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Downtown Orlando Project Discussion


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Regarding the map, I don't think The Sevens Building is supposed to front Colonial Drive.

I was bored during my lunch break today, so I wanted to make a map of some downtown projects. When you put them all together on the map, it looks like we're about to have another (smaller) downtown development boom.

The map got a little out of hand (and please don't judge my artistic ability on it), so I tried to use some color coding:

Red: Definitely happening, under construction, almost completed, very recently completed.

- GAI Building

- FUMCO

- Dr. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center

- DPAC Plaza (and hopefully buildings around it)

- Creative Village

- Steel House

Orange: Approved or likely to be approved.

- Cambria Suites

- Orange & Pine restaurant with slide

- SunRail station at LYNX Central Station

- 899 North Orange

Yellow: Maybe?

- Renaissance at Carver Square

- The Sevens and neighboring buildings

- 800 North Orange

- 400 North Orange mixed-use with hotel

futureDevSmalljpg.jpg

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Not so sure about Creative Village as a red project.

It's hard to say if the whole project will be definite (as we've seen, nothing is ever 100% for sure in development). I went ahead and said it was red because 1) the city agreed to pay for the demolition of the Arena and 2) the first things to come are roads and parks, and I think it's reasonable to expect those to be built. When the actual buildings will come is another story. I forgot where I read it, but somewhere it said it could take 10 - 20 years for the whole thing to be done. Honestly, I hope they let different developers and styles in, as in develop small parcels. This would make it go faster and lead to more interesting buildings.

Regarding the map, I don't think The Sevens Building is supposed to front Colonial Drive.

You're right, the Sevens (777 N Orange Ave) is only at Orange & Park Lake. The next projects (757 and 737 N Orange Ave) will use up the hole lot, down to Colonial. But since we haven't heard anything about 777, I wonder what the fate of 757 and 737 will be...

siteplan.gif

Nonetheless, even if they just get a couple more projects going, Uptown will be pretty busy. Hopefully we'll see Mills Park and new developments around Florida Hospital soon. It'll be a nice circle with unique neighborhoods: Uptown, Ivanhoe, Florida Hospital (someday "Health Village" if SunRail happens), Loch Haven Park, ViMi/Mills50/Little Saigon. I agree, the missing link is something more on Colonial between Mills and Orange. Also, they need to draw more attention to the Virginia link between Mills and Orange.

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It's hard to say if the whole project will be definite (as we've seen, nothing is ever 100% for sure in development). I went ahead and said it was red because 1) the city agreed to pay for the demolition of the Arena and 2) the first things to come are roads and parks, and I think it's reasonable to expect those to be built. When the actual buildings will come is another story. I forgot where I read it, but somewhere it said it could take 10 - 20 years for the whole thing to be done. Honestly, I hope they let different developers and styles in, as in develop small parcels. This would make it go faster and lead to more interesting buildings.

You're right, the Sevens (777 N Orange Ave) is only at Orange & Park Lake. The next projects (757 and 737 N Orange Ave) will use up the hole lot, down to Colonial. But since we haven't heard anything about 777, I wonder what the fate of 757 and 737 will be...

siteplan.gif

Nonetheless, even if they just get a couple more projects going, Uptown will be pretty busy. Hopefully we'll see Mills Park and new developments around Florida Hospital soon. It'll be a nice circle with unique neighborhoods: Uptown, Ivanhoe, Florida Hospital (someday "Health Village" if SunRail happens), Loch Haven Park, ViMi/Mills50/Little Saigon. I agree, the missing link is something more on Colonial between Mills and Orange. Also, they need to draw more attention to the Virginia link between Mills and Orange.

777 is still on, pending lease agreements. They won't break ground until they're 60% leased. You can still find them in commercial office leasing listings .. I came across it recently while looking for downtown office space for my company .. It appeared that only 2 floors are leased, meaning it's 30% leased.

See here: http://www.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Profile/Profile.aspx?LID=16173355&SRID=1783721237&StepID=101

$34/sqft/year is extremely high in this market. You can find space in The Plaza for as low as $22/sqft, which is a very new, very classy building in a great location.

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777 is still on, pending lease agreements. They won't break ground until they're 60% leased. You can still find them in commercial office leasing listings .. I came across it recently while looking for downtown office space for my company .. It appeared that only 2 floors are leased, meaning it's 30% leased.

See here: http://www.loopnet.c...1237&StepID=101

$34/sqft/year is extremely high in this market. You can find space in The Plaza for as low as $22/sqft, which is a very new, very classy building in a great location.

