Orlando mayor gives State of Downtown update

- Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Wednesday unveiled his State of Downtown Address, billed as "The DTO Show," with a late night talk show style that was entertaining and informative.

Mayor Dyer said a major hotel and convention center will be built in the entertainment district, where the old police department was located. Ground-breaking will soon be taking place on some new affordable homes in Parramore, and they're also working on a lease to build a park at Orange and Robinson avenues, with shops and a restaurant.

Under Interstate 4, in the so called "Bridge District", plans for a park called the "Under I" were shared.  Pillars  under a soon-to-be constructed section of the road will be taller and spread out, so there will be room for a park that is five blocks long. 

"We're designing an urban park underneath," said Orlando city planner Doug Metzger.  "It's got five theme blocks based on our heritage, sports, play, gathering spaces and market spaces, and it's gonna have a lot of activities. We've got everything from soccer fields, to basketball courts, cross fit and ping pong tables."

Planners said they are also looking for donations to help build the Under-I.

A new Downtown Development Board Nightime Economy Project Manager was introduced. Dominique Greco Ryan said it will be her job to keep Orlando vibrant from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. She plans to make safety a priority.

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