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Showing posts from January, 2017

A $303,540 Armored Vehicle is Coming to Orlando

The spending of $303,540 on an armored vehicle for use by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office as the primary SWAT transport vehicle during critical incidents was approved by Orange County Commissioners January 24th.

The department already has a 2006 model and the US Military gives similar vehicles away for free once they're no longer in use according to the Washington Post.  Also, according to a 2014 Orlando Sentinel article, "The... Leno BearCat is the same model... that sparked concerns about the increasing militarization of local law enforcement agencies across the United States."

To get approval from the Department of Justice to get one of these controlled vehicles, one of the things OCSO must prove is that this $303,540 vehicle could not borrowed from someone else as needed. OCSO said no, but in 2014 it was shown by the Orlando Sentinel that Winter Park, Kissimmee, Leesburg and St Cloud all have these vehicles.

Another requirement is that OCSO cannot have been found …

Iron Cow Restaurant Coming to Milk District

The Milk District is getting a new restaurant called Iron Cow at 2438 E. Robinson St., Orlando, FL 32803 (MAP). The expected opening date is not known yet, but construction inside and out has already behind

The 3,000 sq ft restaurant will open up inside a building that's just across a parking lot entrance from Sandwich Bar. And that's fine by them: the Sandwich Bar owners are the ones creating Iron Cow.

Parking was an issue with the restaurant last year. The owner of the building, Alexander John Harris, is not required to deal with providing adequate parking spaces for his building and tenants. The business or person leasing the space is.

That is Matt Harris, owner of Sandwich Bar. So in November of last year, Harris went before the board of zoning adjustment to get some help. He was successful in getting a variance approved that decreased the number of parking spaces he as the business owner is required to provide from 27 to 20. He will be renting parking spaces from other l…

10 Things to Know This Week

50% Off All Pro Bowl Merchandise Monday at Tinker Field

Tinker Field, the former site of the actual Tinker Field (MAP) which the City proudly knocked down is the site of a 50% off sale on all 2017 Pro Bowl merchandise that didn't sell at the game this Monday January 30th 8am-6pm. The merchandise is made exclusively by Fanatics, the official retail partner of the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl. Parking is available in Lot G.

In Baldwin Park an Orlando SWAT Officer Left a Submachine Gun in Their Vehicle Overnight and Someone Stole It

According to WFTV, Saturday night an Orlando Police Department SWAT/TAC Officer left their submachine gun overnight inside an unattended OPD vehicle in a Baldwin Park apartment complex parking lot and someone stole it.

According to OPD Policy and Procedure 1802.13 Use of City Vehicles, it is not against OPD regulations to leave such weaponry in unattended OPD vehicles so long as the vehicle is locked, the property and firearms are placed in a locking device (i.e., MCT mount or Agency-approved gun-securing device), and the vehicle's alarm system is operational and activated.

If the alarm is not functioning, it is the Officer's responsibility to "remove Department property and Agency-authorized firearms" which "can be stored... at the employee’s home."

On Sunday morning the Officer awoke to find the submachine gun stolen, along with the car. The car was recovered. The submachine gun and its accompanying 4 loaded ammunition magazines were not.

The gun was a He…

How to Make a Public Records Request From the City of Orlando

Many City of Orlando Public Records documents are available to anyone who asks. Sometimes a document or file will contain information that is exempt from public disclosure or contains confidential information. You don't know until you submit a request. Click the link below!

Corner Retail Space for Rent in Ivanhoe Village

The retail space at 1807 N. Orange Ave is for rent. The phone number for the landlord is 407-895-6191. We met with him today and he told us he's already been contacted by several prospective tenants. 
He told us the former tenant, a gelato shop, was very successful when it first opened ten years ago. However, after the owner sold the business to an employee, everything went downhill. 

The space is triangular-shaped and very small. However, it comes with a paver-covered porch adjacent to the front door, perfect for outside seating. Two large picture windows flank the side door and four awnings shade the windows and doors. 

Orlando's Millennial Population Grew But Wages Declined

Orlando Sentinel has an eye-opening article about our city's Millennials. In a nutshell, the city is getting more of them but paying them less. According to inflation-adjusted data from the Census, "Orlando was the rare city where the millennial population grew but its wages did not." This is the opposite of what is happening in similar-sized cities: they're getting more of them and paying them more
Andrew Woo, director of data science for said " the next decade or so, if wage growth doesn't improve, it will be hard for Orlando to attract millennials..."

It goes on to say, "While cities in Texas, Utah and New York have seen millennial salaries spike during the last 10 years, the median wages for that age group in Orlando have declined from $54,058 in 2005 to $51,077 last year..."

