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Showing posts from December, 2015

Copa America Centenario Soccer Tournament is a Rent-Free, Tax-Free, Fee-Free Event

Wear read the contract between US Soccer and City of Orlando and learned that US Soccer, the company producing the June 2016 Copa America Centenario soccer tournament at the Citrus Bowl, is not paying a rental fee for use of the Venue for the Event. From the contract:  "LOC (US Soccer) shall pay no rental fee for use of the Venue for the Event." "The Venue Manager (City of Orlando) will pay up to $175,000 per Match ($150,000 if attendance is below 40,000 drop count) in Stadium expenses and no more than a total of up to $30,000 Stadium expenses for non-Match days during the Exclusive Period. LOC shall pay all actual, out-of-pocket expenses above $175,000 per Match ($150,000 if attendance is below 40,000 drop count) and above $30,000 for non-Match days during the Exclusive Period incurred by Venue Manager except for those items identified elsewhere in this Agreement as the responsibility of others, including Venue Manager." The contract also states US Soccer gets 100…

Cyclists Unwelcome at Maserati/Ferrari Dealership

(Updated 10:29am 12/30/15 to include comments from Juice Bikes)

Lochrane Engineering, Inc. is requesting Master Plan approval to construct a 55,000 sq. ft. Ferrari and Maserati sales/ showroom and vehicle service center on the property at 4891 Vineland Rd in the Millenia neighborhood (MAP). 
But don't ride your bike to THIS Maserati/Ferrari dealership. 
They're required to provide 13 parking spaces for cyclists meant for the use of patrons and employees. However, Lochrane Engineering, Inc. says they'll only provide 6 parking spaces and "these spaces will primarily serve employees and not customers."

"They're just doing what other developers have been doing," says Peter Martinez, Director of Juice Bikes (Website).  "It's another example of why we need some kind of standard for these developers to follow if they want to build in our city." 
Martinez says that right now, someone can create a development and not accommodate at all for someo…

Winter Park's New York Ave Getting New Streetscape

Rendering of New York Ave at the Lyman intersection near the railroad crossing
Winter Park's New York Ave is getting a new streetscape. It's scheduled for fiscal year 2016-2017 at a total cost of $1,762,183. It's a concept only and still would need Agency review when it moves forward.
Proposed improvements to include
Bricked intersectionsLandscapingSidewalk beautification "Coordination with FDOT will be required to brick the intersection of Fairbanks and New York Avenue."

"An additional $680,000 also may be proposed for concrete panels to be placed at the New York & Lyman Avenue Intersection to mitigate rough railroad crossings. However, this improvement has not been programmed into the CIP and requires further evaluation of possible revenue sources and design."

Another improvement is the addition of bulb-outs:
From Wikipedia: "A bulb-out is primarily used to extend the sidewalk, reducing the crossing distance and allowing pedestrians about to c…

Fairbanks + 17-92 Intersection Getting Revamp in Winter Park

The motion to accept the proposed fiscal year 2015-2020 Capital Improvement Plan by the Winter Park Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board was approved unanimously in a 7-0 vote. READ IT HERE.
One item included in the CIP is the proposal to make improvements to the Intersection of US 17-92 & Fairbanks Avenue. 
Proposed improvements to include

gateway elements (Winter park sign)remarking crosswalk locationsmast arm traffic signals (replacing the span wire stop ones)landscaping at each cornerstreetscape improvementscurbingutility signageunderground utility lines lighting/light poles
It's a concept only and still would need Agency review when it moves forward. It's scheduled, however, for fiscal year 2018-2019 at a total cost of $1,285,648.

The Agency says This "project has safety, aesthetics, and blight remediation elements. Each of these components have been shown to have significant impact on areas from a social as well as an economic perspective."

Have a …

Sewage Pumpers May Spew Forth Despite Proximity to Residences

Photo Credit: City documents Several residential buildings are next door to the property. (Photo Credit: Google Maps) View from E. South Street (Photo Credit: Google Maps) View from S. Mills Ave. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

The City of Orlando requested a site at the corner of E. South Street and S. Mills Ave. be changed from from Residential Medium Intensity to Public, Recreational and Instituational, with regards to future land use.
However, this future land use request change is not required for the city to build what they want to build on this site: a city lift station.  "While public benefit uses, including a lift station, are allowed by the current future land use and zoning designations, this application is needed to ensure that property is used for public benefit in the future." The city wishes to ensure that the property not return to residential medium intensity.

