Dress to impress 

It's official: We are not a city of slobs. That's according to Urban Marketing Collaborative, a Toronto market-research firm hired by Orlando's Community Redevelopment Agency, which in turn is working on the Downtown Orlando Horizon 2000 Monthly Plan Update. The Urban Marketing Collaborative has been using surveys to evaluate downtown's retail and entertainment market. The preliminary results include these observations: Retail options are relatively low for a typical downtown, and competition for retail in downtown is not from major malls but from other non-mall locations. (Can you say "CityWalk" ?) While we heartily applaud all efforts to add sparks of life -- and some damn stores -- to downtown, did city officials really need to pay Canadian researchers to gather these well-known facts?

Still, there is one finding that should make us swell with Vogue- and Details-induced pride: "Downtown Orlando's market is primarily young, middle income and fashion conscious." So take our advice: Before strolling Orange Avenue, think twice about those Levi's jeans. They're so passé.

The CRA is holding "Neighborhood Open Houses" from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. July 20, 22, 27 and 29 at different downtown locations to review proposed redevelopment plans. Call 246-2555 for information.

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