More than a dozen prominent downtown executives aim to create a special district west of Interstate 4 to boost the area and attract new businesses to the Parramore neighborhood.
The executives — mostly developers, major property owners and pro sports leaders — seek to create a "neighborhood improvement district" across 130 acres that would help shape the future of the Parramore area, according to documents obtained by Orlando Business Journal. The district's official boundaries haven't been finalized, but city of Orlando spokeswoman Samantha Holsten confirmed city staff is reviewing a request to form the improvement district.
Per documents, the district's goals are to: develop a more attractive neighborhood; form a community advisory board; improve communication between businesses; support new development projects; and create community-based revenue opportunities to support programs and initiatives.
The documents also break down the leadership behind the neighborhood improvement district. Those involved in the group include:
- Tim Baker, founding principal, Baker Barrios Architects Inc.
- Brooke Bonnett, economic development director, city of Orlando (Bonnett's involvement is simply reviewing the request as part of her official job duties, said city spokeswoman Samantha Holsten.)
- Kelly Cohen, partner and CMO, The Southern Group
- Pat Gallagher, general counsel of Orlando Magic; director of Sports & Edutainment District
- Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of the engineering and computer sciences college, University of Central Florida
- Steve Hogan, CEO, Florida Citrus Sports
- Barbara Jenkins, superintendent, Orange County Public Schools
- Anil Kumar, development partner, Orlando Sports & Edutainment District
- Richard Levey, managing director, Levey Consulting LLC
- Alex Martins, CEO, the Orlando Magic
- Eddy Moratin, executive director, LIFT Orlando
- Carlos Osorio, CFO, Orlando City Soccer Club
- Jeff Pridmore, director of research and industrial programs, UCF
- Ken Robinson, president and CEO, Dr. Phillips Charities
- Sandy Shugart, president and CEO, Valencia College
- Philip Tinsley, CEO, SED DevCo LLC
- Craig Ustler, president, Ustler Development Inc.
SED DevCo LLC — which is partnering with the Orlando Magic to build the $500 million Sports and Edutainment (Education + Entertainment) project in this area — is leading the charge on creating this district. "It is not the intention of SED DevCo to create a [neighborhood improvement district] that would place a greater financial burden on any residents of the community," said the documents.
Currently, a five-member exploratory committee is being sought to form the neighborhood improvement district. Orlando's city council will need to approve the committee's formation — the date for that vote has not been scheduled
"This is another step in the project which represents a $500 million investment by the Magic and its partners that will create jobs and provide dining, hotel and entertainment options and continue the revitalization of downtown Orlando," Orlando Magic spokesman Joel Glass said via email.
The latest Orlando neighborhood improvement district — the Downtown South Neighborhood Improvement District — was created in 2010 to oversee the redevelopment of 720 acres.
The formation of a neighborhood improvement district reflects the complicated nature of reimagining an existing area versus simply developing on vacant land, said Gregg Logan, managing director of Bethesda, Maryland-based real estate advisor RCLCO, who isn't involved in the neighborhood improvement district. This type of district also incentivizes both the public and private sectors to work together to help improve an area.
"Everyone has an interest," Logan said.