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prahaboheme

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In the up-coming months you can look for a complete resurfacing of the buildings on Rosaland across from the Post Office.  The faces will change to Art Deco and they will house an upscale restaurant as well as a seperate Lounge/Pool hall.  The lounge/Pool hall is being opened by the same owners at the highly successful Lodge and Room 39 bars/restaurant.  Should be completed sometime near the end of 2004.

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^ interesting. Rosalind has potential...was at the Lodge on Sat. and it was packed...reputable owners should be able to pull in a crowd.

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did you guys see the official article on Club Paris opening up in Church Street?

It will occupy the old Cheyanne Saloon space in New Years of this year, and will feature Paris Hilton on a regular basis. I can now see some promise going on with Church Street. I have a feeling that just due to name, Club Paris will be a big hit, and once the 55W and the esplanade get built, Church Street will be rolling once again.

In case u missed the article here it is:

Party girl Paris Hilton is bringing her not-so-simple life to Orlando, where she has chosen beleaguered Church Street Station to launch the first of six ultra-chic nightclubs bearing her name.

Club Paris will open on New Year's Eve in the former Orchid Garden space, next door to the one-time honky-tonk Cheyenne Saloon, said Fereidoun "Fred" Khalilian, the flamboyant downtown businessman and self-proclaimed club-hopper who will own the nightspot.

Khalilian hopes to open other Club Paris nightclubs in Las Vegas, New York City, South Beach, London and Paris.

"I wanted Orlando to be the first. I came to Orlando with nothing and made all my money here," said Khalilian, 32, who can choose between a Lamborghini, Ferrari and Mercedes when he drives to work in the morning.

So what is the hotel heiress putting into the deal?

Mostly her name, which promises to bring national attention to a club that wouldn't otherwise be noticed outside Orlando.

"Anything she touches is big," Khalilian said. "The marketing is unbelievable."

Hilton, in fact, will earn a "seven-figure" signing bonus for her trouble, Khalilian said. In return, she'll be contractually obligated to appear at the club at least twice a month. She also is scheduled to attend the opening, and the Orlando club will host the release party for her upcoming record release, he said.

It's quite a makeover for Church Street Station, known more for the Dixieland band and nickel beer of its glory days than the private jets and celebrity parties to which Hilton is accustomed.

But make no mistake, Khalilian said: Hilton is excited about her involvement. The star of Fox television's The Simple Life helped design the club's interior, which will include lots of pink. (Pink is her favorite color: "Just pink. Any pink. All pink. I love pink," she told The Washington Post in August.)

The 16,000-square-foot location, currently decorated in the gilded, faux-New Orleans style that marked the original Church Street Station, will be renovated to include state-of-the-art DJ booths, a separate martini-and-cigar lounge and a VIP section, Khalilian said.

Hilton will have her own section in an upstairs balcony area, complete with her own DJ and lots of pink couches.

If Hilton knows anything, it's nightclubs. The 23-year-old grew into a paparazzi darling solely by hopping from nightspot to nightspot in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. She has parlayed that fame into myriad entertainment ventures, including The Simple Life, entering its third season.

Her book, Confessions of an Heiress, is No. 8 on The New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list. Amazon.com is selling her jewelry line. Her perfume will be out in time for the holidays. She's the new Guess? model. And her film, National Lampoon's Pledge This! recently was shooting in Miami.

Hilton signed a contract with Khalilian on Sept. 30, a few days after she visited the Orlando site with him. She also dropped by the Dragon Room while she was in town, drawing a heavy crowd to the downtown club.

"I think the notion of Orlando being a tourist destination makes it a good location," said Peter Lopez, Hilton's entertainment attorney, who added that his client won't be a stranger to Orlando. "Obviously, if there's a club there with her name on it, she's going to have an interest in seeing that it does well."

Khalilian signed a lease with Church Street Station owner Robert Kling on Wednesday. He said he had been waiting for Kling to settle a dispute with the city about development incentives. Mayor Buddy Dyer said Monday that the city will pay the developer a $1.5 million construction loan that he had withheld for months.

"That's great," Dyer said of the nightclub plans. "That's the type of redevelopment we had hoped they might bring to Church Street."

Khalilian already operates Euro Fitness, a gym across the street from the nightclub space in the Church Street Exchange building. The gym is now in a temporary space on the first floor; once renovations are completed it will occupy the entire second floor, just below boy-band guru Lou Pearlman's offices.

