Amid some misty weather and winds, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer encouraged business owners and community leaders to drive downtown to be the best in America at Thursday’s State of Downtown address.
In his speech, Dyer says venues, such as the Citrus Bowl, Lake Eola Park, Amway Center and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts have been game changers for the city and have become iconic gathering spaces. Already, the Orlando City Soccer Club’s future stadium has been a catalyst for a renaissance in Parramore.
“In 10 years, downtown’s population has increased by nearly 25 percent,” he says. “We’ve added more than 2,500 multi-family units, which are 95-percent occupied. More than 1,200 units are being built downtown right now, and more are on the way.”
In the long-term, Dyer says Parramore can be revitalized through education and affordable housing through the Creative Village project, a K-8 community school and new mixed-income residential project.
“This project is key in ensuring that the residents of Parramore today can continue to call Parramore home tomorrow,” he says.
The city is also working with the Florida Department of Transportation to build an urban park under Interstate 4 that would connect the east side of downtown with the west. Moving forward, Dyer says the downtown plan also focuses on enhancing green spaces in the city and combating chronic homelessness.
“As I talk with our residents, they tell me how proud they are of Orlando,” he says. “We have just begun to seize this momentum and are now ready to create an unstoppable second half.”