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KJW

Was there ever any uncertainty in the early days of Orlando?

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Hello all, I'm a visitor from the Urban Planet Northwest Arkansas forum who would like to ask a question to those who can remember the earlier days of Orlando - I've asked the same thing to Las Vegas residents in the UP Nevada forum.

I've one question - in the earlier days of Orlando, when it was truly becoming a boom town, did you ever see what seemed like a flurry of people (usually local, or local investment groups) with big ideas who may or may not have started to build something, only to see the project either get delayed or fall through?

Here in Northwest Arkansas we have indeed seen a metro area of nearly 500,000 spring up virtually in the last 6-10 years due to the presence of Wal-Mart here as well as some other corporate headquarters. Obviously we have far fewer attractions here than either your city or Orlando, though we're located in a very beautiful area of America known as the Ozark Mountains.

Nonetheless, we're getting some special amenities of our own such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (financed by the Walton family, so it's going through on schedule), plus a new baseball stadium which will house a AA farm team of the Kansas City Royals starting play next year. However, this year we've had some big ideas fall through or stall - a planned privately financed basketball arena that's been scrapped although the planners say they'll build elsewhere in the metro, 20 story condominiums on a nearby lake whose construction has stalled, more than 1 hotel or condominium complex that has either been scrapped or stalled, etc.

Now, our economy will always be cyclical and difficulties in financing experienced this year may give way to easier credit sooner than we think. Again, I also understand that the economies of Orlando / Las Vegas and northwest Arkansas are based on different industries.

However, did you see people with big ideas come and go without doing much in your city's earlier days? It's been a bit of a downer for us in NWA but I'm guessing that it happens everywhere - perhaps I'm mistaken. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

(BTW, in the late 90s I commuted frequently to Orlando from Atlanta as our company's main operations were in Maitland - I love your town and central Florida. Church Street Station was wonderful, plus there was this Cuban restaurant in Altamonte Springs I always enjoyed visiting.)

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Hello all, I'm a visitor from the Urban Planet Northwest Arkansas forum who would like to ask a question to those who can remember the earlier days of Orlando - I've asked the same thing to Las Vegas residents in the UP Nevada forum.

I've one question - in the earlier days of Orlando, when it was truly becoming a boom town, did you ever see what seemed like a flurry of people (usually local, or local investment groups) with big ideas who may or may not have started to build something, only to see the project either get delayed or fall through?

Here in Northwest Arkansas we have indeed seen a metro area of nearly 500,000 spring up virtually in the last 6-10 years due to the presence of Wal-Mart here as well as some other corporate headquarters. Obviously we have far fewer attractions here than either your city or Orlando, though we're located in a very beautiful area of America known as the Ozark Mountains.

Nonetheless, we're getting some special amenities of our own such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (financed by the Walton family, so it's going through on schedule), plus a new baseball stadium which will house a AA farm team of the Kansas City Royals starting play next year. However, this year we've had some big ideas fall through or stall - a planned privately financed basketball arena that's been scrapped although the planners say they'll build elsewhere in the metro, 20 story condominiums on a nearby lake whose construction has stalled, more than 1 hotel or condominium complex that has either been scrapped or stalled, etc.

Now, our economy will always be cyclical and difficulties in financing experienced this year may give way to easier credit sooner than we think. Again, I also understand that the economies of Orlando / Las Vegas and northwest Arkansas are based on different industries.

However, did you see people with big ideas come and go without doing much in your city's earlier days? It's been a bit of a downer for us in NWA but I'm guessing that it happens everywhere - perhaps I'm mistaken. Thanks in advance to anyone who replies.

(BTW, in the late 90s I commuted frequently to Orlando from Atlanta as our company's main operations were in Maitland - I love your town and central Florida. Church Street Station was wonderful, plus there was this Cuban restaurant in Altamonte Springs I always enjoyed visiting.)

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Whoops! Replied without response...

