Jump to content

Downtown Orlando Project Discussion


sunshine

Recommended Posts

Regarding height - we are just about of full city blocks. When projects can only spread out so far vertically, I think you'll see an inevitable increase in height. Sure, 800 Orange is within a tiny footprint and still a mid rise, but continued decline in overall supply should help.

Personally, I just want them tall enough to provided ample shade for the street they are on. The wider the street, the taller it needs to be. Also creates place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Regarding height - we are just about of full city blocks. When projects can only spread out so far vertically, I think you'll see an inevitable increase in height. Sure, 800 Orange is within a tiny footprint and still a mid rise, but continued decline in overall supply should help.

Personally, I just want them tall enough to provided ample shade for the street they are on. The wider the street, the taller it needs to be. Also creates place.

In D.C. there is a formula limiting building heights to "130 feet, or the width of the right-of-way of the street or avenue on which a building fronts, whichever is shorter." In the case Orlando, something like the above as a minimum height (including the width of sidewalks) would work to provide shade.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you could see sunsets or rainstorms from my perspective 27 stories up, that would answer your question.

 

Yes the views are amazing from a higher perspective, but I still prefer low rise living. Personally I think it would feel a little isolated perched so high above the ground, and Lake Eola starts to look like a retention pond from a higher vantage point. I still enjoy the Sunrises from my 3 story perspective and I feel like the park is an extension of my living area - I'm so close that I can hear the water cascading down the fountain if I leave the door open. But I also get a front row seat to witness some not so great things as well. There are pros and cons for each living situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This discussion reminds me of a passage from Sure of You, the sixth book in the epic San Francisco series, Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin:

 

"Mary Ann and Brian's condo-in-the-sky was not Michael's idea of a dream house. From twenty-three stories the city looked like a plaster-of-Paris model of itself, hardly the real thing at all. Lately Mary Ann had made an effort at jazzing up the chilly modern interiors with a lot of Southwestern stuff - painted furniture, steer skulls and the like - but the effect was not so much Santa Fe as Santa Fe Savings and Loan. Maybe it just wasn't fixable."

 

A couple of notes: the book is from 1989 and protagonist Michael Tolliver was ostensibly from.... Orlando!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This discussion reminds me of a passage from Sure of You, the sixth book in the epic San Francisco series, Tales of the City, by Armistead Maupin:

"Mary Ann and Brian's condo-in-the-sky was not Michael's idea of a dream house. From twenty-three stories the city looked like a plaster-of-Paris model of itself, hardly the real thing at all. Lately Mary Ann had made an effort at jazzing up the chilly modern interiors with a lot of Southwestern stuff - painted furniture, steer skulls and the like - but the effect was not so much Santa Fe as Santa Fe Savings and Loan. Maybe it just wasn't fixable."

A couple of notes: the book is from 1989 and protagonist Michael Tolliver was ostensibly from.... Orlando!

I always fancied myself as a bit like Mouse when I lived in SF, down to my own Barbary Lane in Mission Dolores, but there were legions of Southern transplants mucking about like me in the City. Armistead was (and still is) everywhere out and about, reminding me of a romanticized San Francisco that is quickly disappearing (again). Thanks for the quote!
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the current cost of renting downtown Orlando -- even in the high-rises -- is quite a bit lower than most assume. When I moved in to downtown 5 years ago, I went from 1000sqft in Waterford @ $1100/month to about $1400/month for 800sqft on the 18th floor of a high-rise. 

 

On the flip side, my fuel costs went through the floor, and I no longer had to pay tolls on 408, which saved a $150-200/month on average.

 

I think the market in downtown has rebounded significantly since I moved 5 years ago, so the equation may not play out anymore. Also, if you don't work near the core, living there makes less sense.

 

I just wish people would look at the overall financial picture of moving into the core of a city, rather than the sticker shock of the rent itself.

 

All that said, if you have children, downtown is considerably less appealing for reasons that go well beyond cost.

