What is the Creative Village?
It is a collaborative effort between the City and the selected master developer, Creative Village Development (CVD), to reinvent the former Centroplex site. The Centroplex is approximately 68 acres in area, and includes the former Amway Arena and its parking lots. Together, the City and CVD envision Creative Village to be a place where high tech companies will locate, and where employees of those businesses and other residents will live, work, learn and play. The idea behind the Creative Village is for it to be the next stage in the evolution of Orlando’s flourishing digital media industry. The City’s existing digital media companies already make up one of the top ten digital media clusters in the United States. This project will further strengthen Orlando as a high tech destination, as well as build a powerful mechanism for creating jobs for the future.
What is the exact location of the Creative Village site?
The Creative Village redevelopment area is generally bounded by Hughey Avenue to the east, Central Florida Railroad (CFRR) rail spur to the south, Parramore Avenue to the west and Concord Street to the north. The area is approximately 68 acres in size.
How was the master developer for Creative Village chosen?
When the new Amway Center opened in October 2010, the former Amway Arena became vacant. Seeing the opportunity ahead for this key location in Downtown, the City issued a Request for Proposals from interested master developers to bring the City’s vision to life. The City’s selection committee reviewed the applications and made a recommendation to the City Commission. The Commission reviewed the applications and moved to select Creative Village Development, LLC (CVD) as the master developer.
What is Digital Media?
Digital Media is the creative convergence of digital arts, science, technology and business for human expression, communication, social interaction & education.
Here in Orlando, the digital media industry represents the convergence of already successful industries; modeling, simulation and training (MS&T); film and television production; theme park/rides and shows; and interactive and immersive entertainment. Digital media in Orlando has emerged from the union of our MS&T cluster and film and video production industries.
Why is it important for us?
As the current recession has illustrated in vivid detail, our state and our City can no longer rely on tourism and growth as the only engines of our economy. Pursuing a more diverse and dynamic economy will ensure the long-term health of our City as well generate new, high quality, high wage jobs for our residents.
For the past seven years, the City of Orlando has worked incredibly hard to diversify the local economy by expanding the footprint of “next generation” industries such as digital media, modeling and simulation in Central Florida. This effort has resulted in the creation of a growing digital media cluster in Downtown Orlando that includes the UCF Center for Emerging Media, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, the University of Florida’s Citi-Lab and the east coast headquarters for the House of Moves motion capture studios.
The Creative Village would build on this existing digital media foundation by creating a unique platform to attract businesses and workers to a place that is tailor-made for their creative lifestyles.
Will it mean jobs? What kind of jobs?
The Creative Village means new jobs. The Creative Village will act as a magnet to attract new companies outside of Orlando and be the “place to be” for local startups and existing businesses. The companies that choose to call the Creative Village home will need a high-tech workforce to support them. These companies will also need support staff and other non-technical employees.
These aren’t just any old jobs. These are good, high-paying jobs in a growth industry. The latest research shows that the average salary for a high-tech worker in Orlando is more than 70-thousand dollars a year. The digital media industry already directly employs nearly 10,000 Central Floridians. This project would increase that number dramatically.
Equally as important as the jobs in those companies will be the jobs that come from the development of the neighborhood in terms of retail, restaurant and entertainment offerings. The selected development team has identified a strategy for implementing the City’s Blueprint to ensure that local firms and residents have an opportunity to benefit from the implementation of the project.
What sort of professionals will want to live and work in the Creative Village?
The high-tech employees that will be drawn to the Creative Village are members of what’s called the Creative Economy – a workforce that is generally younger, has formal education, is highly diverse and is interested in living in a vibrant urban core that offers a variety of lifestyle amenities. These individuals tend to make location decisions based on quality and sense of place. These workers are attracted to locations based on the diversity of people, jobs and amenities.
What if I don’t want a high-tech job and don’t live in the neighborhood? Why does it matter to me?
The Creative Village will be another Downtown destination for all of Central Florida’s residents. It will include retail shops, as well as restaurants and entertainment establishments. It will also include multiple parks and greenspace for all to enjoy.
The Creative Village will also establish a variety of job opportunities for Orlando residents along with the high-tech jobs. Above all, having this unique platform to attract new businesses helps diversify our Central Florida economy, which helps everyone in the long run.
What about the existing neighborhood? Will this help the effort to revitalize Parramore?
Ensuring that the Creative Village blends into and helps support the surrounding Parramore neighborhood is a critical element of the vision for the project. The selected development proposal includes:
- Opportunities for upgrade or replacement of existing public recreational facilities within the development area
- A plan to upgrade or rebuild the Nap Ford Community School
- A mix of affordable, attainable and market-rate residential units
Will there be a chance for members of the community to ask questions and/or provide input?
The City has already benefitted from considerable community input in helping to craft the overall vision for the Creative Village. Throughout the past five years, Parramore residents and leaders from the digital media industry have participated in neighborhood open houses, workshops and other interactive sessions designed to make sure everyone plays a part in shaping this residential and business district of Downtown Orlando. That collaboration was essential in creating the broad vision for the Creative Village, which will guide the developer as they make plans for the project.