Orlando Mayor Dyer’s 2011 State of Downtown Address

Orlando Mayor Dyer’s 2011 State of Downtown Address

“It’s said that when something is loved… it flourishes.  That goes for people… pets… plants… anything.  It certainly goes for a city… and its downtown.  This is the ideology behind the effort we are calling, “Why I Love Orlando.” —Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
October 24, 2011 – ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer delivered his annual State of Downtown address to hundreds of Downtown residents, business owners and community leaders gathered at the Amway Center.  This annual event held by the Downtown OrlandoPartnership (DOP) provides a forum for Mayor Dyer to give our community a progress report on the community’s collective efforts to reshape and revitalize Downtown Orlando.This year, Mayor Dyer’s 2011 State of Downtown speech was inspired by the book, For the Love of Cities by Peter Kageyama.  The philosophy behind For the Love of Cities is that when cities make an effort to engage in a relationship with their citizens they open up new possibilities in economic development, community-building and expanding the social fabric of our cities.  For the Love of Cities featured Orlando prominently and included our City on its top 20 list of “most loveable” places in America for its walk-ability, philanthropic activities, public spaces and commitment to sustainability.

At today’s State of Downtown, Orlando Mayor Dyer unveiled the City’s unique effort inspired by For the Love of Cities, “Why I Love Orlando.”  The goal of the initiative is to further a simple, organic effort to make everyone in Orlando more cognizant of the reasons they choose to live here and why they love this city; as well as to think of actions that the community can do to make Orlando even more lovable.  Community sponsors are funding two $500 micro-grants to turn the ideas into reality.  Attendees at an October 4 workshop voted and selected an idea to paint ordinary-looking trash dumpsters and recycling bins as birthday or holiday presents.  .

Today, attendees at the State of Downtown voted on who would receive the next $500 micro-grant.  The winner was, The Lake Eola Giving Tree.  The idea behind the “Giving Tree” project is a take-off on the classic children’s story.  Residents and visitors would pay a dollar to write their wish down on a decorative piece of paper or chime that would hang from trees at Lake Eola Park.  When writing the wish down, the “wisher” would designate a charity for those funds to benefit.

During his address, Mayor Dyer also focused on the catalytic impact the SunRail project will have on Downtown Orlando.  He highlighted several developments underway directly due to the public sector’s investment in this important infrastructure.  Some of those highlights include:

Central Station Development

  • The construction of the $200 million Central Station development, a transit-oriented, mixed-use project, is a direct result of SunRail moving forward.
  • The mixed-use project includes residential, retail, office, hotel and meeting space and will also incorporate several public spaces, including green space and a pedestrian breezeway for easy access for SunRail and LYNX riders to Orange Avenue and the Orange County Courthouse.
  • Construction of Phase I will bring 650 full-time construction jobs online with the construction of Phase 1 and more than 1,000 full-time construction jobs for the entire project.
  • Phase I construction is expected to be complete by second quarter of 2014 in conjunction with SunRail coming online.
  • Occupying an entire downtown city block along Orange Avenue, the Central Station Development will also include the existing LYNX Central Station in the site design.  It will also provide access to other forms of public transportation including LYNX and LYMMO, with multi-modal connectivity as a central design component.

Orlando Magic Corporate Relocation and Sports & Entertainment Complex

  • The Orlando Magic are proposing a $100 million private investment to relocate their corporate headquarters and develop a larger sports and entertainment complex at the 100 block of South Hughey Avenue by the new Amway Center.
  • The project will create jobs, provide dining, hotel and entertainment options to residents and visitors.
  • This investment will continue to revitalize Downtown Orlando and the Parramore neighborhood.
  • A feasibility study is being conducted by the Orlando Magic to help create a thorough plan that outlines details, terms and provisions for the proposed corporate relocation and mixed-use project.  After the study, the Orlando Magic will be required to present the thorough plan to the City Council for consideration.

Florida Hospital Health Village

  • Construction is already underway on the $810 million Florida Hospital Health Village, a 20-year master plan that will bring more than 15,000 high paying jobs to the City of Orlando.  The Health Village projects includes:
  • a 7-floor, 150,000 square foot Medical Office building estimated to create 450 jobs and estimated to employ more than 400 people.
  • a 52,000 square foot Translational Research Building that is estimated to create 250 jobs and estimated to employ 75 people.
  • 230 Health Village Apartment units providing workforce housing estimated to create 400 jobs.

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