FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Heather Fagan 407.246.3423
Cassandra Lafser 407.246.2182
Orlando Mayor Dyer’s 2011 State of
“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
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 Orlando
Partnership (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
TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT
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
Orlando Magic Corporate Relocation and Sports &
- 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
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.
- In December 2009, Orlando Health announced plans
to expand and renovate the Orlando Health campus. Orlando Health is
home to 13,000-plus team members and 2,000 physicians, Arnold Palmer
Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies,
Orlando Regional Medical Center and the MD Anderson Cancer
Center-Orlando. The Orlando Health expansion will be one of the
largest expansion efforts in the history of Orlando Health and
- Construction of a Proton Radiation Therapy
building attached to ORMC along Orange Avenue.
- A 90,000 square foot expansion of the
Emergency Department at the northwest corner of Orange Avenue
and Sturtevant Street.
- Construction of an 11-story, 245,000 square
foot, 192-bed tower at ORMC northwest of Copeland Street and
Other highlights from Mayor Dyer’s address include:
WHY I LOVE ORLANDO
Lake Eola Fountain
- Beginning tonight, daily jazz shows will run at
8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. featuring a choreographed water, light and
sound show for attendees. On November 12, 2011 for Veterans Day and
on other holidays there will be a patriotic water, light and sound
show in place of the regular jazz show.
- The City recently unveiled the recently
refurbished Lake Eola Fountain on July 4th 2011 at the Fireworks at
the Fountain event.
- The show will be 4 minutes and 35 seconds in
Downtown Orlando is home to 17,000 residents, 75,000 workers and
more than 620 businesses.
- In the past year, more than 150 new businesses
opened in Downtown Orlando including The Prickly Pear, The Rusty
Spoon, Mike’s Food Store, Urban ReThink and Salon Elysee.
- The Aspire, Camden Orange Court, City View, Post
Parkside, The Paramount, Uptown Place and 55 West all boast
occupancy rates of more than 90%.
- A renovation of the former OUC Building will turn
the property into a 119-room hotel called Aloft Hotel which will
also feature a pool and outdoor patio on the ground floor.
- A seven-story, 155-room hotel called Cambria
Suites will be located at the southwest corner of Washington Street
and Rosalind Avenue. Construction is expected to start in 2012.
- Construction will start in the fourth quarter of
2011 at Colonial Drive and Orange Avenue on The Steel House
Apartments, a four-story, 326 unit apartment complex wrapped around
a five-story parking garage. Completion of the project is expected
in the first quarter of 2013.
- Nearing completion is the renovation of the 3,441
square-foot building at East Central Boulevard and Court Street into
Bank United. A grand opening is planned for December 2011.