Around The Town, Leadership

A Village, A Main Street – Orlando Rocks

So I’ll get back to media in my next post, but for now I still have to crush on Orlando a little bit.  Also during my last class at Leadership Orlando I learned about the upcoming Creative Village and the Orlando Main Street project.

The Creative Village is a 15- to 20- year project that has always been meant to enrich future generations, not just ourselves.  It will be a mixed use sixty acre area where they demolished the old arena where techies, artists, and ordinary people can get together to build synergies in entertainment, art, culture, and technological applications.  I’m very excited to know that I’ll probably still be in Orlando once this project comes to fruition.  It gives me some goosebumps.  For more information on the Village, click here.

The Orlando Main Street project started when the city of Orlando attempted to get a Main Street grant from Tallahassee for the Ivanhoe Road area.  They were denied based on the age of the area.  But this didn’t stop Orlando from deciding that we could do the Main Street program on our own and didn’t Tally to work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we’d go to the NTHP directly.

Now there are several Main Street areas, the most prominent ones being Ivanhoe Row, College Park, SoDo and Mills 50.  Each of these areas have been given a dedicated person to work with the local businesses to develop a unifying effort of events and marketing.  They’re the ones that help put on the jazz concert in College Park or the Walk-On By art event in Mills 50 that’s happening right now.  But it’s been a little slow going on some of the smallest things, like flags that said the areas name.  It took 3 years to get those flags approved by the FDOT!

Another slow-going but beautiful thing is the program where local artists are painting all of the FDOT boxes in the Main Street areas.  The Main Street groups in partnership with the city transportation planning group had to go to Tally to negotiate a deal so the FDOT would stop having a fit that their boxes were getting painted.  They were worried the workers wouldn’t know how to get into the box or that the paint would get into the box and muck things up.  Neither has happened.  And now the drab gray boxes are brightening up the city.  Did you know that most graffiti artists won’t tag objects that already have paintings on them?  No one has yet.  Very cool.

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