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Ideas to Boost Business in Downtown Orlando – Project DTO

Big Idea Compilation v.8.4.2014

Each of the Project DTO Task Force Committees was charged with discovering what people think about Downtown Orlando. What are our shortcomings? What can we do better? How do we advance our downtown? Committees used a variety of public outreach techniques, including social media, interviews with stakeholders, public opinion surveys, and collaboratives such as the Midday Mingle. Task force committees also researched urbanist trends in other cities and spent considerable time simply observing firsthand how downtown works. This “Big Idea Compilation” is a report of our findings. The purpose of this report is to give the Project DTO Executive Advisory Committee the information it needs to formulate policy recommendations to the City of Orlando and the Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency.

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Pedestrian and Bike-oriented Downtown

Commit to walkability and creating the Nation’s best pedestrian environments

 

Upgraded and enhanced pedestrian connections and crossings

 

Connect walking/biking paths between neighborhoods, places, and districts

 

Create more shade to encourage pedestrian activity

 

Green spines connecting all of Downtown with Complete Streets–pedestrian and bike prioritized

 

Reevaluate accessible pedestrian crossings and passages, especially adjacent to sidewalk cafes–pedestrian environment should be prioritized and maximized

Superior walking and bicycling experience

 

Wider, repaired sidewalks; more street trees and shade; enhanced LED street lighting

 

Ped and Bike Corridors linking areas of Downtown

 

Complete Orlando Urban Trail and add more routes

 

Bike rental stations along Trails and biking corridors

 

Walkability around new MLS stadium to be prioritized

 

Bike amenities – parking/storage/shower hub

 

Events

Facilitate pop-up performances and arts showcase opportunities

 

Event-friendly permitting process/City-environment

 

Signature multi-day event drawing regional and national crowds

 

Family-oriented events

 

Special events on Church Street

 

Embrace our history and share it through Downtown tours

 

Annual Parramore Jazz Festival

 

Bring baseball back to Tinker Field and add cluster of ballfields for tournaments

 

Annual “One Great Week for Downtown” volunteer event

 

Host quarterly “meet your neighbors” events in various neighborhoods

 

Annual diversity celebration event

 

Events for seniors

 

Plazas, Parks, and Open Space

More plazas

Activate plazas with seating, food, events, and temp uses

Bonuses for inclusion of plazas in new development

Pine/Orange is a key location for pocket park or space for pop-up retail

Pocket parks

Temporary uses for vacant lots in Parramore and South Eola

More playgrounds

 

Dog Parks: Uptown and South Eola

 

Activate and connect Lake Lucerne to Downtown core

 

Activate Heritage Square

 

Complete path around Lake Ivanhoe

More green space

 

Promote CNL Arts Plaza as a primary place in Downtown

CNL Arts Plaza activated at all times, not just during events

Plant more trees in the CRA

 

Purchase Constitution Green for use as permanent park

 

Increase City’s tree canopy goal from 40% to 50%

 

Coordinated system/network of open space, parks, and green streets in Downtown, connecting places

 

World-class, family-themed park

Splashpad

 

Demonstration Areas

 

Shade on Wall St Plaza

 

New open spaces north of Colonial Drive

 

Recreation

Active and passive recreation

 

Downtown sports leagues

Recreation fields/courts for sports leagues

 

Youth sports programs

 

Interactive, accessible play and exercise equipment

 

Indoor spaces for families

 

Iconic Public Art

 

Grand Boulevard/Pedestrian Mall 

Magnolia Ave

 

Washington St

 

Orange Ave

 

Pine St

 

Lake Eola Park

Loch Haven Park

Branding/Marketing

Redesigned master plan including merchants, beach, art, etc.

 

New Amphitheater

 

Redesigned Amphitheater

 

Redesigned master plan including merchants/dining, active park uses, etc.

 

Multimodal transportation connection to Downtown core

 

Coordinate branding and marketing efforts with Visit Orlando, EDC, and Tourist Development Council

 

World class cultural destination

Orlando = Opportunity

Authentic Orlando

Communicating the holistic urban experience that Downtown offers

Urban sophistication

Accessible and intuitive to visitors

Embrace our intimate city size

Focus on being a Millennial Magnet

Social media buzz

 

Increase marketing budget to provide for a concerted, long-term marketing plan for Downtown

Creativity – be as creative as our citizens

Marketing campaign to promote our neighborhoods and historic districts

 

City and Downtown websites to include historic info, tour info, Downtown & Main St events, etc.