They say the site is ideal for a City Lift Station because it'd be "on a property that is expos…

Publix Has More Money Than Wal Mart

(Edited 7:29am 12/30/15)
4 Facts About Publix (Website): Publix has more cash and investments than WalmartPublix is more profitable than WalmartPublix is the 8th largest privately-owned corporationPublix has 774 Florida locations

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Two Helipads Coming to Orlando

Pabb Rosenberg, CEO Orlando Crossing, requested a Conditional Use Permit to construct a new helicopter tour facility with two helipads on 4.4 acres at 529 International Drive. The new structure will include a 2,400 sq. ft. two-story building with a guest lounge, retail and sales lobby. This occurred on December 15, 2015. Have a tip about Orlando-area development? Send it to

Southeast Orlando Sector Plan

(View Map Full-Size HERE)
One of the largest urban planning and development projects ever undertaken by the City of Orlando is the Southeast Orlando Sector Plan. The 19,300 acres east of the Orlando International Airport include Lake Nona, Medical City, East Park and other neighborhoods.

From Chapter 68(View HERE):The purpose of these land use and urban design guidelines and standards is to create a sustainable and balanced community in the Southeast Orlando Sector Plan area with the characteristics of traditional "Orlando": where streets are convenient and comfortable for walking, where parks are a focus for public activity, and where the life and vitality of a mid-sized town can be enjoyed by its residents and visitors.
Highlights from the Plan Guidelines: (View full Guidelines HERE)
Identity and community are often lost in the faceless growth of many suburban areas. Typically, each developer works on a separate track to build and market their property. Public facilities and c…

Rats & Roaches Force 2-Day Closure at Downtown Orlando Restaurant

Photo Credit: Yelp
Photo Credit: Yelp
Photo Credit: Yelp
Photo Source: Google Maps
Downtown Orlando Church Street Station bar Schumanns Jager Haus (Website) at 25 W Church Street got temporarily closed two days in a row, December 15th and 16th during routine inspections. The restaurant's operations were ordered stopped until violations were corrected. On December 16th a second inspection the same day was conducted and the restaurant was allowed to re-open.

About Schumanns Jager Haus: "We are a German restaurant, centrally located on historic Church Street in the heart of Downtown Orlando. We strive to serve quality cuisine that maintains a cultural connection to the German motherland. Our namesake is derived from the owner's step-father, Ernest Schumann."

High Priorities Found During Dec 15th Inspection: 03D-02-4High Priority - Cooked potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food not cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within 6 …

Hinckley's Fancy Meats Instagram Account Goes Behind the Scenes of a Butcher's Life

We told you in October when Hinckley's Fancy Meats (Instagram | Website | Facebook), a locally sourced artisanal meat company, had its soft opening inside the East End Market building. Owner Matt Hinckley cuts up a whole pig in the back kitchen at East End, prepares everything by hand and displays it in a front glass case just to the left as you walk in the front door. N

Their Instagram account is mostly made up of lovely photos of meat cuttings and friendly pigs at the farm. But two photos of theirs did not hold back in showing the butcher's daily behind the scenes reality.

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Bubbleology Bubble tea Opens at Florida Mall inside Dining Pavilion

Bubbleology (Website) opened inside Florida Mall's spacious Dining Pavilion this month. They sell bubble teas. Some of their milk tea flavors are Assam, Jasmine and Honeydew. Their fruit tea selection includes flavors like Lychee, Kumquat and Kimi. 

Modern Wood-Clad Doctors Office Coming to Winter Park for Members of PHMD Medical Concierge

Barefoot Brothers Construction is building PHMD Medical Concierge (Website | Twitter | Facebook) a new location at the corner of N. Pennsylvania Ave and Garfield Ave in Winter Park. PHMD Medical Concierge is a limited membership primary care practice.

Image Via Google Maps Image Via Google Maps Image Via Google Maps Dr Ivan Castro, MD and his Triumph on the property Photo Credit: Private Health MD
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History Center's Garden Needs a Hug

The downtown Orlando Orange County History Center's flower bed need a hug.

The Snout House Town-Not-Town Called Kindred

According to, a new 1,600 acre faux-town named Kindred (Website) will bring several thousand single and multi-family dwellings along with retail to Central Florida.

Two reasons Kindred is a Monster:

More Snout Houses.Exactly 3,000 snout houses will be constructed. What's a snout house? It's a derogatory term to be sure. It's a style of architecture that places the garage in the front of a house as opposed to behind it, eliminating much of the street interaction the house would normally have. If anyone is to be blamed for the sameness, blandness and complete detachment from urban life and community in Central Florida, it is developer like this. Kindred is a Town-Not-Town. The developers are calling Kindred a town. It's not a town and will never be a town. It's not legally a town but they are allowed to call it a town in their branding and who in the general public really knows what makes a town a town and who would even think to ask "Hey lady …

Exclusive Construction Sneak Peek - Canvas Market inside New Lake Nona Restaurant

Full disclosure: I am one of the two Canvas Market buyers.

