Push to expand Church Street District into Parramore

Eddie James is the owner of Chef Eddies soul food restaurant that sits on Church Street, between the Amway Center and the Orlando City soccer stadium.

One would think that’s a great location, but James says the crowds -- especially on game days -- have been gathering at the Church Street District, down the road.

“They are gathering, the bulk, down at Church Street Station and just kind of walking passed us,” said James, “talking to the other business owners, they see the same thing.”

Which is why James supports the idea of extending the Church Street District west into Parramore, making his part of Church Street more of a destination. The City’s Main Street Administrator, Pauline Eaton, says that’s exactly what is being considered. She says current and future business owners benefit.

“It’s a huge advantage to them, to have a group that kind of has your back,” said Eaton.

If it happens, business owners would be part of the church street main street district, with support and resources from an organization that oversees the district.

“You’re not the only person promoting your business, you’re not out there doing it all alone because often times independent business people have to do everything,” said Eaton.

“I think, if it’s gonna spread the wealth, I think it’s a great idea,” said James.

But James does have one concern, getting priced out, once the area grows in popularity.

“If them taking over is gonna keep us where we can afford it and not change too drastically, I say ‘go for it,’” said James.