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Jernigan

E. Colonial between 436 and Primrose

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Just to NOTE: This is mostly for creative ideas unless other users have insight/knowledge of actual development plans in the works for this area (which would be great to learn!) But otherwise, it's more "hopes and dreams" then actual progress updates or specs. The board has been slow so I figured I'd go at it now.

Something that has been on my mind for a while now is the stretch of HWY 50 basically between Humphries/Lake Baldwin (where the Sweet Tomatoes/Library plaza is) and Primrose (Where the outdoor Colonialtown mall is).

We've had different discussions here including:

- The fast decaying of the Fashion Square Mall

- The abandonment of restaurants along the south side of the same stretch of road

My primary concern with the area is that it does not have much of an identity. It's not part of what is regarded loosely as "East Orlando" (east of 436) nor is it considered "Downtown" by definition of the downtown neighborhoods which end eastward at Colonialtown North and Colonialtown South. I've found that the stretch across from the outdoor mall is called "Coytown" but the rest is retail on Colonial with the airport to the south and Baldwin Park (back a bit) on the north.

The newly-opened HWY50 overpass at 436 has pretty much disconnected it from ever joining the East side of town leaving it up to Orlando to possibly absorb it as part of our Downtown.

My thought is that this stretch largely runs exactly north of the 408 bridge over Lake Underhill which has been redesigned with the idea of it being a "Portal" between Downtown and east Orlando. This same concept could be applied to HWY 50.

Some of my "magic wand" ideas would include:

- Reducing from 6 lanes to 4 between Humphries/Lake Baldwin and Rickenbacker/Bennett.

- Removing strip malls and replacing with street level retail. Option for current owners to have right of first refusal for space as some have been in the area for a very long time. If done right, no business would necessarily need to close and the process would actually improve business for some. Of course if their business doesn't "fit in" that is their choice to move to an area where they would be more profitable.

- Likely demolishing the Fashion Square Mall and adding mixed use development that would connect Baldwin Park to downtown including trail connection and a designed line for the LYMMO or streetcars to run

----Plan B "could" be to go ahead and build the mixed use AROUND the mall and using the facility itself for a central hub that could include a school, roller skating rink, police station, library, public recretation, etc for youth to have a place to go after school that would be safe and practical. While we don't tend to think of indoor recreation in a "new urbanist" vision as much as we do parks and fields, a structure like this could actually prove to make the whole new area much more desirable to live a walkable distance to.

- Removing the center of the Colonialtown outdoor mall (and by outdoor mall, I'm referring to the area with Chickfila, Old Navy, etc) to put in a central square/park which would go over where is currently just excess parking. For reference, search the net for Downtown Ocala square

- Eventual addition of a marker establishing the portal - meaning a "Welcome to Downtown Orlando" sculpture/archway that would probably be best to go at Macguire as it's fairly central on this stretch.

The vision of adding this "East Village" to our Downtown is that it would improve the vitality of existing crossroads like Macguire/Crystal Lake, Primrose and Bumby. Additionally, despite the monster overpass that was just built, if the traffic calming begins at Bennett or Humphries, I believe that it could actually spread East where the area surrounding Lake Barton (SW side of 50/436) could potentially be unbelievable.

I'd love to hear your thoughts as it's something that's been on my mind for a while now. Has anyone else been thinking about this area of town?

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Just to NOTE: This is mostly for creative ideas unless other users have insight/knowledge of actual development plans in the works for this area (which would be great to learn!) But otherwise, it's more "hopes and dreams" then actual progress updates or specs. The board has been slow so I figured I'd go at it now.

Something that has been on my mind for a while now is the stretch of HWY 50 basically between Humphries/Lake Baldwin (where the Sweet Tomatoes/Library plaza is) and Primrose (Where the outdoor Colonialtown mall is).

We've had different discussions here including:

- The fast decaying of the Fashion Square Mall

- The abandonment of restaurants along the south side of the same stretch of road

My primary concern with the area is that it does not have much of an identity. It's not part of what is regarded loosely as "East Orlando" (east of 436) nor is it considered "Downtown" by definition of the downtown neighborhoods which end eastward at Colonialtown North and Colonialtown South. I've found that the stretch across from the outdoor mall is called "Coytown" but the rest is retail on Colonial with the airport to the south and Baldwin Park (back a bit) on the north.

The newly-opened HWY50 overpass at 436 has pretty much disconnected it from ever joining the East side of town leaving it up to Orlando to possibly absorb it as part of our Downtown.