Turning the old Orchid Garden dance hall into Club Paris will cost about $2.6 million, he said, adding he has never run a nightclub before, but he has spent a lot of time inside them.

"You should see my credit-card statements -- I've spent $275,000 in clubs in the last year, entertaining myself and my celebrity friends," Khalilian said. "I'm into fashion, luxury and the party world."

Khalilian said he made most of his money during the dot-com boom, without being specific. He opened a gym in Lake Mary in 2001, then sold it in May for a profit of about $1.7 million, he said.

Records show he was also involved in a telemarketing firm that was slapped by the Federal Trade Commission three years ago. According to the FTC, Khalilian and three other men operated vacation telemarketing businesses that sent unsolicited faxes to consumers. The faxes offered deeply discounted travel deals that typically wound up costing much more.

Khalilian agreed to pay a $185,000 settlement, was barred from all travel-related telemarketing and was told to post a $500,000 bond if he ever wished to engage in other types of telemarketing, records show.

His newest venture represents a big change for Church Street Station, in its heyday Florida's fourth-largest tourist destination.

It was the creation of entrepreneur Bob Snow, who spent $22 million in the early 1970s to buy seven vacant buildings near an abandoned train depot. The complex was anchored by Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium, and drew visitors who had heard about its singing bartenders, cancan girls and eight-piece Dixieland band.

But the attraction began to lose its luster in the '90s. Attendance dropped as Disney's Pleasure Island -- and later Universal CityWalk and Downtown Disney -- began keeping out-of-towners close to the theme parks.

Kling bought the place in 2001, and most of the businesses -- Rosie O'Grady's included -- closed not long after. Pearlman, best known for launching boy bands Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, also bought in as a partner.

"Having a first-class nightclub with a national celebrity like her will help immensely in putting a real kick in downtown Orlando," Kling said Thursday. "It will obviously get national attention."

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Club Paris sounds like it will really be a good thing for Church Street, as long as she stays popular. With her third sex tape out on the market now :blink: , her popularity is at an all time high.

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Club Paris sounds like it will really be a good thing for Church Street, as long as she stays popular.  With her third sex tape out on the market now :blink: , her popularity is at an all time high.

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Haha, 'On the market'.. that's funny.

As for this club, I'm going to be interested in how it works out. Khalilian seems like a bit of fast talker based on the limited quotes, we'll see what happens though! (I have faith...)

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I find this article simply amazing, considering that the Sentinel hasn't endorsed a Democrat since Lynden Johnson. Does this represent Florida's shifting political views?

Kerry for president

Our position: The Bush presidency has disappointed us on almost all counts.

Posted October 24, 2004

Four years ago, the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Republican George W. Bush for president based on our trust in him to unite America. We expected him to forge bipartisan solutions to problems while keeping this nation secure and fiscally sound.

This president has utterly failed to fulfill our expectations. We turn now to his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry, with the belief that he is more likely to meet the hopes we once held for Mr. Bush.

Our choice was not dictated by partisanship. Already this election season, the Sentinel has endorsed Republican Mel Martinez for the U.S. Senate and four U.S. House Republicans. In 2002, we backed Republican Gov. Jeb Bush for re-election, repeating our endorsement of four years earlier. Indeed, it has been 40 years since the Sentinel endorsed a Democrat -- Lyndon Johnson -- for president.

But we cannot forget what we wrote in endorsing Mr. Bush in 2000: "The nation needs a leader who can bring people together, who can stand firm on principle but knows the art of compromise." Four years later, Mr. Bush presides over a bitterly divided Congress and nation. The unity following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- the president's finest hour -- is a memory now. Mr. Bush's inflexibility has deepened the divide.

Four years ago, we expressed confidence that Mr. Bush would replace the Clinton-Gore approach of frequent military intervention for one of selective involvement "using strict tests to evaluate U.S. national interests." To the president's credit, the war in Afghanistan met those tests. But today, U.S. forces also are fighting and dying in a war of choice in Iraq -- one that was launched to disarm a dictator who did not have weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea have worsened.

Before the Iraq war, Mr. Bush brushed aside dissenting views -- some within his own government -- about Saddam Hussein's weapons capabilities. And because the president failed to round up more international support, more than 80 percent of the coalition forces in Iraq are American troops, and the United States is spending $1 billion a week on the conflict.

