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I firmly believe that the type of retail we will witness over the next decade will be business and commuter based -- chain retail will not come along for quite some time. The reason I believe Publix to be such a success is that it proves that locals are coming downtown, locals are living downtown, and it is sustainable. I personally welcome the influx of bars and nightlife to downtown Orlando, for the reasons mentioned above by bic. There are few unique urban environments in Florida, this is one of them.

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Lots of permitting this month including applying for the 1st floor interior demo.  

Yes - employees that park in that lot have been advised that the lot will be gone in the coming weeks 

I've long thought the Creative Village was more PR to get the new arena built than anything else when no one wanted to hand a penny to Rich DeVos. Grand urban projects of that sort rarely amount to an

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I do not expect to see good and services return to Downtown Orlando for a very, very long time.

Goods maybe, but Services?

A quick sampling on Central Ave and Thornton Park (and there may have been changes since the last time I paid attention there)....not including restaurants:

Closed: Obsession Botique, the clothing store next to Tijuana Flats, Urban Think

Still Open: Best cleaners, UPS store, Altamoda, Kennedy's

Services are great because you have to go to them (nixes internet shopping) - and if they provide a better service than the competition - then people will make their plans around a trip there.

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Who ever owns the retail space at Church Street to be honest. I do recall last year's NY Deal Making conference having some representatives from Downtown Brooklyn, but I didn't see that many municipal organizations. I have a meeting there in a few weeks. I can present the idea to membership that they reach out to them. It couldn't hurt.

Edited by mrh3
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Dueling pianos return to Church Street

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If the new Baby Grands Dueling Piano Bar is any indication, Church Street businesses are definitely getting overflow from the new Amway Center.

That or folks really missed having a piano bar to go to on Church Street in downtown Orlando. I think it's a little of both.

Those of you who came to Orlando after 2003 might not know thatHowl At The Moon, the popular International Drive piano bar, was originally at Church Street Market where 55 West now stands. The bar was an extremely popular downtown spot in the '90s, with lines wrapping out the door on most nights.

Howl closed in 2003 when the plans for 55 West were first introduced, and Church Street has been pianoless until a couple of months ago.

Read more about Dueling pianos return to Church Street here >>

Edited by DeepEyez
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I follow Stardust Coffee on twitter and they posted that Pine 22 (Burger place at Solaire) will now be competing with Hamburger Mary's new neighbor, FIVE GUYS.

So depending on how literal they used the word, neighbor, there may be a Five Guys opening up on Church St.

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I follow Stardust Coffee on twitter and they posted that Pine 22 (Burger place at Solaire) will now be competing with Hamburger Mary's new neighbor, FIVE GUYS.

So depending on how literal they used the word, neighbor, there may be a Five Guys opening up on Church St.

Ha! I just posted this on twitter as well. See my post in the 55 West thread.

The tweet:

Pancheros and Braxis went out of business in downtown Orlando. Five Guys is taking their spot. Woo! http://yfrog.com/gzc75elj

— John Hargrove (@JohnHargrove)

February 7, 2011
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Church Street lands another restaurant / bar -- this time across from Amway Center:

Thanks for the update. Not sure how they can say it's like nothing Orlando has seen though, considering there's Orlando Brewing by the Amtrak station and World of Beer just opened on University (among other places). But it's a nice option fore pre/post-games and pre-going out. I would definitely try it.

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Church Street lands another restaurant / bar -- this time across from Amway Center:

I've seen the signs for this and was always wondering what it was. Great for downtown! Though World of Beer has opened 3+ locations, there really isn't much like it downtown - yet. The old Beacon location is going to be similar (not downtown but close). They will have 48 beers on tap and it will be some sort of a sports oriented brick oven pizza restaurant/bar/. They are doing work on it now.

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Celebration Town Tavern also has something like 99 beers (a significant amount of which are on tap).

This is good news for downtown though, and this location is killer for Amway games. I wonder how it will do during non-event nights. It's the first "Church Street style" establishment to crossover the I-4 barrier.

Edited by prahaboheme
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I firmly believe that the type of retail we will witness over the next decade will be business and commuter based -- chain retail will not come along for quite some time. The reason I believe Publix to be such a success is that it proves that locals are coming downtown, locals are living downtown, and it is sustainable. I personally welcome the influx of bars and nightlife to downtown Orlando, for the reasons mentioned above by bic. There are few unique urban environments in Florida, this is one of them.

I believe most of the new bars, restaurants, galleries and bits of retail are based much more on residents of the central city area, much different than the businesses of the 90's when clientele for the bars and clubs would drive in to downtown to party from the suburbs, Tampa and Jax. There would be a much larger mix of rednecks, curiosity seekers coming clubbing based on the party reputation of downtown, college kids, etc. The clientele now has shifted to a less rowdy customer who is more sure of himself and what he wants. (Manhattan in the 70s, 80s, 90s had a large Jersey, L.I. influx on the weekends trying to get in the clubs, not being "on the list" and paying $30 covers to get in. With nearly every Manhattan neighborhood revitalized now such as Chelsea, Meat Packing District, etc now containing their own residents, there has been a shift to more local customer based businesses, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.) You get the feeling in downtown Orlando that Chillers, Antigua, and Latitudes are nearly all that's left of the "let's go downtown" thrillseekers from Winter Haven type of crowd. Even Amway Center event crowds appear to "know" there are neighborhoods and residents downtown now and don't appear to "get out of hand" and relax more and enjoy the city. The maturity and establishment is coming to pass finally and the future is really looking promising for an established downtown Orlando with all sorts of options.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Church Street hops — but only on arena-event nights:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-magic-arena-business-20110409,0,1804018.story

Even the bar folks are saying we have enough bars downtown:

"Church Street needs more family-friendly entertainment, said Mike Murray, who manages the new Heat restaurant and nightclub.

"There's enough dance clubs," he said. "Let's get some different venues."

Here's where the city needs to step up. All the downtown churches, the Orlando Public Library and the History Center are programming stuff throughout the week for kids and families; now, it's a matter of coordinating dining and other options for these folks to fill in gaps when the arena has no events and earlier in the day when the party-til-you-puke crowd isn't out. Of course, the perfect bridge for these different audiences is RETAIL, along with menus at the restaurants downtown more geared for families earlier in the day.

Downtown can serve all these markets - it just has to be coordinated correctly so businesses target their efforts to the right audience at the right time of day.

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Parking is always a deterrent. I think people would go downtown more often if businesses were able to validate/comp parking. I know of a few businesses that used to validate parking but are no longer doing so.

Also, the LYMMO service needs to expand to accomodate the residents of ALL local neighborhoods. That would be nice.

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