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Mercy Drive Neighborhood Vision Plan


Join us in celebrating the release of the final Mercy Drive Vision Plan and to learn about the resources available throughout our community. Additionally, Commissioner Hill has invited several City of Orlando Departments and community partners to participate in this momentous occasion. Presenting partners include Ability Housing, Canvs co-working, Career Source Central Florida, Good Food Central Florida, National Entrepreneur Center, Lynx, United Against Poverty, and Orlando’s Blueprint employment office.

Click on the links below to download an executive summary, a final draft of the Mercy Drive Vision Plan, and an appendix of information gathered during the Vision Plan process.

Mercy Drive Vision Plan Follow-Up

The City of Orlando has teamed with Canin Associates and community stakeholders to shape a vision for the Mercy Drive corridor. The vision plan encompasses the non-residential uses and the neighborhoods surrounding the Mercy Drive corridor, including the multi-family properties along Mercy Drive and the Lake Lawne and Parkview single family residential neighborhoods.

The planning process includes extensive community outreach and the identification and inclusion of multiple stakeholders that represent the broad interests of the community (resident, business, education, health, faith, cultural, and community services, etc.). There are three public outreach meetings in this planning process. The meetings are schedule for the beginning, middle and end of the process. The final meeting will be a presentation of the plan to the community.

The City anticipates the final neighborhood vision plan will guide public improvements, provide a housing strategy which may include defined incentives, and focus on making the case for specific action items with a balanced, feasible implementation plan.  The goal is to produce concrete recommendations and an implementation plan to improve the area. These recommendations include short, mid and long-term goals that will provide a roadmap in the City’s decision making, policy recommendations and fiscal resources for this area.

August 2018 Update

Beginning August 2018, we started our efforts to transform the Mercy Drive corridor into a more walkable and bikeable community by starting construction on a number of improvements. Phase 1 of the Mercy Drive improvements include:

Installation of new LYNX bus shelters (October/November 2018)
Installation of crosswalks and ADA ramps (September/October 2018)
Installation of new LED street lighting (September 2018)
Installation of new street trees (September 2018)

Phase 1 of the Mercy Drive improvements are expected to be complete by the end of November 2018. These improvements are part of the long-term vision plan to transform Mercy Drive into a safer, more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly community.

Residents have been informed to anticipate an increase in city staff working in the neighborhood during installation of these improvements.

The general limits of the study area extend to Silver Star Road (North), John Young Parkway (East), Lake Lawne/Central Florida Fairgrounds (West) and Colonial Drive (South). These are general boundaries, as there are several pockets of county jurisdiction, industrial land and the commercial corridor of Colonial Drive included in the area. The area has experienced a concentration of faith-based uses, along the Mercy Drive corridor and New Hampshire Street.

The census block group is predominately populated by African American households (over 89% black according to the most readily available American Community Survey Information), and had a 15% vacancy rate of units. More than 45% of the households are below poverty income, with a median household income of $20,586. More than 55% of area households pay greater than 30% of their income on housing. Approximately two-thirds of adult residents are high school graduates or higher.

The City of Orlando recently acquired three multi-family properties in the area from HUD and has planned a permanent supportive housing component on one of the properties as a redevelopment project (Ability Housing Project). Within the past year, two-thirds of the single family properties in the area have been under some form of code enforcement.  A housing assessment is needed to identify deferred maintenance issues, solutions for local housing stabilization programs, housing maintenance classes and other solutions.  Consideration will also need to be given to whether additional commercial development on the corridor is supported through market demand and economic development strategies.

Incrementally over the past decade, the City has planted street trees along the corridor, placed transit shelters, installed decorative street lights with OUC and improved a series of mid-block crossings/sidewalks along what was once a rural section of roadway.  The neighborhoods do not have a full complement of urban services, as entire neighborhoods are on septic. There are also opportunities to extend our street tree plantings into the neighborhood with a more concentrated effort.

The area is located near several industrial properties, which are both existing and developing into new industrial services. This creates a challenge for truck traffic in close proximity to residential neighborhoods and school routes. The potential identification of a strategy for freight routes that are sensitive to the needs of the neighborhood may need to be identified.

The area has several school zones with students attending several different elementary, middle and high schools.  In addition, some of the students are zoned for Ivey Lane Elementary, approximately one mile to the south/southwest of the neighborhood. The pedestrian route to school crosses Colonial Drive and many industrial properties between the Mercy Drive area and the school, making it difficult for children and families to walk to school.  Approximately 40% of the population is school aged.

The Central Florida Fairgrounds, a close property to the southwest, has plans as a medium-sized concert venue and more frequent events. Potential mitigation for noise, traffic and further development of the fairgrounds could be identified as an issue. Additionally, the City owns soccer fields and the Children’s Safety Village adjacent to the fairgrounds.  There are existing pocket parks in the Lake Lawne neighborhoods and the Northwest Community Center which have challenges when trying to walk/bike to these facilities.


For more information or questions, please contact Sherry Gutch at sherry.gutch@cityoforlando.net or 407.246.3346