My thought is that this stretch largely runs exactly north of the 408 bridge over Lake Underhill which has been redesigned with the idea of it being a "Portal" between Downtown and east Orlando. This same concept could be applied to HWY 50.

Some of my "magic wand" ideas would include:

- Reducing from 6 lanes to 4 between Humphries/Lake Baldwin and Rickenbacker/Bennett.

- Removing strip malls and replacing with street level retail. Option for current owners to have right of first refusal for space as some have been in the area for a very long time. If done right, no business would necessarily need to close and the process would actually improve business for some. Of course if their business doesn't "fit in" that is their choice to move to an area where they would be more profitable.

- Likely demolishing the Fashion Square Mall and adding mixed use development that would connect Baldwin Park to downtown including trail connection and a designed line for the LYMMO or streetcars to run

----Plan B "could" be to go ahead and build the mixed use AROUND the mall and using the facility itself for a central hub that could include a school, roller skating rink, police station, library, public recretation, etc for youth to have a place to go after school that would be safe and practical. While we don't tend to think of indoor recreation in a "new urbanist" vision as much as we do parks and fields, a structure like this could actually prove to make the whole new area much more desirable to live a walkable distance to.

- Removing the center of the Colonialtown outdoor mall (and by outdoor mall, I'm referring to the area with Chickfila, Old Navy, etc) to put in a central square/park which would go over where is currently just excess parking. For reference, search the net for Downtown Ocala square

- Eventual addition of a marker establishing the portal - meaning a "Welcome to Downtown Orlando" sculpture/archway that would probably be best to go at Macguire as it's fairly central on this stretch.

The vision of adding this "East Village" to our Downtown is that it would improve the vitality of existing crossroads like Macguire/Crystal Lake, Primrose and Bumby. Additionally, despite the monster overpass that was just built, if the traffic calming begins at Bennett or Humphries, I believe that it could actually spread East where the area surrounding Lake Barton (SW side of 50/436) could potentially be unbelievable.

I'd love to hear your thoughts as it's something that's been on my mind for a while now. Has anyone else been thinking about this area of town?

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This is a topic that I've thought about constantly throughout my life. There was a time starting back in the 50s (before my time) where "Orlando" started at Bennet Road. Pre-Fashion Square, Colonial Plaza ruled East Colonial and the street was "the drag" for teenagers on the weekends, driving between the Steak and Shake drive in and the Pig and Whistle drive in. The Vogue theater at the corner of Colonial and Mills in the heart of Colonialtown was a big hangout for movie theater goers and the new Plaza Rocking Chair theater at the Colonial Plaza Mall quickly became popular. In the 70's as you drove east on Colonial, the road was concrete and right after the Bennett Road traffic light merge it changed to asphalt. There was definetly excitment generated by a drive down E. Colonial between Bennett and Mills, Rolling the windows down the smell of restaurants and food was always in the air and many conversations were started between cars and at traffic lights. I think the resurgence of this area needs to start with the downtown "colonnial town area. I think some La LSTYLE APARTMENT COMPLEXES THROUGHOUT THE AREA WOULD BUILD MORE OF A RESIDENTIAL BASE. tHE APRTMENTS ARE NOT HIGHRISES OR NIEHTER A COLLECTION OF 3 OR FOUR STORY BUILDING COMPLEXES. tHEY BORDER THE STREETS AND ARE USUALLYU A BLOCK LONG IN AREA AND ARE BOUT 4=6 FLOORS HIGH, WITH THE SWIMMING POOL AND RECREATION AREAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE COMPLES NOT VISIBLE FROM THE MAIN STREETS. tHE SIDEWALKS SHOULD BE HEAVILY LANDSCAPED EITHER IN TTROPICAL STYLE OR THE DOWNTWON oRLANDIO STLEYLKE OF lARGE OAKS HANGING OVER THE STEREET.. tHESE DEVELOPMENTS SHOULD MAINLY BE IN THE COLONIALTOWN AREA BETWEEN mILLS AND bUMBY. tHE CURRENT CcOLONIAL pLAZAS COULD BE A DRAW FOR PEDESTRAIN TRAFFIC. eVERYTHING NEW BUILT SHOULD BORDER cOLONIAL AT STREET LEVEL LIKE THE NEW wENDY'S AND oFFICE dEPOT. mMills Park is perfect for this area, a couple of those on East Colonial would make a major difference. The tough part is between Primrose and Baldwin Park. I think East Colonial beyond Bennett should just be written off as a commuter road, There is a gay club opening on Lake Barton on Colonial called Mister Sisters. Semoran Blvd. should be the next urban planning stage for "East Orlando." Azalea Park, Englewood Park, Monterrey used to be a major boon to Semoran, there was a time when the area was called "Restaurant Row." I heard on the new that there is a beautification project in the works for Semoran from Colonial to Curry Ford. There should be a accent on the Latiness of the area, since most of it is in the city limits it could be the city of Orlandos Calle Ocho area. Don't know what should happen with Fashion Square, maybe the department stores will survive and be kind of mixed in with an uptown Altamonte development which would join Colonialtown with Baldwin Park. Maybe at some point there should be some signage that directs people on Colonial to Baldwin Park neighborhood and straight ahead to the "Eastern Suburbs." The 436 exit could direct people to the airport, and the East Orlando neighborhood, such as Azalea Park. After 436 the rest of East 50 should be left up to the county or state to deal with. Just my thoughts on the subject.