Four years ago, we also called on Mr. Bush to pay down the nation's multitrillion-dollar debt before cutting taxes or increasing spending. Yet since then, he has pushed through massive tax cuts, and the national debt has risen from $5.8 trillion to $7.4 trillion. Discretionary spending -- not including defense and homeland security -- has risen 16 percent over three years. The president has not vetoed a single spending bill.

Mr. Bush has been unwilling to reconsider any of his tax cuts, even as the rationale for them -- a huge budget surplus -- has vanished, and the country has gone to war. Other presidents have raised taxes to pay for wars; Mr. Bush is borrowing the money, leaving the bill for future generations.

Four years ago, we called it a "disgrace" that 43 million Americans lacked health insurance. That number has risen under Mr. Bush to 45 million. Yet the plan he now touts on the campaign trail would reduce the ranks of the uninsured by less than 20 percent, and he has not offered a way to pay for it.

Mr. Bush has been a disappointment in other crucial areas. He has weakened environmental protections, pushed an energy policy that would perpetuate America's oil dependence and given up on free-market agricultural reforms that could jump-start trade talks.

Indeed, Mr. Bush has abandoned the core values we thought we shared with him -- keeping the nation strong while ensuring that its government is limited, accountable and fiscally responsible.

We trust Mr. Kerry not to make the mistakes Mr. Bush has.

Mr. Kerry's two decades of experience in the U.S. Senate have given him a solid grounding in both foreign and domestic policy. There is no disputing his liberal record representing Massachusetts, but we believe he has moved to the middle. In this campaign, he has put forth a moderate platform with fiscal discipline at its core.

Despite his differences with Mr. Bush over the wisdom of the war, Mr. Kerry recognizes the imperative of securing and stabilizing Iraq. He would intensify efforts to enlist more foreign help, and speed up training of Iraqi forces and reconstruction in the country.

Mr. Kerry would bolster national security by adding 40,000 troops to the overstretched U.S. military, and doubling its special forces. He would accelerate the program that secures nuclear material in the former Soviet Union before it can fall into the hands of terrorists.

Mr. Kerry would enhance homeland security by doing more to protect ports and other vulnerable facilities. Unlike Mr. Bush, he understands that government accountability and civil liberties must not be needlessly compromised in the name of the war on terrorism.

Mr. Kerry's health plan would extend coverage to 27 million Americans, more than three times as many as Mr. Bush's plan. Contrary to what the president has been saying on the campaign trail, Mr. Kerry's plan would be voluntary, and include private-sector options for coverage.

Also to Mr. Kerry's credit, he has pledged to strengthen environmental protections. His energy plan would do far more to promote conservation and alternative fuels.

Mr. Kerry proposes to pay for all of his plans, primarily by repealing tax cuts for Americans earning more than $200,000. He has not called for tax increases on middle-income Americans.

Mr. Kerry has committed himself to reinstating pay-as-you-go rules that helped turn deficits into surpluses during the 1990s. Such rules would force him to scale back his plans if he can't pay for them.

In sum, we believe Mr. Kerry would be a more bipartisan and effective leader than Mr. Bush. In the Nov. 2 general election, the Sentinel endorses John Kerry for president of the United States.

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hello, has anybody heard any speculation on the new Performing Arts Center. The reason I ask is that i hope it gets built over in the Centroplex because i dont want to see Fire Station 1 get relocated. It is a cool facility that was built in 1960 and is in a centrally located spot for response. Yes I am a firefighter, but i too am also interested in urban development. I think a new Performing Arts Center is important but i would hate to see the firehouse get demolished and moved. The Downtown Orlando website shows a new Public Safety Bldg planned but i dont think you will see Station 1 wind up in that (even though it shows it) A. Now you would not have a centrally located firehouse in downtown and the railroad tracks as a potential barrier for response (potential for slowing a response) and the closest firehouses east of the tracks are Station 5 @ 1818 S Orange or Station 4 @ Ferncreek and Mills. Also that would put Station 1 even closer to Station 2 @ Parramore and Central. Food for thought from a public safety standpoint. Firemick

I believe so, I got it of the development board website.

