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Creative Village set to start construction in 2014.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2013/03/creative-village-to-start-construction.html

 

"Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said infrastructure work will begin this year on the 68-acre redevelopment of the now-demolished Amway Arena and surrounding area — thanks to the signing of a tenant for one of the buildings. Though he declined to name the tenant, Dyer said the deal is pretty much done, but just requires the approval of a board he also declined to name."

 

This is good news. Was afraid this one was going to be put off for 2-3 years.

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WFTV Investigates possible new Creative Village tenant

Florida Virtual School has expressed a strong interest in Creative Village tenancy. The city thinks FVS would be an ideal tenant, while Mike Cantone disagrees with giving the school a spot in the Creative Village.

 

"If the virtual school does come to Creative Village, it would join smaller outpost from the University of Central Florida and a local charter school in that 1-million square-foot project."

Edited by nite owℓ
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Creative Mornings/Urban Rethink--Orlando with Craig Ustler

 

 

I came across this event at the last minute and finally got a chance to see the man behind the plan, Craig Ustler. His presentation was really informative and inspirational. He covered a lot of ground and was appealing to the Creative Class crowd that showed up to make themselves more visible to the politicians and power brokers of Orlando because there's a perception that the Creative Class doesn't exist in Orlando. All the Old Guard of Orlando can't wait to get back to the old economic engine model of homebuilding and construction now that the economy seems to be improving.

 

Another take away for me was about the importance of Sunrail no matter if anyone rides it or not. He said the important thing is the type of development that surrounds the stations because they're the walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods that the Creative Class seeks and creates the type of environment where people of all types bump into each other unlike your typical suburban office park (i.e. Maitland Center). I think this is a good talking point as a counterargument for all the politicians and public who think that every function of government should have a direct return on investment. What mass transit is doing is correcting all the bad investment made on far-flung roads and housing that created the poor land use in the first place.

 

One of the things he warned the audience about was the time involved in doing this right. He said that doing things quickly would result in another Baldwin Park where everything looks the same. You need time to have things build out organically, and his timeline was five years before the first tenants start moving in and 15 years before the grid is restored and total buildout of a mid-rise district. Any of the plans you've seen with 40-story buildings are just to have on paper, and the goal is not to create another canyon wall effect of the CBD.

 

There was a lot to be optimistic about, and it felt a little more doable than I'd thought before. If we could get a variety of architecture firms besides Baker Barrios designing the buildings, I'd be even happier.

Edited by palmtree73
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You need time to have things build out organically, and his timeline was five years before the first tenants start moving in and 15 years before the grid is restored and total buildout of a mid-rise district. Any of the plans you've seen with 40-story buildings are just to have on paper, and the goal is not to create another canyon wall effect of the CBD.

So basically we're looking at mainly 6 - 8 story builgings with maybe a couple of 10 - 12 story buildings here & there.

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That's great to hear, many people I know dont even know that there is anything historic left of that building. It would be amazing if they could restore the outside to look somewhat like it did back in the day. I also like the ideal of making into a market.

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IMHO the "Creative Village" should include a honest-to-god, degree-granting art and design school like Ringling in Sarasota or SCAD in Savannah. Not something like Full Sail or an Institute of Art affiliate, but something with a bit of prestige without the for-profit price tag.  Even better, find a group of professors on the bleeding edge to start an Orlando Bauhaus.  It would help Orlando rehab its image, draw a bit of avant-garde downtown, and supply a steady stream of visual artists in such working trades as graphic design and architecture.  Before you scoff at the fact I invoked the Bauhaus school, you have to remember its spirit.   Completely doable in Orlando (as long as its not another UCF satellite).   

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IMHO the "Creative Village" should include a honest-to-god, degree-granting art and design school like Ringling in Sarasota or SCAD in Savannah. Not something like Full Sail or an Institute of Art affiliate, but something with a bit of prestige without the for-profit price tag.  Even better, find a group of professors on the bleeding edge to start an Orlando Bauhaus.  It would help Orlando rehab its image, draw a bit of avant-garde downtown, and supply a steady stream of visual artists in such working trades as graphic design and architecture.  Before you scoff at the fact I invoked the Bauhaus school, you have to remember its spirit.   Completely doable in Orlando (as long as its not another UCF satellite).   

 

I agree with the concept of this completely, my only disagreement is the location. Orange Avenue's historic downtown core degrades a little more each day. Let's save it by seeing if any of the buildings are ADA-compliant enough either for use as classrooms or at least student housing for a school or schools such as you suggest. Combining the city's history with the energy of students would be a win-win for everyone. If it doesn't happen soon, we'll wake up one morning and it will all be gone just as the Jaymont Block vanished overnight. I have to imagine this would be a perfect project for Harriet Lake's sort of philanthropy.

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140 to lose jobs at Sheraton Orlando Downtown, filing states

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-sheraton-layoffs-downtown-orlando-20131224,0,113938.story

 

Assuming this is legit (and investor Nik Patel seems to be legit based on his local track record), it will be interesting to see what he does with this property. Ever since the demise of the Expo Centre, it has seemed a bit of an odd duck (maybe it should have been a Peabody :-). I guess it was designed more as a complement for meetings and once the meeting space went away, its reason for being sort of evaporated. Stay tuned.

Edited by spenser1058
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140 to lose jobs at Sheraton Orlando Downtown, filing states

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-sheraton-layoffs-downtown-orlando-20131224,0,113938.story

 

Assuming this is legit (and investor Nik Patel seems to be legit based on his local track record), it will be interesting to see what he does with this property. Ever since the demise of the Expo Centre, it has seemed a bit of an odd duck (maybe it should have been a Peabody :-). I guess it was designed more as a complement for meetings and once the meeting space went away, its reason for being sort of evaporated. Stay tuned.

 

The building originally opened in 1986 as an Omni International Hotel. I was one of the original employees & was there on opening day. They were still working on it during the week long orientation. The original idea was to provide a hotel for the old Expo Center as well as for performers & visiting NBA teams at the arena that, even though it was not approved yet, they felt confident would be.

 

They told us that the building was designed so that more floors could be added to it in the future.

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Take a look at the encore progress - they laid it all out before anything went vertical and it's not as if both started on the same day and they have a village while we have a dirt pile. Dyer may downplay it but he and Ustler have enough skin in the game to be wanting it to happen more than any of us cheerleaders. This is a legacy piece for both of them.

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here's some ideas:

 

1. Why doesn't they lure a branch of the Culinary Institute of America to the Creative Village?  One thing that Orlando needs is a vibrant independent food culture, and a training academy like this could help draw talent to the area that will become entrepreneurs, who open the kinds of restaurants that make cities exciting places to live. CIA usually runs a training restaurant, which provides Michelin star-worthy meals for a steal.

2.  UCF could do more than an "emerging media" school downtown.  There are several graduate programs (specifically in the fields of art and design) that could be relocated downtown.  It could help create a student population that is crucial to dynamic cities.

3.  How about convincing the local tourism/entertainment companies to relocate some of their administrative and design functions to the "Creative Village"?  Why does Walt Disney World Imagineering have to be based on WDW property? I know enough people who worked for them (and the old Disney Animation Studios) to tell you they would've been happy to work downtown.

4.  Why not some temporary "cargotecture" on the site to demonstrate the site's promise, housing small retail outlets?  Maybe even a few mock buildings, similar to the scaffolding structures imitating buildings around the old Leipziger Platz in Berlin (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Leipziger_Platz_Berlin_-_von_oben.jpg).  It fills in the cityspace nicely, and provides a vision for whats to come.

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