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Was in Fashion Square Saturday. Talk about an area that is begging to be redeveloped. If this whole thing ever happens, it might be the easiest task from a political/community outreach standpoint that a developer could hope for.

Is anyone making money in that area?

Anyway - Fashion Square's problems have had a good amount of coverage in the Sentinel (Mall could probably use it's own thread on here) but I was surprised even the Chick-Fil-A was gone. If your CFA can't survive, you know you have big problems!

Also wanted to purchase a book at Waldenbooks while there (this whole trip simply started to get lunch at Panera...which is still open) but they were gone too.

I got thinking - while it would be a popular idea to tear down the mall - the building could make a magnificent public space.

In Florida, with the heat that we have, we can't just close our eyes and envision EVERYONE happily walking and bicycling around town in the summer months. If walkable communities could be developed and approach the FS Mall including taking over much of it's parking, it could house many civic services from government, post office, a bank or two, etc etc. Of course uses like YMCA, grade school or senior center are all on the table and have been successful in other areas.

The successful implementation of a real indoor townCENTER would be pretty amazing amidst all of the other "towncenters" that aren't in the center of anything at all.

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Anyway - Fashion Square's problems have had a good amount of coverage in the Sentinel (Mall could probably use it's own thread on here) but I was surprised even the Chick-Fil-A was gone. If your CFA can't survive, you know you have big problems!

I was in Orlando last week and stopped into the Florida Mall because I hadn't been there in forever and was pretty devastated to see that the Chic-Fil-A in the foodcourt was gone. Now there are at least 4 asian restaurants all hustling the same bourbon/teriyaki chicken. =/

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Now that the six laning of 50 is completed, it is very disapointing to see it looks juat as trashy as before. No landscaping and no streetlights. Looks like the West Colonial widening is much more attractive. Does anyone know if there are plans to landscape East Colonial and add street lights? I heard of a plan several months ago to beautify Semoran through Azalea Park. Anyone know anything about that progect?

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Frontage on 50 and sidestreets ends at Bumby and this mall is a huge part of that.

For kicks, I drew up a very crude drawing of my Colonial Plaza idea. This would require knocking down the fewest buildings (There is only 1 small building that I replaced with the green square...the rest was just parking!).

I had actually made a much more intense version of this somewhere, but quickly recreated this one.

Light blue would be where you could connect E-W roads like Concord at the top and Amelia on on the bottom.

Putting in a plaza allows for N/S roads to be created. All roads would allow for parallel parking and the green itself could allow it either parallel or angled in.

Red blobs (technical term) represent added frontage, potentially frontage along 50 as well, though 50 could be made to have parallel parking and a bike lane instead.

Dark blue represents further LYMMO expansion heading down 50 then S down Primrose and looping at the current LYNX Superstop.

That white thing could be a pavilion, water feature, or pretty much anything.

This idea leaned a lot on Ocala's Downtown Square (lots of photos if you do a google image search).

61879_985122235032_5101393_53098289_1088677_n.jpg

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I really like the idea of reconnecting the streets (Concord and Amelia), and I think this should be taken further by turning this entire area into TOD with the new urbanist principles applied to Baldwin Park and elsewhere. A pipedream perhaps, but relocating the Fashion Square Mall downtown, along Church Street in Parramore (I can easily see a future where Church Street/OBT cater to an urban, pedestrian retail district), or along the Orange/Gore corridor, allows the neighborhoods directly East of downtown to build up higher residential density that can ultimately support downtown businesses further (and not compete with them).