I wonder if because there isn't an actual building built that could possibly be the reason why the Sevens still are hovering at around 30%.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey on youtube there is a video of the new fountain at Lake Eola Park . I am sorry I did not know how have it as a link, but just type in lake eola fountain and you will see it.

Hey,

The fountain looks great can't wait to see it fully up and running.

Here is the vid: Lake Eola Fountain

It would be cool if they change the lights on it for holidays such as 4th of July and Christmas just like the Empire State Building

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I heard that the Sentinel is closing down their graphics department, or at least greatly reducing it, sending the work to South Florida. I think the Pink Elephant is the Sentinel property between 50 and the Courthouse along Magnolia and Orange. The Tribune Company and the Sentinel have limited time remaining. When they go under or further downsize their physical plant, this area has a strong possibility of becoming neglected and blighted, expanding the distance between these projects happening in Uptown and the rest of the CBD. Without visionary leadership and significant development, what will become of this area? What would you like to see go here? Does we have the capacity for office or residential high rises in this area, including the SqFt of both proposed for Creative Village? Will this be a Brownfield site with soil contamination from years of printing?

I think this is represents a great opportunity for a transition between the traditional feel of Lake Eola Heights and the CBD, but also the possibility of decades-long underuse and desolate, empty lots, and buildings.

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I heard that the Sentinel is closing down their graphics department, or at least greatly reducing it, sending the work to South Florida. I think the Pink Elephant is the Sentinel property between 50 and the Courthouse along Magnolia and Orange. The Tribune Company and the Sentinel have limited time remaining. When they go under or further downsize their physical plant, this area has a strong possibility of becoming neglected and blighted, expanding the distance between these projects happening in Uptown and the rest of the CBD. Without visionary leadership and significant development, what will become of this area? What would you like to see go here? Does we have the capacity for office or residential high rises in this area, including the SqFt of both proposed for Creative Village? Will this be a Brownfield site with soil contamination from years of printing?

I think this is represents a great opportunity for a transition between the traditional feel of Lake Eola Heights and the CBD, but also the possibility of decades-long underuse and desolate, empty lots, and buildings.

When you say graphics department, you have to be a bit more specific. If it's the folks that put together the ads, I can't say, but if it's the designers in the newsroom who do layout and illustrate the stories, most of that moved to Chicago a couple of years ago. I've heard that they're combining a bunch of sections in a couple of months, which would leave fewer pages to be designed, but there are fewer than 10 designers now compared to over 20 that were on the editorial staff a few years ago. The Sentinel newsroom has been shrinking from its max of 200+ editors, reporters, researchers, photographers, and designers of 5 years ago to nearly half that amount now. Part of the newsroom was walled off for the circulation call center, which used to be in one of the two outlying buildings next to the courthouse parking garage. The Sentinel used to be one of the city's major employers with 1,200+ employees. I have no clue what the count is now, but it's still significant.

When Sam Zell bought Tribune Co., I always felt that his interest in the newspapers Tribune has across the country was more about the prime real estate they all sit on. The Sentinel is sitting on two city blocks next to the courthouse and at the intersection of what is considered Main and Main. What I'd like to see the Sentinel do is move its printing press out near the John Young Pkwy/Princeton area (FYI: The i-4 Amelia St. exit is where it is because the publisher of the paper in the 50s wanted it there for easy access for the paper's trucks) Tribune should redevelop its property for a mixed-used center with the Sentinel as the major tenant and namesake of the property. It would be much like how The New York Times built a 52-story skyscraper just a couple of blocks from its old building but occupies just half of it. The other half of the NYT building is taken up mostly with law firms. Think of how attractive the Sentinel property would be to law firms since it's adjacent to the courthouse.

The Sentinel's property just got even more attractive with the SunRail stop a block away much like how the NYT building is across the street from the Port Authority and just a few more from Penn Station. Whatever the Sentinel wants to do with its property better happen soon because once the Casey Anthony trial TV studios move off the Pizutti block, there will be more interest in developing that particular block.

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Whatever the Sentinel wants to do with its property better happen soon because once the Casey Anthony trial TV studios move off the Pizutti block, there will be more interest in developing that particular block.

I'm hoping with these two HUGE cases happening at the same time, along with the smaller cases like Billy Bob Thornton's daughters case, will help show the value of having a downtown base for these news stations. I've noticed an uptick in the amount of news people all around downtown since the Casey Anthony trial has begun. It would be great to have some news stations move back downtown. I think that the dynamic interactions that a downtown studio provides really connects the viewer to the news and also makes the downtown area all that more interesting. ABC 7 in Chicago has a great downtown studio with an amazing video ribbon and screens that face the street. Something like this on the ground floor of the Pizutti block would make this area of downtown the news section. With Orlando Sentinel, the courthouse, and a news station all beside each other.