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hello, has anybody heard any speculation on the new Performing Arts Center. The reason I ask is that i hope it gets built over in the Centroplex because i dont want to see Fire Station 1 get relocated. It is a cool facility that was built in 1960 and is in a centrally located spot for response. Yes I am a firefighter, but i too am also interested in urban development. I think a new Performing Arts Center is important but i would hate to see the firehouse get demolished and moved. The Downtown Orlando website shows a new Public Safety Bldg planned but i dont think you will see Station 1 wind up in that (even though it shows it) A. Now you would not have a centrally located firehouse in downtown and the railroad tracks as a potential barrier for response (potential for slowing a response) and the closest firehouses east of the tracks are Station 5 @ 1818 S Orange or Station 4 @ Ferncreek and Mills. Also that would put Station 1 even closer to Station 2 @ Parramore and Central. Food for thought from a public safety standpoint. Firemick

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Sort of off-topic, but I am curious as to how you and the other firefighters feel about all this Orlando vs. Orange County firefighting jurisdiction and the failed annexation.

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Hello, I cant discuss it today as I am on a firehouse computer, but i will get back to you on that went i get home to my own computer tommorrow. Sorry, dont want to get in trouble. :(:(:)

Sort of off-topic, but I am curious as to how you and the other firefighters feel about all this Orlando vs. Orange County firefighting jurisdiction and the failed annexation.

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Excellent shot that show's off DT Orlando's density, which is mostly concentrated on Orange Ave. It will look fantastic once Signature Plaza gets completed.

It's real easy to see the potential Orange Ave has in becoming a Michigan Ave sort of environment (in the distant future of course). Orlando could so use a downtown, multi-level mall. I know the city is inundated with shopping, but I guarantee people would ditch the suburbs for a unique urban shopping experience. The theater should be a strong catalyst for foot traffic, along with all the new residential development. With that, I know shopping will follow. I'm a dreamer, but I can truely envision downtown Orlando as one of the most vibrant urban centers in the South. Buddy Dyer has the vision & the balls to do it... if only Orlando had more leaders with his civic pride we could move faster, but I know the city can still do it. In 10 years this will be a whole other city.

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hello, has anybody heard any speculation on the new Performing Arts Center. The reason I ask is that i hope it gets built over in the Centroplex because i dont want to see Fire Station 1 get relocated. It is a cool facility that was built in 1960 and is in a centrally located spot for response. Yes I am a firefighter, but i too am also interested in urban development. I think a new Performing Arts Center is important but i would hate to see the firehouse get demolished and moved. The Downtown Orlando website shows a new Public Safety Bldg planned but i dont think you will see Station 1 wind up in that (even though it shows it) A. Now you would not have a centrally located firehouse in downtown and the railroad tracks as a potential barrier for response (potential for slowing a response) and the closest firehouses east of the tracks are Station 5 @ 1818 S Orange or Station 4 @ Ferncreek and Mills. Also that would put Station 1 even closer to Station 2 @ Parramore and Central. Food for thought from a public safety standpoint. Firemick

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Team is organized to find funding for the PAC which currently is looking a two locations both about a block from city hall between orange and mangolia.

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Hisma, I think we share the same enthusiasm.  Things are really shaping up nicely.

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Prahaboheme and Hisma,

I'm as excited as both of you. Although not certain, I also really think downtown is going to transform itself in the next decade. My main concern is poor implementation of development and lack of political will. So far, I think Dyer has been easily the best mayor of Orlando in my lifetime, but it concerns me that he nearly lost to such a complete joke of a candidate last time. I'm really impressed with the quality of the vast majority of the proposed projects, along with how will they look like they will integrate with each other.

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the way the develpment is heading with reatils, offices, and afforable condo mixed within downtown core area, downtown orlando will probably have the most potential to become the next urban lifestyle center in Florida compared to other florida cities.

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Prahaboheme and Hisma, 

I'm as excited as both of you.  Although not certain, I also really think downtown is going to transform itself in the next decade.  My main concern is poor implementation of development and lack of political will.  So far, I think Dyer has been easily the best mayor of Orlando in my lifetime, but it concerns me that he nearly lost to such a complete joke of a candidate last time.  I'm really impressed with the quality of the vast majority of the proposed projects, along with how will they look like they will integrate with each other.

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Read this week's Orlando Weekly for an alternative view of: (1) Dyer (2) and Dyer's downtown development plans.

sobering

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I concur with sunshine. Orlando seems to have a good vision for a healthy urban center. Mayor Dyer, although some don't always like his tactics, has made things happen. Some argue against tax incentives the city provided to some initial developers, but I believe it was this wise investment that got the ball rolling and it will repay the city many times over. Many of the newer developments won't get or need those breaks because they are more attractive to clients who now see a vibrant city core coming. I believe this will only snowball because the more vibrant it becomes the more companies (and their employees) will be attracted. Orlando still has issues but is on the right track and a fast track. We need better transportation and we need to cross the barriers (I-4) and (408) that bound the urban core on the west and the south.