 

Promote the drop in crime in Parramore through a marketing program

 

Create an Urban Market

 

Partnerships

Alignment with Visit Orlando, EDC, and other agencies

 

Visible presence of Visit Orlando in Downtown

 

Strengthen coordination and alighment of priorities with FDOT

Partnerships with Orange County, LYNX, and State to establish consisten funding sources for transportation needs, operations and maintenance

Collaboration between Orange Blossom Trail CRA and Downtown CRA to promote economic development along OBT corridor

 

Hands on Orlando and Heart of Florida United Way to develop opportunities for civic involvement

 

City roles and internal protocol

Create an Arts & Culture Department with professional administrators, annual revenue stream, and a new City Board to administer the budget

 

Create an Event Programming staff position

 

Make it customary for each meeting to begin with a “meet and greet”

 

Create a Chief of Health position

 

Urban Design

District Creation

Redraft the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines

 

Include outdoor public space for arts and cultural amenities

Requirements/incentives for iconic skyline and architecture

Updated Streetscape Design Guidelines

 

Cultural Arts District(s)

 

African American Cultural Heritage District in Parramore

 

Redefine the Cultural Corridor as Church Street from Parramore to Magnolia and Magnolia St from DPC to Courthouse

 

Expansion of existing historic districts

 

Create new historic or conservation districts in Holden-Parramore, Arlington Heights/Lake Dot

 

Parramore Main Street and/or expand Church St Main Street westward

 

Downtown’s Nighttime Presence

Bridge Districts – I-4 and 408

Education

Wash buildings in color and lights

 

Interactive digital art displays

 

Permanent and Temporary digital art and media installations

 

Create usable, active and recreational space in the Bridge Districts, no more surface parking

 

Activate space beneath 408 bridges

 

Region’s highest quality education in Downtown

 

Create an arts magnet high school in Downtown

Repurpose part of the Orlando Public Library for arts education

 

K-8 school

 

UCF Downtown Campus

 

“Cradle to Career” education program

 

Reconvene the Downtown Schools Consortium

 

Lifelong learning opportunities available at a centralized online resource

 

Schools as community hubs

 

High-profile, distinctively designed museum in Downtown

 

Historic Preservation

Adaptive reuse of city-owned historic buildings

 

Creation of a commemorative park where historic structures can be located to avoid loss

 

Update all of Downtown’s Historic Surveys (Florida Master Site File)

 

Create new Historic Surveys (Florida Master Site File) for new areas

 

Historic plaque program

 

Neighborhood marketing program

 

Creation of a non-profit foundation to acquire, repurpose and rehab historic assets

 

Maintain existing zoning to ensure neighborhood compatibility of new developments

 

Catalyst Sites

Wayfinding UAOS, ULT, A

Identify and purchase sites that connect places and fill in gaps, and market for redevelopment

 

Dynamic, electronic, interactive wayfinding systems

 

Interactive kiosks that provide a police help-line in an emergency

 

Iconic Gateways/Markers for Downtown and Neighborhoods/Districts

 

Urban Agriculture

 

Rooftops and Skyline

Iconic Skyline/Rooftop Activation

 

Incentivize or require iconic rooftops and/or rooftop activation

 

Active Rooftop Program: active uses, solar panels, green roof/park, and/or urban agriculture

 

Lighting

Retrofit existing street lighting with white LED on key corridors

 

Decorative lighting along the redefined Cultural Corridor

 

Enhance lighting in public and private plazas

 

Conduct a light study of Downtown, fill in all poorly illuminated areas within areas of high density living and destinations of Downtown

 

Enhance and add lighting in Parramore to increase perception of safety

 

Bar Hours

Conference/Meeting Facility

Transportation

Pilot Program: Test workability of extended hours with possibility of raising age to 21+ in the future

 

1,000 seated capacity

 

Free/affordable meeting space venue/public gatherings spaces

 

Expand SunRail services during midday, evening and weekends

Convert one-way streets to two-way traffic

 

Complete Streets network comprised of key corridors (East/West-Robinson and Washington, and North/South)

 

Eliminate regular vehicle travel on Magnolia (Lymmo only) and enhance the remaining ROW for pedestrian corridor

 

Transit connections between Downtown and Main Street Districts/surrounding neighborhoods

 

New Intermodal transit center to accommodate public and private transportation (Megabus, Red Bus, LYMMO, car and bike share programs, etc.) connected to a network of pedestrian and bicycle corridors

 

More bike racks

 

Transit link between Downtown and OIA is critical

 

Expand transit offerings

East/West transit option to bring in people from outside of Downtown

 

Restore brick streets in neighborhoods

 

Parking

Dynamic parking systems to enhance user experience, through apps, smart meters, etc.