I see more and more (young) families downtown - though the 55 West/Orange Ave area has significantly less to offer them.  The houses in Thorntan Park and Eola Heights, along with the apartments and townhouses growing in the South Eola area lend themselves to those with young children.  Living downtown when my son was little was great - he practically grew up running around Lake Eola and climbing on the gator statues outside the history center - we moved to College Park because we felt it was an extension of the life we lived downtown and had a little more cohesiveness than Eola Heights/Thorntan Park.  In the meantime, Hillcrest Elementary has significantly improved, and the expansion of the park has really helped created a gap between the more family-friendly side of the downtown core and the bar/nightlife disctrict.  Maybe it's just me, but I think more couples will stick around for a few years after the baby is born once they get accustomed to life in the city 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see more and more (young) families downtown - though the 55 West/Orange Ave area has significantly less to offer them.  The houses in Thorntan Park and Eola Heights, along with the apartments and townhouses growing in the South Eola area lend themselves to those with young children.  Living downtown when my son was little was great - he practically grew up running around Lake Eola and climbing on the gator statues outside the history center - we moved to College Park because we felt it was an extension of the life we lived downtown and had a little more cohesiveness than Eola Heights/Thorntan Park.  In the meantime, Hillcrest Elementary has significantly improved, and the expansion of the park has really helped created a gap between the more family-friendly side of the downtown core and the bar/nightlife disctrict.  Maybe it's just me, but I think more couples will stick around for a few years after the baby is born once they get accustomed to life in the city 

 

A very important difference about Downtown Orlando compared to other downtowns is that we have several good schools. Hillcrest, as you mentioned, with its language magnet and also Howard Middle, now with its arts/entertainment magnet and more changes likely on the way (both are "A" schools in the state ratings). Also, OCPS and especially Chairman Bill Sublette seem dedicated to building a high-quality public school in Parramore as well. I also read that Orlando Vo-Tech is scheduled to get some significant upgrades with the renewal of the schools sales tax.

 

We also have several very good church pre-schools as well as St. James Catholic, Trinity Lutheran's and First Pres' academies. Rounding things out are the charter schools: Eola Charter and Nap Ford (although it's been struggling of late). Of course, Lake Highland Prep is just up Highland Avenue for those with the means to afford it.

 

Bottom line: our core is not as constrained by lack of quality school choices for kids as many downtowns, although I really would like to see a public high school back downtown. Boone is fine, but it's not exactly close.

Edited by spenser1058
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edgewater, Boone and Jones are the 3 public high schools serving downtown neighorhoods, I believe. Howard Middle School is the one on Robinson and Summerlin. Couldn't begin to list all of the OCPS middle and elementary schools that cover the downtown area without leaving some out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of high schools, and maybe this is worth starting a new thread for: How is Edgewater High School? That's the HS for downtown, right?

Edgewater High is the school for downtown east of I4 and north of Anderson, Jones is south of Colonial and west of I4.  Boone stretches down from the delany park area.  I'm biased as a College Park resident, but I think Edgewater is a very good school.  The new facility and new principal have apparently brought a lot of excitement there over the last few years.  My oldest is in kindergarten so it will be awhile before I can give any first hand experience...As mentioned previously, there are great preschools in the immediate downtown core.  Lake Highland Prep is practically as nice as Rollins (and almost as expensive)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Edgewater High is the school for downtown east of I4 and north of Anderson, Jones is south of Colonial and west of I4.  Boone stretches down from the delany park area.  I'm biased as a College Park resident, but I think Edgewater is a very good school.  The new facility and new principal have apparently brought a lot of excitement there over the last few years.  My oldest is in kindergarten so it will be awhile before I can give any first hand experience...As mentioned previously, there are great preschools in the immediate downtown core.  Lake Highland Prep is practically as nice as Rollins (and almost as expensive)

 

Thank you. My girlfriend and I have been discussing where her son is going to go for High School and we're in the Edgewater assigned area. Neither of us are from Orlando, so we have no real personal experience with Orlando's schools.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I remember (graduated back in 02) Edgewater wasn't a bad school, but Winter Park high was (and probably still is) the better school. They began redeveloping the property when I was a Sophmore so it's totally different now. EHS offers the Engineering, Science and Tech magnet program for Orange County. I think at the time it was either an A/B school, and shortly after I graduated I heard it decreased to a C/D school. I think it's currently a B school now. I will say there was a marked difference in the quality of education & peers when comparing honors classes vs regular classes. But that's not to say there weren't a few stellar teachers who go above and beyond even if they weren't teaching honors classes. If the kid knows what he wants to do when he grows up and it relates to EST then you should probably get him signed up in the program, or at least in AP+. Otherwise maybe take a look at taking a trade school course or classes at Valencia - the courses/credits are free to high school students during Senior year but only if he has enough credits to graduate (however, this opportunity is not exclusive to EHS, and I hear that it's near impossible these days due to the financial drain).

