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Atlanta firm plans $40M apartments

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I'll try to get some FUMCO shots this weekend, and some close shots of the activity on the DPAC site.

FUMCO finally put up their glass after being basically ready to do that for like 4 months.

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Snapped these from SR50 while driving by. They would be clearer but my car is about as filthy as you'd expect a car to be that parks on the edge of 55 West parking deck and gets driven once a month.

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Thanks for the pics!

I'm liking the look of it, too -- especially from I-4. It definitely helps Uptown take a step towards density. However, after seeing how they constructed "steel" house (plywood stapled to 2x4s), I wouldn't want to live there. Let's hope future residents aren't as picky as me...

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However, after seeing how they constructed "steel" house (plywood stapled to 2x4s), I wouldn't want to live there. Let's hope future residents aren't as picky as me...

Maybe they aren't expecting them to be there for a long time.

10 - 15 - 20 years & they could be more easily torn down for something bigger & better.

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I like having a cheap property in or near downtown such as this one. My theory is that they'll soak up some of the demand for affordable housing downtown and less people will split the rent 3 ways in places like 55 West. Wishful thinking, perhaps.

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Is this really short term construction or just a bit uncommon in Orlando? Wood frame buildings are common in most of the country, and if I'm not mistaken, much of Baldwin Park and Celebration used wood frame.

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Many downtown bungalows are wood frame - the difference is the type of wood being used which has allowed many homes to survive years of neglect.There are wooden beams in my 1940s house that were so hard they broke screws during renovation. Termites never touched it unless weakened by water damage. The pressboard and soft pine frame construction for apartments doesn't seem like a long term solution when you consider our rainy weather & termite season... that plus landlord neglect. I heard the Grande is also wood frame...

Steelhouse will be comprised of predominitely one bedroom, 600 sq ft apts starting at 900+/mo. This truly is not affordable housing when the average salary in Orlando is only 30k. I doubt many people would downgrade from 55 West to Steelhouse - I'm pretty sure those are two different types of renters. 55W has the bling factor while Steelhouse might be viewed as the last option lol.

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Steelhouse will be comprised of predominitely one bedroom, 600 sq ft apts starting at 900+/mo. This truly is not affordable housing when the average salary in Orlando is only 30k. I doubt many people would downgrade from 55 West to Steelhouse - I'm pretty sure those are two different types of renters. 55W has the bling factor while Steelhouse might be viewed as the last option lol.

I'd be curious to know the average salary for the downtown area. I would assume it to be higher than the metro as a whole. And I'd also assume (and, yes, I know what happens when one assumes, lol) that downtown workers are the target for Steelhouse.

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I'd be curious to know the average salary for the downtown area. I would assume it to be higher than the metro as a whole. And I'd also assume (and, yes, I know what happens when one assumes, lol) that downtown workers are the target for Steelhouse.

That was my line of thinking. Plenty of the wankers living in 55 West do actually have downtown jobs (bartenders, low level office staffers, etc.)

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I like the brick aesthetic. It compliments the China Glass Warehouse lofts across Colonial Drive and brings the downtown historic brick patina to Uptown, while still incorporating modern elements more closely associated with Uptown, like the glass facade on the Orange/Colonial corner.

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As requested. I brought the wrong lens for the job, so I couldn't get any good close-up facade shots. I'll make another trip out there next week and bring a different lens. Nice thing about the wide angle, though, is I can basically get the entire east and south elevations in frame ...

I think this will start looking nice when the glass facade goes up on the southeast corner cap. It definitely looks and feels cheap right now.

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Edited by castorvx
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Just finished Part 2 of my two part series on Uptown.

It's mostly focused on SteelHouse and Olympia Place.

Uptown: Orlando's least liked, most promising district?

Part 2 features some pics of SteelHouse plus a link to all of my pics of SteelHouse,

Here is my Picasso album on SteelHouse, 114 pics in all in 3 different sets of pics from today, about two weeks ago, and about a month ago.

IMG_3437.JPG

As SteelHouse opens and Uptown gets another 500 or so residents I think the district needs to start thinking about it's future and current image.

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Thanks for another great update. It makes me a little sad to remember the grand plans for Uptown only a few years ago. In general, Orlando is thinking a lot smaller these days. Just down the road in Miami, they are constructing the largest development in city history, Brickell Citi Center.

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Thanks for the update. Some of my runs take me around Lake Ivanhoe/Uptown. Looking forward to the pedestrian/bike overpasses. When connected to the Dinky Line of the Urban Trail, it will be a huge step forward in making this part of town more pedestrian friendly.

I think Uptown has great potential. Personally, I'm glad that the high-rise plans for the area were shelved. Bigger isn't always better. I love the look of the downtown Miami/Brickell skyline - from far away. At street level, it's cold, desolate and very car-centric. Uptown would be better suited for mid-rise developments that are ped friendly and a good transition to the Lake Highland, Ivanhoe Village and Colonialtown neighborhoods.

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"I think Uptown has great potential. Personally, I'm glad that the high-rise plans for the area were shelved. Bigger isn't always better. I love the look of the downtown Miami/Brickell skyline - from far away. At street level, it's cold, desolate and very car-centric. "

I very much agree with this.