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Now that the six laning of 50 is completed, it is very disapointing to see it looks juat as trashy as before. No landscaping and no streetlights. Looks like the West Colonial widening is much more attractive. Does anyone know if there are plans to landscape East Colonial and add street lights? I heard of a plan several months ago to beautify Semoran through Azalea Park. Anyone know anything about that progect?

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Don't know if this helps but it sure can't hurt! The very popular and quite nice Mister Sisters nightclub/restaurant has opened along this stretch of Colonial, at least it's a move in the right (gay) direction. Nice bar with a beach on Lake Barton operatged by the popular and well known Brian Humphries.So this is attracting a couple thousand citybois (and gals)O to this area to a clean establishment. Start bringing in the gays as they say and neighborhoods start happening! (Better than nothing for this nasty stretch of roadway! :fun::alc:

I was in Orlando last week and stopped into the Florida Mall because I hadn't been there in forever and was pretty devastated to see that the Chic-Fil-A in the foodcourt was gone. Now there are at least 4 asian restaurants all hustling the same bourbon/teriyaki chicken. =/

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:camera:You know Orlando Fashion Square is not nearly in as bad od shape as has been reported. Still pretty full and has plenty of national retailers (I';ve seen it in worse times when the mall had quite a few asian gift shops) Mos t metros dependending on the size these days only hav e one or two "major" enclosed malls and ikf lucky there is an upscale level center of some sort. My last visit to OFS I was surprised to see nearly 80-95% occupancy besides the fact that central Orlando maintains a Macy's, Dillard's,Sears, and JCPenney. They may not have the premium selection of their chains but lots of downtown department stores are a bit scaled down unless the city's main store is located there. The mallinterior itself is quite attractive in comparison to many generic simon type malls (think of the horrid Countryside Mall in

Clearwater) (shudder) :yawn: Hopefully this Orlando shopping landmark will conitnue to survive these tough times,

Stick a Five Guys in the food court and that couldm do wonders! Look at how the SoDo area has turned in to the lamest part of the city in to quite the trendy little neighborhood in just a couple of years. I think Planet Fitness will be a major boost in activity for the mall and will get some of the downtown "pretty people" in to the mall. The eastside downtown trendies already frequent a lot of the surrounding businesses on the outside. The mall needs to localize itself and forget about the Waterford customers it's lost. The gym is a stepc in the right direction. When the economy improves an apartment/condo/loft development in the area like in SoDo would do wonders. Could bring in some better dining to Colonial Plaza also. (In Tampa and South Florida, TooJays is considered some hip dining) Got Houlihans, how about Crave, or Elephant Bar, Seasons 52 or Bahama Breeze? Orlando the city treaditionally has grown to the east, Colonialtown is downtowns largest neighborhood, got Baldwin Park now just need to get it going on. We are in better shape than Tampa or Jax when it comes to center city mall shopping and liveable neighborhoods.College Park is happening, SoDo, Ivanhoe Row has really picked up, Parramore is starting to happen, Baldwin Park, Thornton Park, South Eola DOWNTOWNN ITSELF! Colonialtown and the ViMi, Winter Park from the WP Village all the way to Park Ave has filled in nicely, Maitland and Uptown Altamonte,Millenia, MetroWest and Dr. Phillips, not all downtown but unique in comparison to or other rival Florida cities. if there is ever another boom, Otown is set to be THE city!

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Also, the Disney Entrepreneur Center is moving from Lake Eola to the Fashion Square Mall (I guess it's older news, but I just heard about it when I was there last week). That's happening next month I believe. Although I'm not a big fan of malls, I wouldn't tear it down because a) it's a pretty nice mall and if we tear it down no one would have the money to build something new for a few years probably, and b) I agree that with the weather here, it's nice to have some indoor options. It's nice to see existing buildings being re-purposed. Maybe services and dining is the way to go for FSM. I like the idea of a town center, or turning some of the parking lots into squares/parks. A parking garage or two in the area would do wonders, but no one wants to pay those prices (both construction and then parking) if they don't have to.

