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May 26, 2018


Downtown's Fringes

Diane Sears | 8/1/2006

MOVING SOUTH: The SoDo project will ransform partially abandoned properties south of downtown into condos, shops and office space.
As downtown Orlando development booms with $2.6 billion in new projects, another trend is taking shape outside the city's core. Developers are breathing new life into old, sometimes abandoned, properties, turning them into hip urban centers with combinations of retail, office and living space. The development is part of Mayor Buddy Dyer's plan to restore outlying areas to keep up with downtown renovation. "We're focusing on quality urban infill development," Dyer says. "The demand is there because of the downtown renaissance we're experiencing." One of the most high-profile projects is a development called SoDo, named for its location just south of downtown Orlando. The 20-acre property on Orange Avenue near the Orlando Regional Healthcare complex currently houses an office furniture store, a thrift shop, a former Taco Bell scorched by fire and an abandoned KFC.

North American Properties and Kimco Developers expect to start construction by the end of the year to transform the site into a SuperTarget department store, 300 luxury condos, upscale dining, office space and retail shops. Opening is planned for spring 2008.

Just north of downtown, at Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive, Pelloni Development is preparing to demolish buildings that once held the Mills & Nebraska Lumber Co. and surrounding businesses. The 14-acre site will hold 564 condos and apartments, retail and restaurant space and 300,000 square feet of offices.

In southwest Orlando, developer Kevin Azzouz and Veranda Partners are planning a mid-2008 completion of Veranda Park, a $500-million luxury complex on south Hiawassee Road in MetroWest. The 30-acre site will include luxury condos, shops, offices, a hotel and a movie theater. The development is most noted for its Venetian flair, with imported outdoor sculptures, piazzas, park space, a lakefront amphitheater and gondola rides.

Downtown Orlando development

Residential units.............7,000
Office space (sq. ft.)........2.3 million
Retail space (sq. ft.)........688,000
Total investment.............$2.6 billion

Beyond Downtown: Notable Projects

? Prime Retail Orlando, a $150-million renovation of Belz Factory Outlet World that will create as many as 5,000 jobs. New owner Prime Outlets is adding 80 stores to the 79-acre site at the north end of International Drive. Completion is set for late 2007.

? Herndon Plaza on Colonial Drive just west of downtown, where Sikon Construction is renovating the 1972-vintage strip shopping center that once held a Publix and a Kmart. PetSmart, Sports Authority and Bed Bath & Beyond are are expected to move in at the end of this year.

Tags: Central, Housing/Construction

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