Downtown UCF Campus
For the past two years, the City has been working with UCF and Valencia College on plans for a shared campus at Downtown Orlando’s Creative Village. On Monday, February 8, City Council presented a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the City’s commitment to support the campus including providing land, construction of roadways and other infrastructure improvements to accommodate the campus plans.
The MOU is an important step in gaining the necessary approvals to advance our plans for this project which will benefit our region and the state. Marcos Marchena, Chairman of the UCF Board of Trustees gave a brief presentation on the campus.
Reasons why this project is important to the City:
- The campus would create 2,000 new direct and indirect jobs for our residents.
- The project would serve as a catalyst for development at the rest of the 68-acre Creative Village site and further our revitalization efforts in Downtown and Parramore.
- The project would provide educational opportunity to some of our underserved residents as both the 32801 and 32805 zip codes lag behind the City and county in college attainment.
- This campus will help us fill workforce needs attract new companies and young talented workers who want to be near the university and in a highly-desirable urban environment.
The City will continue to work with our friends at UCF and Valencia to get necessary approvals and funding to advance our shared vision for the campus which would be a catalyst for Creative Village and continued revitalization efforts in Parramore.
Commissioner Hill NLC Appointment
Mayor Dyer congratulated Commissioner Hill who was recently appointed by the National League of Cities to serve on their 2016 Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.
Commissioner Hill will help the committee to develop positions on policy issues such as crime prevention, juvenile justice, homeland security, domestic terrorism, court systems and gun control.
Zipcar Launches in Downtown Orlando
Last week, The City of Orlando celebrated the arrival of Zipcar’s “wheels when you want them” membership service into Downtown Orlando.
This new car sharing service furthers the City of Orlando’s focus on providing safe, multimodal forms of transportation and enhancing our transportation options to further connecting our community to opportunity.
Downtown Orlando now has six ZipCar vehicles available in on-street parking spots and garages. Vehicles are parked in designated spots for convenient pick-up and drop-off and can be reserved in seconds on Zipcar’s mobile app, online or over the phone.
This Sunday is Valentine’s Day, which is not only an opportunity to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, but also show our love for The City Beautiful. This weekend, we encourage all residents to showcase what they love about our city by using the hashtag “LoveOrlando” when posting photos and videos on social media.
Visiting one of our more than 100 parks, dining in one of our Main Street Districts or attending family-friendly events like the Mennello Museum’s Indie-Folkfest? Use the hashtag “LoveOrlando” and you could be featured on our City social media accounts throughout the weekend.
Mayor Dyer invited residents and businesses to join him, City Commissioners and Police Chief John Mina on Tuesday, February 16 at 6:30 p.m. for our third ORLANDO SPEAKS, interactive workshop designed to strengthen relationships and trust between our police officers and our residents.
Building on the national dialogue, the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute, in partnership with the City of Orlando, is conducting these workshops to enhance our City’s community policing initiative. Our community’s strength is our diversity and we are committed to ensuring that our City remain safe, inclusive and accepting of all.
The workshop will be held at Howard Middle School and registration is required. Please visit our website: cityoforlando.net for registration information. Seating is limited, so please register early.
Solid Waste Pilot
The City is focused on being one of the most sustainable cities in America. To further that effort, we are working on launching a new solid waste pilot program to encourage more residents to participate in our recycling program and meet the increased demand of those already participating.
This pilot will roll out in mid-February in seven Orlando neighborhoods where the City of Orlando’s Solid Waste Division will increase recycling collection from once every other week to once per week and reduce garbage collection from twice per week to once per week. Yard waste collection will remain the same with collection once per week.
Through this pilot, we will gather feedback from our residents with the eventual goal of expanding this pilot citywide. Click here for more information.
Item of Note:
QTI and Biz Asst. Program
Council voted to approve funding through our Business Assistance Program for Zaza’s Cuban Diner which is located on Curry Ford Road to help them improve flooding issues on their property.
In addition to the Business Assistance Program, the City has a number of programs to help businesses, large and small, grow in our community.
We recently received an update on how these business programs are performing:
- Last year, through our Business Assistance Program, for each dollar the City invested in our small businesses, we saw a 51 dollar return on that investment.
- Through our small business façade program, for each dollar invested, the City saw a 19 dollar investment. And, the program helps keep the City Beautiful “beautiful” by providing funds to help our small businesses improve their storefronts.
- Since 1997, we have participated in the state’s Qualified Target Industry (QTI) program to bring high-value, high wages jobs to Orlando. Since its inception, 97% of the jobs proposed through the program have been created. We’ve added 495 million dollars to the tax roll through these projects. And, for each dollar invested, the City has seen a 456 dollar return on that investment.
Grants for Parramore
Council voted on two items that will help with the revitalization efforts in Parramore by providing funding to help two of our locally-owned businesses make improvements and expand.
Funding will help Griner’s Embroidery & Silk Screening Co., a women-owned businesses that was formerly a home-based operation, has chosen to relocate to the Parramore area, helping them to expand and grow.
Additionally, funds will help Nikki’s Place, one of our community’s best known soul food restaurants who last year was destroyed by a fire, assist with they’re rebuilding.
These and other Parramore businesses, often serve as community gathering places for our residents. Last year, the DDB/CRA kicked off a campaign promoting these places. The campaign, Discover More in Parramore, highlights the culture, entertainment offerings, homestyle cooking and history in our Parramore community and helps to raise awareness of these great offerings. To learn more, visit downtownorlando.com.
Foster Children Program
Council also voted on an item that furthers the City’s efforts to offer academic and recreational opportunities for all of our children from all economic backgrounds.
This item will allow the City to provide free access to after-school and summer programs to foster children. The children will benefit from homework assistance and academic enrichment, supervised sports and art activities and healthy meals and snacks.