STATEMENT BY MAYOR BUDDY DYER
December 3, 2003
Nine months ago, the citizens of this city elected me to serve as
their Mayor. As I campaigned for this job, I asked people to imagine
a great city…I asked Cameron Kuhn to imagine a great city over a cup
of coffee…I challenged Cameron and all of our downtown stakeholders
to help me…help our city…build that great city that we all want.
Great cities have great neighborhoods, good transportation systems,
diversified economies and a downtown core that features a mixture of
retail and restaurants, sports, arts and entertainment…and people
who not only work in the downtown core, but who live in the downtown
To that end the city has made some progress.
But I believe that if we are to meet our goal of building that great
city we dream of we need more than just incremental change… we must
have transformational change.
believe that transformational change must include the demolition of
the buildings on the Tavistock block behind me here today and in its
place we envision a bright new set of buildings that will include
movie theaters, condominiums, offices, restaurants and retail. This
block is the corner of Main Street and Main Street in Orlando. For
our core to be the vibrant area we dream of, we must not just focus
on the margins of our downtown, but be prepared to move forward
boldly to make the changes necessary to restore our downtown and
make it the core of not only our city, but of the region.
Kuhn has answered the challenge I put before him many months ago.
Cameron has restored 14 buildings in downtown Orlando…he believes,
as he will tell you himself this morning, that these buildings
cannot be restored. Last month, our Code Enforcement Board
authorized the demolition of these buildings due to the threat to
public safety that these buildings pose to our residents. Public
safety is always my greatest concern.
Cameron Kuhn has purchased this property and has filed for a permit
to demolish these buildings. I intend to allow our Code Enforcement
and Permitting Services Division to issue a demolition permit so
that Cameron can move forward with the demolition of these
buildings…saving what is special about the buildings, like the McCrory’s sign…and removing what has been an eyesore and an
inhibition to rebuilding our downtown. And which is now… a serious
public safety problem.
On Monday, we will have an unprecedented City Council meeting. I
will seek final approval for the new CNL building that will house
400 new employees downtown and is a $50 million project to be built
next to City Hall…I will ask the City Council to approve a
memorandum of understanding that will allow the 55 West condominium
project, a $130 million project with 360 new condominiums, to move
And, finally, I will ask our City Council to approve a resolution to
demolish these buildings and to approve a memorandum of
understanding with Cameron and his company to build an exciting $140
million dollar project here on this site, which will include new
office space, movie theaters, restaurants and retail.
These are transformational changes…and for some these changes will
Nine months ago when I took this job on the steps of City Hall, I
talked of a poet who once said, “Happy are those who dream dreams
and have the courage to make them come true.” We dream of a great
downtown…We have citizens who have stepped up with a solution…We
need to have the courage to make this dream a reality.
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