Of course my dream scenario would be for The Daily Buzz, the locally produced nationally syndicated morning show, to have a downtown studio with outdoor morning concerts and street interactions similar to those found on other morning shows. This would work better at a place like CityWalk vs downtown but IMO if the show opened a downtown studio the people would come.

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A 6-story, 247 multifamily & mixed use apt building with ground floor retail proposed on the lot between Marks St. & Park Lake St on Orange Ave.

More info in the June 2011 MPB agenda: 899 N. Orange Ave

I'm not a fan of the parking garage being so prominent, especially with Cornerstone being adjacent to it. Seems like it adds very little to the streetscape. I'd request to build higher and make the parking garage disappear inside the building.

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I'm hoping with these two HUGE cases happening at the same time, along with the smaller cases like Billy Bob Thornton's daughters case, will help show the value of having a downtown base for these news stations. I've noticed an uptick in the amount of news people all around downtown since the Casey Anthony trial has begun. It would be great to have some news stations move back downtown. I think that the dynamic interactions that a downtown studio provides really connects the viewer to the news and also makes the downtown area all that more interesting. ABC 7 in Chicago has a great downtown studio with an amazing video ribbon and screens that face the street. Something like this on the ground floor of the Pizutti block would make this area of downtown the news section. With Orlando Sentinel, the courthouse, and a news station all beside each other.

Of course my dream scenario would be for The Daily Buzz, the locally produced nationally syndicated morning show, to have a downtown studio with outdoor morning concerts and street interactions similar to those found on other morning shows. This would work better at a place like CityWalk vs downtown but IMO if the show opened a downtown studio the people would come.

High profile murder cases are rarely the stuff of economic development strategies are made of, although it does provide the public with hours of confirmation that Orlando is separate and apart from Disney.

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When Sam Zell bought Tribune Co., I always felt that his interest in the newspapers Tribune has across the country was more about the prime real estate they all sit on. The Sentinel is sitting on two city blocks next to the courthouse and at the intersection of what is considered Main and Main. What I'd like to see the Sentinel do is move its printing press out near the John Young Pkwy/Princeton area (FYI: The i-4 Amelia St. exit is where it is because the publisher of the paper in the 50s wanted it there for easy access for the paper's trucks) Tribune should redevelop its property for a mixed-used center with the Sentinel as the major tenant and namesake of the property. It would be much like how The New York Times built a 52-story skyscraper just a couple of blocks from its old building but occupies just half of it. The other half of the NYT building is taken up mostly with law firms. Think of how attractive the Sentinel property would be to law firms since it's adjacent to the courthouse.

The Sentinel's property just got even more attractive with the SunRail stop a block away much like how the NYT building is across the street from the Port Authority and just a few more from Penn Station. Whatever the Sentinel wants to do with its property better happen soon because once the Casey Anthony trial TV studios move off the Pizutti block, there will be more interest in developing that particular block.

I think that's a damn fine idea. You have a solid tenant that owns their property as well as collateral. I could easily see something very high tech with glass and LED lighting with water features called 'Sentinel Square' with shops and rental units... That's the kind of project a lender would get behind. The only challenge I see, however is the diminishing need for office space by the Sentinel as well as a double digit vacancy downtown. If the building was completely cutting edge to the point that it made other buildings (i.e. SunTrust, BofA, 111 North Orange) look obsolete that could be overcome however. Message me if you want to kick it around.

On a separate note... There will eventually need to be a better solution to crossing 50. As it stands it is really a barrier to development and pedestrian traffic between Midtown and Uptown. I would love to see something of a hybridg between the High Line here in New York and the new park at Lincoln Center that's a sloped grass park above a restaurant. With glass walls, it would be an amazing addition to the city.

Edited by mrh3
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A very similar idea is coming to fruition down here in Miami. The Miami Herald building sits on 13.9 acres of prime downtown real estate on Biscayne Bay and sold the land in May to Genting Malaysia Berhad, Asia's third largest casino company, for $236 million. The Herald has 2 years to move out to the western 'burbs, after which Genting will move in with a massive mixed-use development. The "destination resort" will include hotel, convention, entertainment, restaurant, retail, residential, commercial facilities and even a 700-seat theater to complement the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center across the street. Obviously Genting, being a gaming company, wants to include a casino in the plans but state legislation will have to change to allow for non-Indian/parimutuel gaming in order for that to happen but I'm willing to bet they get it within 5 years' time.