--

I'm not a developer or planner but I have been a keen observer of the painfully slow development of Orlando for a long time. I remember when the "CNA" (now BB&T) building was going up and thought, this was it, we're going to be big. I think it was the first building to surpase the Angebilt Hotel. If most of today's planned projects get built I think this will be about the biggest development boom I've seen. Upward growth, not outward growth.

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Read this week's Orlando Weekly for an alternative view of: (1) Dyer (2) and Dyer's downtown development plans.

sobering

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Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with dead inner cores. Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with no cultural activities. Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with no major sport francises.

Many of the most recent announced projects have not had any incentives. The city is already beginning to see return on the "investment." Orlando for a long time was going nowhere. A city, much like a company, that does not invest in its future will surely die.

If you look around the country you see thriving cities like Charlotte and Pittsburg that have risen like a pheonix because the cities took risks and made investments in their futures. Then you see cities like Camden, NJ that did not. Dead. It wasn't investment that killed Camden; but the lack of vision and investment. Newsweek rated Camden as "A great place to live if you have no other options." I know where I'd rather live.

So if Mr Kuhn, gets filthy rich, while turning our city into a place people want to live; well I can live with that much easier than living in a city where bars and tattoo parlors pass for culture.

My rough math says that investment of maybe 50 million has brougt in about 917 million of new private investment. .... so far.

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Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with dead inner cores.  Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with no cultural activities.  Corporations don't move their headquarters to cities with no major sport francises.

Many of the most recent announced projects have not had any incentives.  The city is already beginning to see return on the "investment."  Orlando for a long time was going nowhere.  A city, much like a company, that does not invest in its future will surely die.

If you look around the country you see thriving cities like Charlotte and Pittsburg that have risen like a pheonix because the cities took risks and made investments in their futures.  Then you see cities like Camden, NJ that did not.  Dead.  It wasn't investment that killed Camden; but the lack of vision and investment.  Newsweek rated Camden as "A great place to live if you have no other options."  I know where I'd rather live.

So if Mr Kuhn, gets filthy rich, while turning our city into a place people want to live; well I can live with that much easier than living in a city where bars and tattoo parlors pass for culture.

My rough math says that investment of maybe 50 million has brougt in about 917 million of new private investment. .... so far.

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That's a very fine pragmatic response.

What about principle ?

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Honestly, I don't know whether to take the Orlando Weekly article for its word or with a grain of salt. It did seem to take one particular slant on the story because it chosed terms like "cost" instead of "investment." Its all how things are worded. My mutual funds "cost" too, but if they return 12% percent then I prefer the term, "investment."

Simple fact, city wanted to jumpstart downtown development. Mr. Kuhn had the wherewithall to offer the city a chance to invest in just that.

Is it worth paying Dwight Howard or Steve Francis millions to play basketball? Yes, if it puts thousands of paying butts into "O"rena seats, 41 or more games a year. I'm sure RDV sees that as an investment.

Mr. Kuhn had a product to sell which was the jumpstart of redevelopment in Orlando. The city purchased that product. The city got what they wanted. Mr Kuhn made good on his promise.

I'm not sure what principle got violated here. City got development jumpstart (Kuhn get $). Citizens get a vibrant downtown where once was stagnation. More business opportunities are created (city gets $). More jobs are created downtown (people get $). More people live in downtown high-rises, they drive less, polluting less. Fewer trees are chopped down to make room for homes. Mr. Kuhn buys things (sellers get $). People who sell things to Mr. Kuhn buy more things (etc.).

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Honestly, I don't know whether to take the Orlando Weekly article for its word or with a grain of salt.  It did seem to take one particular slant on the story because it chosed terms like "cost" instead of "investment."  Its all how things are worded.  My mutual funds "cost" too, but if they return 12% percent then I prefer the term, "investment."

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Definitely a grain of salt, in my opinion.

Check out the spin on this statement:

"Los Angeles and Philadelphia already have football, basketball, hockey and baseball franchises, and they still beat Orlando out. Houston, too, has pro baseball, basketball and football teams."

I think everyone and their mom should know that Los Angeles does not have an NFL team. They might have an arena football team (I actually don't know), but that shouldn't matter. So does Orlando. So technically, Orlando has a pro football franchise in the Predators.

My only point in this post is that the Orlando Weekly article is being extremely nit-picky and doing all they can to downplay the city of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, and large-scale growth projects.

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