Speaking of the 50 makeover (more like makeunder), the area desperately needs landscaping. Also, I hate that they just widened the street. I know there isn't enough room by Fashion Square and west, but I can't believe they didn't put frontage roads over in the east. Now we have a brand new highway, but every little shack has its own driveway onto 50, which reduces the speed a lot (not to mention all the stoplights). Property values are immediately linked to how walkable an area is, how well it connects to public transit, and even how many trees line the streets. Right now, this part of 50 has almost none of that.

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Schmid Construction lands $25M contract for Orlando Fashion Square redevelopment

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/news/2013/02/12/schmid-construction-lands-25m.html

 

This is why some of us have been making such noise about downtown retail - once this gets underway, say goodbye to retail downtown for another 40 years. (In case you were wondering, OFS is 40 years old this year.)Orlando-Fashion-Square_entrance_4c*304.j

Edited by spenser1058

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As someone who lives in the outer rings of downtown neighborhoods, the revitalization of Fashion Square is a welcome development. The mall's fortune has an impact on the surrounding 'hoods, which in turn impact the whole of downtown.

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As someone who lives in the outer rings of downtown neighborhoods, the revitalization of Fashion Square is a welcome development. The mall's fortune has an impact on the surrounding 'hoods, which in turn impact the whole of downtown.

 

Yes, we know the impact it has had on downtown - one which we have spent 40 years trying to undo. Hence our concern. The redo of Fashion Square by a developer known for big box, power center developments that exist all over central Florida or one true urban core for those folks in the region who believe we should have one (just one!) such possibility. That's the decision here. 

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So what is the boundary of this "one true urban core?" And what happens to the poor schlubs who live in the neighborhoods just outside the core when their neighborhoods go to pot? And will you care, as your shopping at your new downtown JCPenney's?

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From today's OBJ about Fashion Square:

 

"For example, Rack Room Shoes has started construction to nearly double its existing space to 12,000 square feet, a new independently owned restaurant called Mo’s Sandwich Shop was added to the food court upstairs, All Cell opened in a 1,224-square-foot space and National University online college took 1,300 square feet, all deals that were signed during UP Development’s due diligence period."

 

These are not tenants one would sign if the goal were to increase support from the fine residents of Baldwin Park. Perhaps a gun store so Sen. Nelson can buy ammunition for his next python-hunting expedition in the Everglades?

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2013/02/new-orlando-fashion-square-owner.html?page=all

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Can't imagine the redo FURTHER impacting downtown. If anything, the redo will probably entail less retail, no ?

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Can't imagine the redo FURTHER impacting downtown. If anything, the redo will probably entail less retail, no ?

A rising tide lifts all boats.

From today's OBJ about Fashion Square:

 

"For example, Rack Room Shoes has started construction to nearly double its existing space to 12,000 square feet, a new independently owned restaurant called Mo’s Sandwich Shop was added to the food court upstairs, All Cell opened in a 1,224-square-foot space and National University online college took 1,300 square feet, all deals that were signed during UP Development’s due diligence period."

 

These are not tenants one would sign if the goal were to increase support from the fine residents of Baldwin Park. Perhaps a gun store so Sen. Nelson can buy ammunition for his next python-hunting expedition in the Everglades?

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2013/02/new-orlando-fashion-square-owner.html?page=all

The impression that I have (based on UP Developments comments so far) is that its efforts at revitalize the property will be a multi-year effort. It also doesn't appear that there are firm plans for the fate of the mall structure itself (will parts be torn down to create more of a lifestyle center [i hate that term!] or will it remain entact?).

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Not sure if this plan is still relevant, but as a resident of Colonialtown North, I would be excited about this.

 

I see this section of Colonial being the downtown-area's source for big-box and retail shopping, while I except to see downtown's retail more similar to Park Ave.

post-25309-0-33082400-1360957466_thumb.g

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Not sure if this plan is still relevant, but as a resident of Colonialtown North, I would be excited about this.

 

I see this section of Colonial being the downtown-area's source for big-box and retail shopping, while I except to see downtown's retail more similar to Park Ave.

I like that that particular proposal makes use of Herndon and the area around the Cady Way Trailhead. I'd also like to see the mall's new owners take better advantage of the monthly food truck event. It draws a huge crowd.

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They should have the trail enter the mall at Macy's and pop out at Sears.  Air conditioning be damnned.

 

Beat that, Winter Garden.

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A trail that ends in a food court would be a serious moneymaker.



But there is a lack of connection between the mall property and the Cady Way Trailhead. Seems a real waste, too. Cady Way isn't a bad trail for limited rides (too many intersections for long rides) and solid runs.

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