Anyways, I enjoyed your post Mestrowester. A trip down memory lane for me. I grew up in Union Park and remember the suicidal drive over the East West at Chickasaw. Fun times, especially right after I got my driver's license (by "fun" I mean "terrifying"!). I wanted to add visuals to the rest of your post:

Shopping area in Orlando Fasion Square's parking lot, that's Burdines in the background:

SAVE0017.jpg

An example of a (almost) twin buildings not built:

SAVE0021.jpg

Project Debra which was suppose to be the Agriplex:

SAVE0019.jpg

SAVE0018-1.jpg

SAVE0016.jpg

And the Orlando Galleria:

SAVE0020.jpg

My favorite planned but never build, downtown next to Ivanhoe:

SAVE0010.jpg

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Whoops! Replied without response...

Anyways, I enjoyed your post Mestrowester. A trip down memory lane for me. I grew up in Union Park and remember the suicidal drive over the East West at Chickasaw. Fun times, especially right after I got my driver's license (by "fun" I mean "terrifying"!). I wanted to add visuals to the rest of your post:

Shopping area in Orlando Fasion Square's parking lot, that's Burdines in the background:

SAVE0017.jpg

An example of a (almost) twin buildings not built:

SAVE0021.jpg

Project Debra which was suppose to be the Agriplex:

SAVE0019.jpg

WOW EQ74!! Very impressive. I was actually going to mention "THE TRIAD"< I think it was called on Lake Ivanhoe and here you are with an actual photo of the place! Did you get the photos from Orlando-land magazine or the Sentinel? I used to have an issue of Orlando-land magazine that hadan article and pictures of people mrs, etc. called "Orlando in the 80's " and said "mother takes the moving sidewalk to pick up the evening's fresh meats and vegestables for dinner.

SAVE0018-1.jpg

SAVE0016.jpg

And the Orlando Galleria:

SAVE0020.jpg

My favorite planned but never build, downtown next to Ivanhoe:

SAVE0010.jpg

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I did get the pyramid picture from an Orlando Magazine that I bought the month it was published, January 1982. It was in an article called, "Humanizing Space-Age Living". Budget Rent-A-Car thought the design was to daring (yawn on them).

I think I also have that "mother/moving sidewalk" article somewhere. It was like "...c'mon!", we all wanted Orlando to become a modern city...but becoming like "The Jetsons"? I don't so.

In looking that up I found this clearer pic of the Agriplex model:

SAVE0022.jpg

I also found this "future" view of downtown from the Sentinel looking North to South:

SAVE0024.jpg

SAVE0023.jpg

I find it interesting it shows: a twin for the Southeast Bank building (Capital Plaza), what appears to be residential in the Sanctuary area, and a cluster around the CNA (whatever it's called now) tower. Also, is that highrises in the ORMC area? Sometimes future views come true...

PS: I also found this color picture of the pyramid I forgot I had. God my closets are pack with a lot of crap!

SAVE0025.jpg

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haha i used to work for a company that planned to be on the 4th floor of that glass pyramid building . . . so much that it actually named itself after the building. and to this day people are always asking why the company is named what it is. so that building is a legend in more ways than one!

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that is one of the most important city blocks in downtown orlando that has some kind of curse. the building in front is the city bus station (which will also be part of the commuter rail system). That building has been completed. The buildings in the back were a proposal of pizzuti (hope i got the spelling) that was eventually derailed. the building with the cube was supposed to be the new tallest in orlando.

that proposal actually turned me on to planning and development. i remember the first time i saw it....the orlando sentinel posted its picture in the paper. subsequently, the next proposal on this site, 400 n orange was what led me to UP back in november of 05. wow, 2 years since the first renderings were released by good ol' PBLT.

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snip...

I think I also have that "mother/moving sidewalk" article somewhere. It was like "...c'mon!", we all wanted Orlando to become a modern city...but becoming like "The Jetsons"? I don't so.

snip...

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The OCCC website still refers to the "awe-inspiring 1,500-foot open-air bridge with moving sidewalks connecting the two buildings." If there is anyplace that needs moving sidewalks, its the OCCC. I wonder if they are ever going to put those in.

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