So a precedent is being set right down the road...let's hope the Orlando Sentinel is taking notes.

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High profile murder cases are rarely the stuff of economic development strategies are made of, although it does provide the public with hours of confirmation that Orlando is separate and apart from Disney.

I don't expect the high profile cases to bring about economic development but they could show that a downtown base for the news stations that right now all seem to be located in the suburbs is worthwhile.

I would agree though that these cases give depth to what most people associate with the word 'Orlando.' It also provides more local history. These cases put Orlando on the daily radar of more people than before. The difference between a city being taken seriously and being overlooked is IMO how often people are introduced to it. New York does this best with their city finding its way into the morning, evening, and late night television news and talk shows, along with numerous tv dramas, movies, and tons of songs on the radio. While we will never achieve this type of multiple media constant stream of confirmations about Orlando these small incidents like the Casey Anthony trial or Jon Huntsman headquarters do put us a much more consistent confirmation of the 'city' that Orlando is vs the 1960-80s that seemed to almost exclusively show the 'tourism destination' Orlando. This 'tourism destination' Orlando is still needing to be occasionally confirmed in peoples daily routines (like how Harry Potter was given the numerous international publicity including huge plugs on all the morning news shows) but now we are seeing other parts of Orlando grow also. The amount of stories about local non-tourism items that have been published in the NYT or on CNN in the last year confirms this. We need to be conscious to keep up this stream of presenting the urban fabric that makes up this region. IMO the next step from where we are is to see 'city' Orlando now occasionally make a cameo in TV shows and movies. I am curious to see how both the Casey Anthony trial and the upcoming 'To Write Love on Her Arms' movie will impact peoples perceptions of what Orlando is. I think by this point most people do realize Orlando is more than just Disney World, something that just 20 years ago came as a shock to many people, but I feel as though most still view it as a smaller city without a downtown or with nothing to visit outside of the tourism corridor.

I would have to say that I have noticed a major increase in the amount of out of towners on Park Ave in these last few months and more than once while talking to these visitors they mentioned either a NYT story or a friend who told them about "the other Orlando." Just yesterday, in fact, I was chatting with a family from Canada who have come to Orlando for 17years now and just this year decided to rent a car for the first time to see what else Orlando has to offer. After spending the day in Winter Park they were planning to completely redo they vacation, taking time away from the theme parks and instead coming back to Winter Park for a second day (to do the museums) and planning to go to Flagler Ave in New Smyrna instead of going to a water park. They were also debating whether or not to go to Magic Kingdom or go to downtown Orlando for the 4th of July. After 17 years of doing just Disney this family just happened to find a website that talked about the "non-Disney" Orlando and it was all that was needed to get them to discover all that we have to offer.

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IMO the next step from where we are is to see 'city' Orlando now occasionally make a cameo in TV shows and movies. I am curious to see how both the Casey Anthony trial and the upcoming 'To Write Love on Her Arms' movie will impact peoples perceptions of what Orlando is

The Renee movie project is another Christian movie like a few others that have run through the region the past few years. It was relatively low budget and it will do well within faith based circles. If it makes it to theaters, it will be a limited release. It will probably be screened in churches and available for home viewing parties. It will probably do very well on DVD and VOD, but I don't think it will go mainstream.

If you are interested in Orlando being on TV, the next thing to make a splash will be "The Inbetweeners" for MTV. The pilot was shot here in January and 12 episodes have been ordered/greenlit by MTV. Shooting begins in August. The main cast is already in place, but further casting is underway.

http://www.greenroomorlando.com/CastingCallDetails.aspx?ID=8172

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I think that's a damn fine idea. You have a solid tenant that owns their property as well as collateral. I could easily see something very high tech with glass and LED lighting with water features called 'Sentinel Square' with shops and rental units... That's the kind of project a lender would get behind. The only challenge I see, however is the diminishing need for office space by the Sentinel as well as a double digit vacancy downtown. If the building was completely cutting edge to the point that it made other buildings (i.e. SunTrust, BofA, 111 North Orange) look obsolete that could be overcome however. Message me if you want to kick it around.

On a separate note... There will eventually need to be a better solution to crossing 50. As it stands it is really a barrier to development and pedestrian traffic between Midtown and Uptown. I would love to see something of a hybridg between the High Line here in New York and the new park at Lincoln Center that's a sloped grass park above a restaurant. With glass walls, it would be an amazing addition to the city.

I recall they wanted to vote on digital signs for downtown Orlando:

Does anyone know the status of this ordinance?