 

Expand Valet Parking Services

 

Valet expansion at Church St, Wall St, and DPC

 

Eliminate metered parking during lunch hours

 

No meter fees on Saturdays

Digital Services

Downtown Orlando app

 

Digital tour of Downtown app

 

Historic walking tour app

 

Historic tour videos provided to OC Regional History Center, online and schools

 

App for citizens to notify OPD of panhandlers

 

City online tool to match people with local volunteer opportunities

 

Events app

 

Public Restrooms

Business Recruitment and Development

Add public restrooms in Downtown

 

Events should be required to provide trailer-style restrooms

 

Drugstore

 

Create/encourage pop-up retail opportunities: book sales, hurricane supplies, Christmas market, Leu Gardens plant sale, Darden test market events

 

Parramore Farmer’s Market in Fire Station #2

 

Business friendly City, easy permitting and easy for businesses to start up here

Streamlining permitting and M/WBE processes

 

B2B mentorship program

 

Information kiosks & digital architectural displays to promote local small businesses

 

Aggressive promotion of incentives and business-friendly changes to market DTO as most business-friendly city in the Southeast

 

Hoteliers, restauranteurs, retailers and cultural programming synonymous with sophistication

 

Commit to Tech and Entrepreneurship

 

Accelerate high-growth companies/Grow a billion dollar company from Downtown roots

 

Attract a Fortune 1000 company

 

Capitalize on Downtown’s location between two world-class hospitals

 

Support private investment and place-making to create world-class downtown

 

Ensure the success of Creative Village

 

Promote Parramore as next redevelopment opportunity area

 

Ambassadors

Reinstitute formal Ambassador Program

 

Citizen volunteer program “Obassadors” as Downtown Ambassadors

 

Homelessness & Aggressive Panhandling

Support the Rethink Homelessness effort

 

Support permanent supportive housing efforts

 

Aggressive crack-down on panhandling

 

Develop a public education program surrounding panhandling

 

Crisis Intervention Training for OPD officers patrolling Downtown

 

City support of Christian Service Center, Rescue Mission, Coalition for the Homeless and Salvation Army

 

Development of database of homeless shelter availability

 

Public Safety

Visible community policing to enhance the perception of safety

 

Visibility of homeless creates a perceived safety issue; homeless is synonymous with Downtown Orlando

 

Downtown Neighborhood Watch

 

Transforming empty lots and blighted areas into transitional spaces for pop-up events

 

Safety in Parramore: CPTED, code enforcement, visible policing, more lighting, more surveillance cameras

 

Police substation in CityView relocated to the Men’s Service Center to combat safety perceptions

 

LYMMO

Commercial ground floor activation

Housing/Residential

Expand hours of operation

 

More unique, recognizable vehicles

 

Connect service to surrounding neighborhoods

 

Expand service north and south of Downtown

 

Reevaluation operations, routes, and overall community impact of LYMMO

 

Evaluate possibility of connecting senior residential buildings to LYMMO

 

Not mandatory retail use (must allow other uses in the space)

 

Development that seeks bonuses should not require ground floor mixed-use space

 

Mixed-income housing, development bonuses

 

Infill vacant lots within Parramore neighborhoods

 

Residential along Church St, and in Creative Village & South Eola areas, Incentivize

 

Encourage market rate and mixed-income housing

 

Elevate stature of other historic areas, such as Arlington Concord

 

Programs to help residents make aesthetic improvements to homes

 

Neighborhood associations in Lake Dot, Holden/Parramore, and South Eola

 

Neighborhood aesthetic improvement program

 

More affordable housing for seniors

 

Train hotel concierges on Downtown

 

Tactical Urbanism/Temporary Events

Support busking

 

Blow-up Orlando Swan that visits surprise locales

 

Dependable, inspiring surprises

 

Visible area of Downtown transformed as a social gathering space

 

Consider moving Chamber of Commerce and EDC into a central location turning current location into a full-block park

 

Infrastructure

Civic and Social Leadership

Energy and Green Building Program

Invest in high-tech infrastructure (gigabit fiber optics) for competitive advantage of place

Undergrounding of overhead utilities

 

Free wifi/broadband technology in Parramore

 

Foster collaboration between faith-based orgs, service orgs, and civic groups

 

Create Downtown Faith Leaders Group

 

Host a quarterly open-to-call civic lunch forum

 

“Collective Impact” – addressing issues as a community to solve common issues

 

Incentives for energy efficiency and green building (new construction)

 

Create healthy workplaces

 

Implement property-assessed clean energy financing for voluntary energy financing

 

Resolve chilled water cost issues that prevent expansion/hinder development of new customer base

 

Develop iconic solar program for parking garages along I-4

 

Recycling program expanded for Downtown commercial and Multi-Family

Shared recycling space for Wall St and Lake Eola by 2015

 

Marketing materials on how to recycle downtown and concierge services by 2015

 

Better public recycling opportunities, associated with public art by 2016

 

phased-in recycling requirements for commercial and multi-family buildings by 2018

 

Low-Impact Development – Stormwater/green infrastructure demonstration project

 

Swimmable Lake

Improve water quality on at least one lake Downtown to allow for swimming,

Beach

 

Establish a Downtown eco district

 

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