" In general, Orlando is thinking a lot smaller these days. Just down the road in Miami, they are constructing the largest development in city history, Brickell Citi Center. "

I don't necessarily think Orlando is thinking smaller, I think it reflects the differences in what drives the economies and where the infrastructure is for those activities. My understanding is that Miami's economy is benefitting from growth in South America (especially Brazil) - the finance and trade functions can be handled in towers downtown and Brickell. I have also read that international interest in new condos is geared to those looking at urban pied-a-terres and also the fact that SoBe is pretty much built out, driving additional tourism development across the river.

A realtor I know who specializes in such things says that the Brits who drive much of the international market for housing in the Orlando area prefer suburbia (especially the hilly areas of south Lake). Also, our economy is driven by tourism (which, as MiceAge has noted, is in the midst of the biggest theme park boom they can remember), the development of the Medical City infrastructure and activity in defense/aerospace (investments in military hardware and the privatization of space.) None of those activities take place downtown. I stand by my belief that investments in DPAC and other arts (expansion of Fringe, for example) and modest growth in government services, coupled with the fact that downtown has become desirable for a segment of the population, will keep the downtown/intown areas vibrant, but I do not expect anything like the boom of the late 90's-early 00's to resume any time soon.

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I agree with all of this, really, I do. I've even been qouted as stating that highrises do not equate to vibrancy, and urbanity. Look at Berlin -- hardly any significant height in the entire city yet bursting with vibrant streetlife from all sides. When I say that Orlando is thinking smaller these days, I'm really talking about perception. Where are Orlando's master plans? Small, incremental improvements could go a long way in Orlando, an Orange Ave streetscape improvement could do wonders -- lights, better sidewalks, parklets such as those in San Fran, bike paths, etc.

I'm extremely excited for what SunRail and DPAC will bring -- these are big plans, hardly conceivable a decade ago, brought to life by those who fought hard for them. Now they are on their way. So, what is next? The story doesn't end here.

Edited by prahaboheme

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Where are Orlando's master plans? Small, incremental improvements could go a long way in Orlando, an Orange Ave streetscape improvement could do wonders -- lights, better sidewalks, parklets such as those in San Fran, bike paths, etc.

I'm extremely excited for what SunRail and DPAC will bring -- these are big plans, hardly conceivable a decade ago, brought to life by those who fought hard for them. Now they are on their way. So, what is next? The story doesn't end here.

Ah, I see what you meant now. And I agree.

Good question - What are the master plans for downtown/uptown now that DPAC and SunRail are on the way?

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I agree with all of this, really, I do. I've even been qouted as stating that highrises do not equate to vibrancy, and urbanity. Look at Berlin -- hardly any significant height in the entire city yet bursting with vibrant streetlife from all sides. When I say that Orlando is thinking smaller these days, I'm really talking about perception. Where are Orlando's master plans? Small, incremental improvements could go a long way in Orlando, an Orange Ave streetscape improvement could do wonders -- lights, better sidewalks, parklets such as those in San Fran, bike paths, etc.

I'm extremely excited for what SunRail and DPAC will bring -- these are big plans, hardly conceivable a decade ago, brought to life by those who fought hard for them. Now they are on their way. So, what is next? The story doesn't end here.

I think you're right about this but as I mentioned on another post about preservation, I don't think that's Buddy's thing. While I'm a big supporter of his and believe he has been great for downtown overall, I've concluded he's a big picture guy for whom preservation and small-scale projects are not his interests. We saw Mayor Bill's interest in how things looked (although the new arena is sited much better than the old one, the Amelia arena was, imho, a much better looking building; he also was involved in minutiae such as how the dome atop City Hall should age and the swan motif for Eola) and much-maligned Glenda Hood was a champion for strong neighborhoods that led to much of the private development downtown. I think we will have to wait for the next mayor to see if we have someone interested in the "icing on the cake" details that could make the difference between a good downtown and a world-class one.

Edited by spenser1058
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Just finished Part 2 of my two part series on Uptown.

It's mostly focused on SteelHouse and Olympia Place.

Uptown: Orlando's least liked, most promising district?

Part 2 features some pics of SteelHouse plus a link to all of my pics of SteelHouse,

Here is my Picasso album on SteelHouse, 114 pics in all in 3 different sets of pics from today, about two weeks ago, and about a month ago.

IMG_3437.JPG

As SteelHouse opens and Uptown gets another 500 or so residents I think the district needs to start thinking about it's future and current image.

Nice! I enjoyed this. By the way, in the future, if you wish to use any of my pictures of these projects directly on your blog, you have my permission. Attribution appreciated but not required. I love your write-ups!

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Glatting did a master plan for the venues. I am sure it is online somewhere. I am just to lazy to look right now. They did not look at the Uptown district.

I am glad that uptown is more comprised of midrise buildings. Highrises have their place but not everywhere.

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Thanks John, I'll always try to give credit where it's due but that may save me some time as you do seem to be in downtown more often than I am.

I really love Uptown and as much as I'd love to see tall buildings throughout Orlando the newer 4-9 story buildings at least give us something. Many cities have districts with buildings of this size so it's no big deal for use. This with the few taller buildings the district does have will help give it an urban feel.

The key to the district though is to make sure it finds it's own image and character. Right now there is nothing linking the district together, no signage, no specific streetlights or artwork. A few destination businesses or venues would help also. My thought is that the WDBO building and the OUC powerplant building could both be turned into destination buildings, with either a museum or businesses in them that will attract people from all around. If it get's popular enough maybe a new SunRail stop could be built into the OUC building, it's close to Florida Hospital but LSC is also really close to CSS. Until this district gets it's own image I think the general thought will be that this is just a less nice part of downtown and not a district in it's own right.

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