Development Investment Towers at More than $5 Billion in Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando is the economic engine driving Central Florida’s economy. The area is a world-class urban core with growing residential, retail, and commercial development currently providing more than 12,000 residential units and more than 78,000 jobs.
Downtown is the center of a dynamic metropolitan area with a vibrant and diverse community where arts and culture flourish. With more than 16,000 residents, Downtown offers more than 200 dining and entertainment options, world-class venues with high energy professional sports, and 1,100 events annually. Just this year, Downtown Orlando hosted several major events such as the NFL Pro Bowl, NCAA March Madness, and WWE WrestleMania 33. These events were a tremendous success and generated a healthy economic impact on the region.
Downtown Orlando is constantly evolving to create the ideal destination to live, work, and play. The area currently has 13 projects underway to enhance the community and make Downtown Orlando the highest quality urban environment in the nation. “Downtown Orlando is no longer simply a weekday employment hub,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “The area has grown to be the engine driving the future of Central Florida with growing residential, dining and nightlife, arts and world-class venues for sports & entertainment.”
Currently, there is $5.15 billion in investment including developments like Creative Village, Phase 2 of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, I-4 Ultimate, and the Orlando Magic’s Sports Entertainment District.
Creative Village and Education
Building upon the success of Downtown Orlando’s digital media industry, development is underway for Creative Village, a 68-acre site that will be a one-of-a-kind place where high-tech companies and 21st century education can locate. When completed, it will be the largest transit-oriented development project in Central Florida and offer up to 1,000,000 sq. ft. of office/creative space as well as multi-family residential, commercial, and hotel.
Nearly 15 acres of Creative Village will be occupied by the new University of Central Florida (UCF) and Valencia Downtown campus, which recently held its groundbreaking ceremony in May 2017. This new educational project will provide innovative education for high-demand fields and will place 7,700 students within walking distance of jobs and internship opportunities in Downtown Orlando. Phase one of the Downtown Campus will include a new $60 million, 148,000 sq. ft. academic building; a new $10 million, 600-space campus parking garage; and renovations to the existing Center for Emerging Media.
Also undergoing construction is the first new public school opening in Parramore in more than 50 years, called the OCPS Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). ACE is a community school which will house students from preschool to eighth grade, and will offer tuition-free preschool, health clinic, Boys and Girls Club, and college scholarships for high school students.
As the Downtown Orlando community continues to grow, amenities for residents and visitors are crucial toward ensuring a welcoming and livable urban center. The I-4 Ultimate interstate construction project, which is currently underway and scheduled to conclude in 2021, will provide a completely rebuilt overpass through the Downtown core. This redevelopment not only focuses on the reconstruction of the highway, but introduces a new opportunity for the underpass area. This underpass development area is called Under-i, and is envisioned to be a best-in-the-nation, 10-acre urban park that revitalizes a former underutilized area beneath the I-4 bridge decks to become a dynamic and inviting space. The park will feature active recreation opportunities, aesthetic lighting, performance spaces, artwork, and areas for vendors – a new Downtown amenity and gathering place for the community.
Downtown’s objective of becoming the nation’s highest quality urban environment requires that it builds upon its development accomplishments to ensure a better tomorrow for businesses and residents.