Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Celebrates Our Downtown: One Downtown

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ORLANDO, FL – Today, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer gave his annual State of Downtown Address.  The Bob Carr Theater, one of Downtown Orlando’s first major gathering spaces, was the location for the annual speech and highlighted how Parramore is experiencing a rebirth and renaissance celebrating its rich history and ensuring it is a place for opportunity

“This State of Downtown Address is different because the ‘big idea’ we want to focus on is not something new,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.  “Rather, it’s a priority our community has been advancing for a long time:  the transformation and revitalization of Parramore.”

In his speech, Mayor Dyer highlighted that a unique window of opportunity is opening for Parramore to ensure it’s a neighborhood where learning, the careers of tomorrow, sports and entertainment and unique amenities come together and are shared by everyone.  He highlighted the key role education plays in this vision.

“The big changes ahead for Parramore aren’t happening because of a single project or building, they’re happening because of the power of education,” said Mayor Dyer.  “Education opens doors and eliminates barriers to opportunities for everyone, drives investment and serves as a catalyst for development, attracts the job creators of tomorrow and, in turn, the people who want to work at those companies.”

During the address, Mayor Dyer talked about how the evolution and revitalization of Parrramore is important for all of Downtown.

“We have One Downtown, One DTO,” said Mayor Dyer. “And every block, every street, every business every home is important to its prosperity and vitality.”

New this year, the Mayor’s State of Downtown also featured a panel discussion with some of the key individuals and partners transforming Downtown and Parramore right now.

Other highlights from Mayor Dyer’s address include:

A Place to Grow, Learn and Thrive 

A path to higher education.

  • Next year, construction will begin on the UCF/Valencia Downtown Campus at the Creative Village, which will be home to nearly 8,000 students when it opens in the fall of 2019.  The campus will be a world-class, best-in-the-nation site for emerging animation, digital media, communications, film and public affairs degrees.  Additionally, the campus will connect students to the careers of the future by providing unique opportunities for collaboration and engagement with Downtown’s nearby technology, government and healthcare sectors.

A home for the companies and careers of the future. 

  • The City’s Creative Village development will eventually be home to new office space filled with high-tech, digital media and creative companies like those growing out of Canvs and Starter Studio.
    • The Creative Village will also serve as a magnet to attract other nationally-known innovative companies to Orlando like Arrow Sky Media, an Emmy Award winning, Nashville-based animation production and game development studio that is considering bringing 114 new jobs to the first commercial building in Creative Village.

A Place Everyone Can Call Home

Safe and affordable housing options.

  • To help continue to increase homeownership opportunities in Parramore, the City will put out an RFP in early 2017 for the development of over 20 City-owned lots.  The goal is to partner with a developer to provide single family homes on these properties and offer Down Payment Assistance (DPA) to qualified homebuyers to purchase these at an affordable price.
  • A vacant six-acre site in Parramore will be transformed into a mixed-income housing development across from Z.L. Riley Park.  The Parramore Oaks development will feature 211 units including apartments and townhomes that will offer affordable housing, permanent supportive housing and market-rate housing.
  • A new $56 million, 256-unit multi-family housing development, Amelia Court at Creative Village, will have a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments and provide a new option for families looking to live near the adjacent Parramore Community School and UCF/Valencia Downtown Campus. Groundbreaking is expected in the third quarter of 2017.
  • Through a partnership with the Florida Real Estate Foundation, the City is redeveloping six lots at Jefferson Park into single-family homes for veterans and public safety personnel through our Heroes’ Commons project.

Housing our homeless.

  • Earlier this year, utilizing the Housing First strategy, the City of Orlando, along with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness and Orange County, achieved a rate of functional zero for our chronically homeless veterans.
  • In less than three years, with the partnership of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, HSN and Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, the goal to house one third of the 900 chronically homeless individuals has been reached, with more than 300 of these individuals now living in permanent-supportive housing.

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