6 Baldwin Park Custom Home Lots Becoming 6 Manor Home Lots

The Baldwin Park Town Design Review Committee will be meeting February 23, 2017 about an application received on January 10, 2017 by the Orlando City Planning Division. The meeting will be held at 2pm in the Agenda Conference Room, Orlando City Hall, 2nd Floor.  The application is as follows:  (1) Baldwin park Unit 8A Residential Lot Conversion – Minor amendment to the Baldwin Park PD converting four (4) Custom Home lots (Lots1428 through 1431) into six (6) Manor Home lots as well as an update to the Baldwin Park Residential Design Guidelines accommodating these new lots. In addition a corresponding update to the Land Use Program Summary and the Entitlements Summary converting unallocated office space to two (2) residential lots to accommodate the additional Manor Home lots. The properties are located along the south side of Benwick Alley., west of Jake Street, east of Meeting Place. (ZON2017-00001).

Door and Stairs to Reach Second Story Space Above Red Mug Diner Part of Submitted Plans

The folks who own the Red Mug Diner and the space above it at 63 E Pine Street submitted plans to the Historic Preservation Board to add a front door to the Red Mug Diner facade and an inside stairwell leading up to the second floor space. A previous renovation in 1997 removed a central door and stairs to the upper floor. 
We told you last week the owners asked us what we thoughtthat second floor space should become. They wanted new and fresh ideas. The owners took us on a tour of the space and we took our readers on a Facebook Live walk-Thru Touralong with us. It's a blank slate at this point and the owners said if we could come up with something cool that would make our city better, they'd be into it. This is what we came up with: Mini food hall only open during lunchtime. Imagine 6-8 little boutique food markers offering up great options with a central seating area. Downtown workers may appreciate this. And you know we love food halls.Makers market like our pop up shop or T…

20 Photos of the Final Day of Artegon Marketplace

Today was the final day Artegon Marketplace was open for business. Several larger stores will remain open, but all the small businesses inside those little booths are all gone. Below are 20 photos we took during a final walk of the mall on its final day in operation. 

Sunrail Saturday Service February 4th

SunRail will offer Saturday service on February 4, 2017. This special service is part of a pilot project and is a privately funded initiative.
The major venue February 4th is Arts for All Day at Loch Haven Park in Orlando, sponsored by United Arts of Central Florida.
On Saturday, February 4, SunRail service begins with the first train leaving southbound from the DeBary station at 8 a.m. Please visit www.sunrail.comto see the entire Saturday schedule. 

SunRail urges riders to get to the stations at least 30 minutes early, especially if you are purchasing tickets at the vending machines located on the platforms. If you are making LYNX bus connections, please be advised LYNX Saturday service may differ from regular weekday service. Please check the Saturday LYNX schedule at:
The last northbound train leaves the Sand Lake Road station at 6:15 p.m. and arrives in DeBary at 7:18 p.m. Regular fares apply.
For more information about SunRail, including pricing, station locations, as…

New Owner Turning Taps into Firefly in Winter Park Village

Taps Bar and Lounge in the Winter Park Village shopping center has new owners. The corner location with open-design garage door walls is across the street from the Regal Cinemas and the new Rubios Coastal Grill. 
The new name will be Firefly and the new menu, currently in development, will be comfort food-focused. 
No word on what the interior will look like but our source told us the middle wall is going to be knocked down to open up the flow of the space.
Visitors can already spot improvements: new cushioned outdoor seating lines the opened garage walls.  
The new interior and menu is expected to debut in February. 

Taps as it currently looks 
New outdoor seating
This middle wall with the TV is expected to be removed 

UberEATS Delivers Girl Scout Cookies to Your House

UberEATS has partnered with the Girl Scouts of Citrus this month to bring you cookies on demand. You can request Girl Scout Cookies to your doorstep. 
Choose from favorites like Thin Mints, Shortbread, Lemonades, Caramel deLites, Thanks-A-Lot, Peanut Butter Patties, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and S’mores.

Girl Scout Cookies are available on demand in downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, the UCF campus area, Orlo Vista, Oak Ridge, Edgewood, Union Park, Goldenrod, Fairview Shores, Eatonville, Lockhart, Casselberry, Sanlando Springs, Longwood, and Winter Springs.

