FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cassandra Lafser (407) 246-2182
Heather Fagan (407) 246-3423
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Delivered
Annual State of the City Address
Orlando Mayor Dyer: “Our newfound culture of
collaboration helped us weather the worst recession since the great
depression and position Orlando as one of a handful of American cities
primed to recover faster and stronger than anyone else.”
February 29, 2012 – ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor
Buddy Dyer delivered his annual State of the City address to hundreds of
residents, business owners and community leaders gathered at the UCF
College of Medicine at Lake Nona. The annual State of the City address
was taken “on the road” for the first time to highlight the
unprecedented public-private partnership that made this emerging
bio-tech and life science cluster a reality.
The Medical City, a one-of-a-kind cluster of clinics, classrooms,
laboratories, housing and recreation space that will revolutionize
America’s healthcare landscape and the local economy and employ more
than 30,000 with an $8 billion annual economic impact.
Mayor Dyer explained that the partnership strategy that fueled the
Medical City also laid the foundation for securing SunRail, the
Community Venues, and strengthening Orlando’s neighborhoods. “As
important as the Medical City is to our future, the way it was created
might be even more important,” said Mayor Dyer. “In fostering the
partnership necessary to create the Medical City, we didn’t just build a
one-time project. We also created a road map for how to get big,
important things done… and how to overcome the challenges that confront
During his address, Mayor Dyer also highlighted his administration’s
commitment to good government which according to Mayor Dyer means “being
as careful with a dollar as the families in our City.” Today, Mayor Dyer
reported that Orlando’s City government is in the best financial shape
of any major city in Florida.
Additionally, Mayor Dyer added “because of our fiscal prudence; once
again, we can announce there won’t be any tax increases in the year
ahead, so we can keep money in the pockets of our residents as the
Other highlights from Mayor Dyer’s address include:
ASSISTING SMALL BUSINESSES
Orlando Main Street
Since the program’s inception four years ago, the Orlando Main Street
program has seen the following successes within its five districts;
Ivanhoe Village, Audubon Park, College Park, Downtown South and Mills
- The opening of 278 new and 18 expanded
- The creation of 1,560 jobs, both full and
- The investment of more than 23,700 volunteer
hours. These hours are worth more than $479,465 according to the
Bureau of Labor Statistics values.
- The investment of more than $126,817,441 in
improvements throughout the five districts.
- The City of Orlando added two new districts - the
Semoran Business Partnership and the Church Street District - to the
Orlando Main Street Program in October 2011.
GROWING HEADQUARTERS AND BUSINESS EXPANSION
- Headquartered in Downtown Orlando, BBA Aviation,
the parent company of Signature Flight Support, is expanding their
corporate headquarters by 53,000 square feet in its current
building, creating 100 new jobs over the next four years and
retaining nearly 200 jobs.
- Planet Hollywood International Inc., a
world-renowned restaurant and entertainment trademark, headquartered
in Central Florida for two decades recently acquired Buca di Beppo
and is relocating Buca’s operations to the City of Orlando, to
combine it with Planet Hollywood and Earl of Sandwich at a new
location. This will create 90 new jobs over the next three years and
a capital investment of more than $1 million in the build out of
their new space.
- Publix, the largest and fastest-growing
employee-owned supermarket chain in the United States, will
construct an approximately 1,000,000 square-foot frozen food and
produce distribution center in the City of Orlando, creating 156 new
jobs over the next three years and retaining 125 existing jobs. The
company’s capital investment is estimated at $188 million in
construction and equipment.
- Amcor Rigid Plastics, a global leader in
responsible packaging solutions, is expanding its Central Florida
operation by moving into 500,000 square-feet of warehouse space in
the City of Orlando, creating 29 new jobs over the next three years
and retaining 97 existing jobs. The company’s capital investment is
estimated at $19.49 million in construction and equipment.
- Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock Architects (HHCP),
one of the Southeast’s most experienced and respected architectural
firms, is relocating their offices and approximately 50 employees
from Maitland to a historic building in Downtown.
- In December 2011, Parson Brinkerhoff, a global
consulting firm assisting public and private clients on critical
infrastructure projects around the world, relocated from their Pine
Street offices to their new location in the CNL II Tower, retaining
40 high-value jobs in Downtown Orlando.
- Row Sham Bow, an on-line video game development
studio, opened in Downtown Orlando in 2011. The new company is
expected to create 60 jobs over the next three years.
STRONG, EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT
- Mayor Dyer announced today the City will “hold
the line” on taxes in the next fiscal year.
- Orlando is in the best financial shape of any
major city in Florida.
- Orlando residents have the lowest tax rate of any
major city in Florida.
- Orlando has a lower tax rate than it did 20 years
- Since 2005, Orlando has added to its savings by
30 percent while other governments around Florida have reduced their
- Orlando has more police officers and firefighters
per thousand residents than any other major city in Florida.
- Orlando is the only major city government in
Florida that has funded all of its retirement benefits.
- Fitch Ratings gave Orlando a Triple-A bond rating
in 2011, the highest credit score possible.
- SunRail, Central Florida’s first commuter rail
line, will provide a desperately-needed alternative to congested
roadways and rising gas prices while also creating 250,000
construction and operation jobs and 8.8 billion dollars in economic
impact over the next 30 years.
- On January 27, 2012, the Florida Department of
Transportation along with the other local and federal funding
partners broke ground on the SunRail corridor with operations
expected to start in the second quarter of 2014 for Phase I.
- In December 2011, FDOT began a study to analyze
connecting SunRail to the Orlando International Airport, the Lake
Nona Medical City area, International Drive and Innovation Way.
- Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2012
on the Florida Hospital, LYNX Central Station and the Orlando
Health/Amtrack SunRail stations.
- Construction on the Church Street SunRail station
is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2012.
- LYNX will add 27 new buses to support SunRail.
- The City of Orlando’s Vision Planning process
brings together residents, business and property owners so that the
entire neighborhood population can be a catalyst for shaping the
community’s future, revitalization efforts and positioning the
neighborhood for future growth. Vision Planning efforts for our
neighborhoods and business corridors have resulted in several
- The completion of the new community wall
along the west side of Semoran Boulevard between Andora Street
and Casablanca Lane. The new concrete block wall greatly
enhances the appearance of the Semoran Boulevard business
district, reduces traffic noise and provides better security for
Semoran neighborhood residents.
- The construction of a Wal-Mart Neighborhood
Market in Washington Shores, an area that is underserved by
- The creation of a major urban park at Lake
Beauty in Downtown South and on the Orlando Health hospital
- The City has added 14 miles of sidewalks over the
last four years and repaired another 7 miles of sidewalks.
- Through $4 million in Federal funds, dedicated to
surface transportation, the City continues to invest in sidewalks
through the ORLANDO WALKS project. The funds are being provided in
two phases with each phase estimated at $2 million for a total of
approximately 18 miles of sidewalks. The first phase began
construction in October 2011 with 6 miles already completed and the
phase slated to finish in winter 2012. Phase 2 construction is
estimated to start in the fall of 2013.
- In 2011, Traffic Calming measures were
implemented in 11 different neighborhoods. The most common types of
traffic calming measures which are implemented by the City include:
speed humps, speed tables, raised pedestrian crosswalks, driver
feed-back signs like radar devices, roundabouts, and rumble strips.
- In 2011, the City resurfaced 15 miles of
neighborhood streets and repaired 13-hundred feet of curb and gutter
Watch Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s 2012 State of the City
address on the City’s website at
City of Orlando - outlining recent major accomplishments and future
plans for the City of Orlando
- at Lake Nona.