Creative village in Orlando?

What do you do with an abandoned city-owned 68-acre parking lot and arena in downtown Orlando, Flordia? Mayor Buddy Dyer would like it to focus on growing the area’s creative economy as a creative industries urban village, appointing a Downtown Orlando Creative Village Concept Team in August 2006 to get the party started. Now why can’t it be this easy more often…

The creative village vision statement: “The Creative Village will be a magnet for knowledge workers to live, work, learn and play – a place where high-tech, digital media and creative industry companies integrate with residential, retail, and academia in a neighborhood that is connected to the surrounding community and plugged in globally. Innovative in its architecture, thoughtfully mixing living and working spaces, the Village will be designed to enhance the lifestyle of creative people and become a supportive, business-friendly environment in which digital media and related companies can thrive.”

Some of the primary features:
– Anchored by the University of Central Florida’s School of Film and Digital Media and the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA)
– High-wage employment center in downtown, with a focus on the digital media industry.
– Approximately 35% office space; 45% residential space (20% attainably priced); 20% for other support land uses including education, hotel and retail and entertainment
– Diversity of business sizes, from large technology companies to start-ups to freelancers and contractors.
– 24-hour environment.
– 300 local businesses, 8000 workers, $280 million in salaries.

The city is currently in the selection process for a lead developer. Let’s hope they get the creative crowd involved.

Learn more in The Creative Village Concept Team Report, and check out the story from the local perspective via this TV news report as well as the Creative Village Orlando blog.

  • This project is also located a stone’s throw from a planned station on the soon to be constructed 61-mile commuter rail line for Orlando and Central Florida.

  • Sounds very nice, assuming that it actually gets built. As someone who left Florida’s stagnant suburban environment in search of a city that would offer more opportunities and even simply more things to do, I can attest to the state’s need for more dense mixed-use communities. The proximity to a rail line is icing on the cake.