How to order:
Open the UberEATS app.Tap the menu button in the top left corner, then tap Promotions.Enter promo code GIRLSCOUTSCITRUS for UberEATS to donate $1 to the Girl Scouts, then tap Apply.Navigate to the UberEATS home page, then type “Girl Scout” into the top search bar.Choose which location you’d like your Girl Scout Cookies delivered from.Select the number of boxes you want (minimum of 3 boxes required), then the…

Organic Farm-To-Fork Fast Food Restaurant Grown Coming to Orlando

Grown (Website | Facebook), a new USDA Certified Organic fast food restaurant from Miami, is coming to Orlando in the Lake Nona area inside the Walmart Supercenter at 11930 Narcoossee Road (MAP). 
Grand opening is mid-February. Operating hours will be 9am-9pm. 
Named one of the best new restaurants in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine, Grown combines the quality of farm-to-fork cuisine with the convenience of fast food dining: high-quality foods at affordable prices. 
Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner items as well as fresh pressed juices, smoothies, family style meals to-go, organic beer and wine, and more.  Practicing sustainability beyond the kitchen, Grown utilizes pulp-free and compostable paper products, 100% recyclable cups, BPA-free storage containers, and plantable menus and kids meal packaging that encourage even the youngest guests to cultivate their own gardens.
Owner Shannon Allen says, "Our biggest challenge to date is that organic certified products are cost…

UCF Terminates Leases for Two Student Union Restaurants

Two restaurants located in the UCF Student Union have had their leases terminated by the university according to UCF Knight News. Huey Magoo's & Asian Chao, run by A.D. Food Services, were shut down due to what UCF called "failure of A.D. Food Services to meet safe food-handling and sanitation practices as required under the terms of its lease."
We looked at the DBPR pages for Huey Magoos (DBPR page) and Asian Chao (DBPR page) and neither displayed a UCF location for either chain now any inspection records. 

Reyes Mezcaleria to Replace Citrus in North Quarter

Edited 9:10am January 25, 2017

According to Orlando Sentinel, downtown developer Craig Ustler is partnering up with the folks who created Seito Sushi and Osprey Tavern to create a new concept called Reyes Mezcaleria (Website | Facebook) at 821 N. Orange Ave. in the North Quarter area of downtown Orlando.

The new restaurant will take over the space currently housing Citrus restaurant which has occupied the space for ten years.

Below is a  mock-up of the front entrance to Reyes is present on the restaurant's facebook page.

Below are photos of the space as it looks today. (Photo Credit: Google Maps)

Getting to 2017 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium

The NFL’s brightest stars will huddle in Orlando for the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on Sunday, January 29. Whether rooting for the AFC, NFC or just out to have a good time, fans should check Florida 511 before heading to the stadium.  The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Florida 511 Traveler Information System is the state’s official source for traffic and travel information. The system provides real-time information on crashes, construction, congestion and closures. The free Florida 511 mobile app, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, features an interactive map showing traffic speeds and incidents on roadways around the user’s location. The routing feature shows up to three routes to a user’s destination, including travel times and incidents.Additional ways motorists can receive Florida 511 traffic updates:·Visit for interactive roadway maps showing current traffic conditions, crashes, construction, congestion, travel t…

IDEAS For Us To Celebrate 4-Years of Community Action with the Hive Orlando

Basics: Hive Orlando 4-Year Anniversary
When: February 1, 2017. 6:45pm
Where: East End Market, 3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
Event is FREE and OPEN to the Public

IDEAS for Us is set to celebrate four years of their Hive Orlando monthly meet ups on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. The Hive was first launched at Urban ReThink in February 2013 by IDEAS for US leaders Chris Castro and Clayton Ferrara, and has expanded over the past four years.
The concept of The Hive is to facilitate community engagement in regard to environmental issues, with the motto “Think Global, Act Local”. This allows for citizens of Orlando to come together on a local level to incite change in their own community.
Sharon Hammond is an organizer, who found her place in the Hive soon after moving to Orlando 3 years ago: “I found an organization driving solutions through inclusivity… making global change accessible through local action.” Though she hadn’t been involved in activism before going to her first Hiv…

3 new Fire Stations Coming to Orlando

The City of Orlando is building 3 new fire stations according to a recently released public solicitation in the following locations:
Station 6: 3900 E. Concord (MAPStation 9: 3856 Center Loop (MAP)  Station 13: A definitive location has not been established. The City’s preferred location is at the corner of 8th Ave and Seven Seas Drive. The City will use an outside company to handle design and construction. The designs will use the  "spirit of the prior design(s)" and offer construction cost savings. The total cost for all three stations will not exceed $9,200,000. 

This provides a sense of the type of design that will be pursued for the fire stations.

Station 6: 3900 E. Concord (MAP)

Station 9: 3856 Center Loop (MAP)  
Station 13 SaveSave

Teak Restaurant Opening New Maitland Location

Teak Neighborhood Grill (Website) will be opening their second location inside the former Rangetsu restaurant space at 901 S. Orlando Ave in Maitland. Interior construction has already begun. 

We spoke with one of the owners who told us the menu will be practically identical to the one they offer at their original location at 6400 Times Square Ave, in Metro West. The interior decor of the new space will also match that of the original location. 
The outside porch area will be 75% covered by an awning which makes it usable year round, rain or shine.