Price Fixing by Downtown Restaurants - Orlando Opinions Podcast EP 26

Listen to Episode 26:

Orlando Opinions is a 5-minute weekly scripted sass-filled update on new retail, restaurant and residential projects in Orlando hosted by The Daily City's Mark Baratelli and produced by PFT Media.

Episode 26 Script By Mark Baratelli
Story 1The Delaney Hotel and Delaney's Tavern, a project in SODO currently under construction with a planned opening in May 2018, will be receiving $20,000 in assistance through the City of Orlando's Business Assistance Program. The hotel and restaurant will be opening inside the bones of a former office building and restaurant at 1315 S. Orange Ave. The $20,000 will go towards the required connection to the City of Orlando sanitary sewer, storm drainage and water distribution systems which totals $90,000.

Story 2 - The Orlando Police Department will be receiving sixty-three new vehicles (seventeen 2018 Ford Interceptor FWD Police Sedans and Forty-six Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles. The total expenditure will be $1,953,514. I’m sorry. How did police work get done in the days when all they had were cars and no SUVs? And why are we buying new? And why do we have to go through a local dealership to buy them? Why not go directly to Ford and avoid the middleman? Why is the City even paying retail? And why are we buying Fords??!!!

Story 3- Downtown is getting a new park! For ten years! The City will be leasing a vacant parcel of land for 10 years starting this month to be used as a pop up park and plaza at 274 N. Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Dr. Phillips City Center, LLC owns the property and plans to develop the Property in the future but has agreed to lease it to the City for this 10 year period.

The park and plaza, according to early renderings, may include a window-service restaurant and food trucks with outdoor restaurant style seating, and other seating areas.

The city can enter into a management contract with a third-party vendor for the operation of an on-site food and beverage service. HERE’S THE PART THAT MAKES YOU GO HMMMMMM. “No food or beverages (other than water) will be distributed from the Premises that is not paid for by the consumer at prices equivalent to those prices offered by business establishments in the Downtown Orlando Central Business District.” Isn’t that called price fixing? Collusion? Something? Why is the City involved in the prices charged by a third party? And was it forced by the downtown restaurants? These are things we will be finding out in the coming weeks.

No rent will be paid by the City. They’ll just pay the annual insurance fee of $1,500 and reimburse DPC approximately $17,269.82 annually for ad valorem taxes and stormwater utility fees imposed on the Property. The City is responsible for maintenance. No monuments, plaques, memorials, or tributes may be erected or maintained on the property.

At the end of the lease, the City won't remove the improvements made to the premises. They will become property of Dr. Phillips City Center, LLC. This project seems extremely unlike what the City typically does. It feels too innovative for them to envision and execute. So I am thrilled. It’s in a dead zone of Orange, far away from the shitty barf-strewn bars of Wall Street and that bar alley along Orange. And where will folks park? Listen to me. I sound like a jackass. Yay park! For ten years! With food trucks next to nothing….

Story 4 - Robinson is getting two way cycle tracks! Robinson runs from the Parramore to the Orlando Executive Airport, and borders many of Downtown’s historic residential neighborhoods. It's getting an overhaul! The part I give a shit about is the part about bikes: Robinson will be getting two-way cycle tracks along 1.4 miles of the road's 2.3 mile length.

Two-way cycle tracks are physically separated from auto traffic and allow bicycle movement in both directions on one side of the road. Two-way cycle tracks protect bicycle space and improves perceived comfort and safety. The increased width allows safer overtaking for bicyclists.

The cycle tracks run from the Central Business District to the Milk District. The only spot that won’t have them is the .9 mile length running from Hyer to Bumby. That area will put bikes and cars in the same lanes