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I recall they wanted to vote on digital signs for downtown Orlando:

Does anyone know the status of this ordinance?

I believe it passed, I didn't read the article, but I think there are different sign codes for different areas, some are lighted/LED, some are kinetic, etc. I think it also increases the maximum size of signage for a business.

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A very similar idea is coming to fruition down here in Miami. The Miami Herald building sits on 13.9 acres of prime downtown real estate on Biscayne Bay and sold the land in May to Genting Malaysia Berhad, Asia's third largest casino company, for $236 million. The Herald has 2 years to move out to the western 'burbs, after which Genting will move in with a massive mixed-use development. The "destination resort" will include hotel, convention, entertainment, restaurant, retail, residential, commercial facilities and even a 700-seat theater to complement the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center across the street. Obviously Genting, being a gaming company, wants to include a casino in the plans but state legislation will have to change to allow for non-Indian/parimutuel gaming in order for that to happen but I'm willing to bet they get it within 5 years' time.

So a precedent is being set right down the road...let's hope the Orlando Sentinel is taking notes.

I have mixed feelings about the Miami Herald moving because I think of newspapers as a civic institution. A move out of the city core just feels wrong. And in the case of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the paper of record for a capital city, it's even worse. The AJC just made a move to the northern burbs of Atlanta in a chase after the affluent readers who live out there, and the city itself, which is growing, is being covered less and less.There's no disputing that the Miami Herald sits on primo property that may not be being used to its highest and best use, but I'd like to see it stay on the property or at least downtown in some way.

Edited by palmtree73
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I think that's a damn fine idea. You have a solid tenant that owns their property as well as collateral. I could easily see something very high tech with glass and LED lighting with water features called 'Sentinel Square' with shops and rental units... That's the kind of project a lender would get behind. The only challenge I see, however is the diminishing need for office space by the Sentinel as well as a double digit vacancy downtown. If the building was completely cutting edge to the point that it made other buildings (i.e. SunTrust, BofA, 111 North Orange) look obsolete that could be overcome however. Message me if you want to kick it around.

On a separate note... There will eventually need to be a better solution to crossing 50. As it stands it is really a barrier to development and pedestrian traffic between Midtown and Uptown. I would love to see something of a hybridg between the High Line here in New York and the new park at Lincoln Center that's a sloped grass park above a restaurant. With glass walls, it would be an amazing addition to the city.

Sounds like Baker Barrios would have to be blocked from designing this sort of architecturally interesting space ;-). I see great potential for the frontages along Colonial and Orange. Law firms and companies would like an Orange Ave. address, and the views back toward downtown would be awesome since the courthouse tower is pushed back in the middle of its block. A building at least 10 stories tall built right up to the sidewalk would drastically change the feel of that part of town. If every corner of the Orange/Colonial intersection is redeveloped, it would have a calming effect on the traffic, and drivers would see pedestrians that are doing more than panhandling.

The market is down now, but we'll get back on track with the usual seven-year boom-bust cycle. Uptown will be the focus of future development, and the Sentinel property could be the gateway to this evolving part of town. The local paper is a huge part of any city's identity, and whatever happens, the Sentinel should resist the economic forces that may lure it away from downtown. If it moved, I'd like to see it as an anchor tenant of the Creative Village.

Edited by palmtree73
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Wow, depressing news that the Herald is moving and that the AJC has already moved.

What's even more depressing about the AJC move is that they moved just outside the perimeter of 285 to the Perimeter Mall area near the Dunwoody Marta station. Crossing 285 is huge symbolically for people in Atlanta. To be fair, Cox Communications, the parent company of the AJC, and Cox Radio were already in that area, and the power center of Atlanta had long shifted away from downtown.

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What's even more depressing about the AJC move is that they moved just outside the perimeter of 285 to the Perimeter Mall area near the Dunwoody Marta station. Crossing 285 is huge symbolically for people in Atlanta. To be fair, Cox Communications, the parent company of the AJC, and Cox Radio were already in that area, and the power center of Atlanta had long shifted away from downtown.

True, but the fact that their reporters literally cannot use the term "sprawl" anymore is even more depressing.

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Here are some pictures I took last week of the building on Princeton & Orange (between 235 Princeton and the 7-11). Is this the Clinical Research Institute?

Front from Orange & Princeton:

princeton2.jpg

Back from Dade & Smith:

princeton1.jpg

When I drove behind these buildings along Dade, I noticed this lot. If I remember right, it's the lot between I-4/Dade and Orlando/Smith Is this recent activity?

floridahospital.jpg

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