Florida is short on institutions. The rapid turnover of people and places is practically baked into the various land rushes that have made the state what it is. That being said, Austin's Coffee in Winter Park clears the bar for being held up as a foundational space for the close-in suburb.
The nearly 20-year-old coffee shop-cum-performance space was in danger of being wiped out, in service of those newcomers who clog the area's roads. The City of Winter Park was considering purchasing the land on which Austin's sits to demolish the building and expand nearby roads to ease traffic congestion. However, the commission voted to table the purchase for the foreseeable future in an April 28 meeting. In a close 3-2 decision, commissioners who were worried about the headache of existing contracts on the corner's various properties won out.
In the meanwhile, commissioners asked that they look closer into the idea of whether adding lanes to the area's roads would actually ease congestion. We suggest the city look up the idea of "induced demand" and ask themselves whether a brief respite can make up for a cultural hub.
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