We got permission to show you interior shots of Canvas Market early during the design/layout phase.

We told you in November that a 278-seat dinner-only restaurant called Canvas was opening Winter 2016 in Lake Nona.

Canvas' menu will be classic American and chef-driven featuring local ingredients and Florida seafood. Guests will enjoy waterfront views on a private lake, exhibition-style kitchen, floor-to-ceiling windows, banquettes and a large wooden bar.

Canvas will also feature a special relaxed gathering spot off to the side called Canvas Market. Canvas Market will feature the following: Curated selection of housewares, books and locally-made goods Communal table and several 4-top tables at which guests relax and enjoy the lakeside viewTo-go bar serving offee, juices, smoothies and their breakfast/lunch menuLake Nona Info Center
The communal table will go here, in the middle of the space. Guests can sip coffee and eat lun…

EXCLUSIVE: 7 Visions of What the Bridge District Could Look Like

In 2009, Citylab-Orlando (Website), the Orlando location of the University of Florida Graduate School of Architecture, worked with the City of Orlando to get a $50,600 grant for an urban planning and design research project/visioning exercise creating design proposals for the Downtown Orlando Under I4 Bridge District called "I4 Bridge District Study: Opportunity Assessment and Placemaking Initiative."

The University of Florida called it
URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGN RESEARCH PROJECT INTERSTATE 4 BRIDGE DISTRICT OPPORTUNITY ASSESSMENT AND PLACEMAKING INITIATIVE The grant was a small part of a three-part $656,600 grant application titled Parramore Neighborhood Revitalization. Part two, $206,000, was meant to purchase distressed properties for future residential development. The city was unable to purchase the properties, so the full amount was added to the $400,000 tagged for the third part, Accessory opportunities. Those $600,000 worth of accessories included a Gore Street streets…

Bike Trail Linking Lake Nona, St Cloud and Kissimmee Goal of New City Manager

Updated 12-21-15 to include Lake Nona trails description
According to the, a trail linking Lake Nona, St Cloud and Kissimmee is one of the goals of new St Cloud City Manager Joe Helgenberger. He says he "plans to develop a trail master plan" linking the 3 areas.

Lake Nona has 44 miles of planned and complete trails for biking, walking, running, etc. They include their sidewalks, wide path trails, and some crushed shell trails. 
The above graphic and trail name was made by The Daily City for illustration purposes only.

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Lake Nona Wanted Gigabit Bandwidth So They Did It Themselves

Lake Nona's was called "one of the single most concentrated areas of 1-gigabit bandwidth in America" by Chief Executive Magazine.

It went on to say that companies with a need for fast internet are looking for cities with 1-gigabit broadband networks. And Lake Nona's got it. And not just for companies: homeowners in Lake Nona get it to.

Throughout the 11-acre development is a complete fiber network that delivers "everything from content all the way to the device,”
Good luck finding that elsewhere in Orlando. 
Google Fiber passed Orlando by in favor of Tampa:

Orlando is said to have gigabit internet: "CenturyLink has expanded its gigabit internet service to select locations in Orlando. Prices start at $79.95 per month."Tower cloud says they expanded it in Orlando in 2013. We found a map of 1-gigabit internet in Orlando, but there's not much there: Lake Nona is working with a company that provides “cable, Internet, telephone, security and fiber infras…

Deaf Dolphin Can't Go Back to Sea Says Sea World

A deaf dolphin stranded himself on Clearwater Beach this summer. They took the deaf dolphin to Sea World. They discovered his hearing loss and because of it, determined he had to have long-term care at Gulf World by Dolphin Discovery in Panama City Beach. So he's there for the rest of his life.

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Put Your Ex's Name on a Cat Litter Box at Downtown Cat Cafe

If you pledge $50 on Kickstarter towards "The Kitty Beautiful," a cat cafe opening in downtown Orlando eventually, you will get to put your ex's name on a letterbox for up to 30 days.

he video below gives details about the cat cafe.

We reached out to the owners, but they couldn't say anything because the lease wasn't signed at the time.

Your ex's name on a litter box for 30 days!!!

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Vintage Decor and Record Store Opening in Mills50

A vintage/up-cycled decor and vinyl record store called Remix is having their soft opening January 18th, 2016 at 1217 N. Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803. 

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Downtown South Construction - Christ Church of Orlando's Phase One Worship Center

The same block in Downtown South on which the SODO Place Townhouses will be built, The Christ Church of Orlando (Website) is already under construction with its Phase One Worship Center. The center is located on Muriel Street near the interaction of Muriel and S. Orange Ave. The land is owned by the church.

Prior to construction, this house-type structure was present on the property. (Photo Credit: Christ Church of Orlando)