Edited by nite owℓ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

EHS & WPH are similar in that they get both extreme ends of the spectrum as far as students go.

 

Edgewater gets the wealthy kids from the Orlando Country Club neighborhood, the middle class kids from College Park & some of the really poor kids from Parramore.

 

WP of course, has a large number of kids from REALLY wealthy parents but they also have their middle income kids & very poor section of WP also feeds into WPH.

 

All in all, I'd say WPH is the best of the two. They have some very good arts programs. Music, theater & visual arts.

 

Their music dept has both an orchestral & a jazz ensemble class that is taught by a French Canadian guy who is a musical director at Cirque de Soilel.

 

They also have an International Baccalaureate program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My list was far from comprehensive - only the 3 high schools that comprise "downtown" Orlando as we think of it.  Of those three schools, I would venture to say Boone has the best reputation, for what it's worth (again, I'm biased toward Edgewater).  Castorvx is a downtown resident, so I assume those are the schools he was interested in.  Across the region there are definitely higher ranked - and likely superior in some senses - public schools to those three.  As is typically the case, you can follow the money to the "better" schools - Winter Park High, Dr Phillips High, and the Seminole County schools are all very highly ranked.  There are some highly rated private schools in the area including Bishop Moore (Catholic), Lake Highland (as mentioned), Park Maitland, Trinity Prep, etc.

 

The Universe_Explorer family loves living in the city, believes in public school education (when safe, and with significant parental involvement), and chose College Park/Edgewater and the excellent pre K available downtown. Lots of my friends use the private schools and love them.  Several more have moved to the suburbs for "better" schools and love them.  I think as long as safety isn't an issue, it probably has a lot more to do with the child and the family structure around him/her than the actual school

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My list was far from comprehensive - only the 3 high schools that comprise "downtown" Orlando as we think of it.  Of those three schools, I would venture to say Boone has the best reputation, for what it's worth (again, I'm biased toward Edgewater).  Castorvx is a downtown resident, so I assume those are the schools he was interested in.  Across the region there are definitely higher ranked - and likely superior in some senses - public schools to those three.  As is typically the case, you can follow the money to the "better" schools - Winter Park High, Dr Phillips High, and the Seminole County schools are all very highly ranked.  There are some highly rated private schools in the area including Bishop Moore (Catholic), Lake Highland (as mentioned), Park Maitland, Trinity Prep, etc.

 

The Universe_Explorer family loves living in the city, believes in public school education (when safe, and with significant parental involvement), and chose College Park/Edgewater and the excellent pre K available downtown. Lots of my friends use the private schools and love them.  Several more have moved to the suburbs for "better" schools and love them.  I think as long as safety isn't an issue, it probably has a lot more to do with the child and the family structure around him/her than the actual school

 

Well said.

 

Alright, I'm done hijacking this thread. Thanks everyone for your feedback.

 

As you drive down I-4 into downtown, every time I see a new project u/c, it brings to light just how many empty lots there are downtown.  amazing.  as built up as it is, there's still so much land still undeveloped/underdeveloped.

 

Yeah you notice this when you live high up. There are a ton of grass lots and derelict parking lots begging to be built up with infill. Luckily, the full block lots are disappearing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The irony of that particular pic:

 

From Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney's_Riverfront_Square

 

 

"Walt Disney's Riverfront Square was a planned theme park in St. Louis, Missouri that would have been the second Disney park, after Disneyland. The park was in development between 1963 and 1965.

For several reasons, plans for the park fell through. Disney may have been insulted after Augustus Busch, Jr. publicly called him crazy for thinking his park would succeed without selling liquor.[3] By July 1965, Disney announced that plans for the park would not move forward, because of a dispute over the financing and ownership of the park, and Disney's desire to focus his attentions on Florida for what would become the construction of Walt Disney World.[4]"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.