, I think the much of the base of the building could be re-imagined as conference/convention space. I think there is a huge gap in midsize (and large) expo space in Downtown. A couple of projects on this scale could really help fill that need.

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  • 9 months later...

There is - surprise - another bar being built out in 55 West, the suite above where Heat was. I think that Baby Grands suffered from not being able to bring people up to the 2nd floor off the street, and I would expect the same of this new place... I REALLY wish Retail would show interest here.

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There is - surprise - another bar being built out in 55 West, the suite above where Heat was. I think that Baby Grands suffered from not being able to bring people up to the 2nd floor off the street, and I would expect the same of this new place... I REALLY wish Retail would show interest here.

2nd Floor retail works best in enclosed environments like malls, but horrible in street level retail like 55 West. Businesses that do succeedl on 2nd Floor locations are spas, hair salons, nail salons, eye brow threading, professional offices, yoga/dance/martial arts studios, basically any business that's dependent upon appointments rather than walk-in traffic. Rents may be lower, but the tenants will last longer. 55 West should bring that up with their brokerage firm.

Edited by mrh3
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Don't know if this has been mentioned here yet ... but they have started final build out on the remaining floors at the top of 55 West.

They offered residents on the 28th floor an opportunity to abandon their lease in light of the insane construction noise. Many did. I don't know if anyone is still up there. It is insanely loud on the 27th floor. Around 9AM the building shakes so much my ceiling fan sways above my bed. This coinciding with a increase in my rent (up to $1860/month for a 1000 sqft 1br on the 27th) and it's a little frustrating. I plan to fight back on the rent increase as I haven't signed a new lease yet.

On the bright side, death by ceiling fan has been a motivating factor to get out of bed in the morning.

I'm trying to get my hands on floor plans.

Edited by castorvx
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  • 1 month later...

Well, I re-signed my lease in 55W. So begins the third year of living here. The neighbors are terrible and I can't wait for the demand to be high enough to evict and deny the children who like vomiting in hallways and fighting in the lobby ... but overall the location can't be beaten and the floor plans are acceptable. The top floors are being built out; I tried to get copies of the floor plans but no one had them.

Urban Flats is open on the first floor and I ate dinner there last night. The service was so-so but it was a "soft opening" ... I like having them in the building. I think they will do well. Rusty Spoon is busy always and the 7/11 isn't going anywhere.

I think 55 West is poised to become a great place to live. Get rid of the rabble, fill in the retail, open the SunRail station and Mad Cow Theater ... and we might have a little pocket of awesomeness in the CBD core.

Now if we could just get some damn retail.

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