It's one thing to talk about turning a suburban area into a walkable district. It's another thing to see the transformation actually happening. Here's a look at what's currently taking place along US 17/92, in the northern Orange County suburbs of Orlando.
Incorporated as a city in 1959, with a population of 889, Maitland is a suburban Central Florida community located 8 miles north of Downtown Orlando. Home to 9,110 residents in 1990, the city's population had increased to 17,519 in 2016. During this time, the community has dreamed of developing an urban core area to serve as a place where residents can go for a night out, rather than taking their money to Orlando or nearby Winter Park.
With this in mind, the Downtown Maitland Master Plan was approved in 2003 to lay out a vision for a core that would be a strong heart for the city and economically competitive and socially relevant for the 21st century. Much of this plan centered around modifying public policies to incrementally transform US 17/92, a congested six-lane arterial highway locally known as Orlando Avenue, into an urban corridor.
Here's a look at a few projects that have or will change the complexion of what was once a typical autocentric suburban corridor.
The Village at Lake Lily opened in 2010. Located next to Lake Lily Park, the luxury development features 450 apartments and 40,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space.
In 1999, this Walgreens, with a limited front setback opened at the intersection of Orlando Avenue and Packwood Avenue.
Well under construction, the Maitland City Centre development will feature 220 one-and-two bedroom apartments and 35,000 square feet of restaurant and retail along Orlando Avenue between Packwood Avenue and Horatio Avenue. The development replaces a strip shopping center once anchored by a Winn-Dixie.
Adjacent to the Maitland City Centre, the new 15,500 square foot Maitland Fire Station No. 45 is a design-build project between Wharton-Smith and ACi.
The 16,425 square foot Shoppes of Maitland opened in 2007 at 400 South Orlando Avenue. The development features retail spaces on the first floor and office suites on the second floor. Parking is situated in the rear of the property.
PNC Bank opened in 2006 at 238 South Orlando Avenue.
Maitland Place is a new retail development anchored with a Publix at 242 North Orlando Avenue. Although the Publix is set back far from the street, the development embraces its Orlando Avenue frontage with retail spaces. Marketed by Crossman & Company, promotional material states that it will be surrounded by 2,400 residential units in 2018.
Located on Orlando Avenue between Sybelia Parkway and George Avenue, Metro Square will feature 271 multifamily units and 45,000 square feet of retail, commercial and office space when completed.
Uptown Maitland was completed in 2013. Located at North Orlando Avenue and Sybelia Parkway, the development features 93 residential units over two floors of commercial and retail space.
First Colony Bank anchors this 29,064 square foot infill office building at 711 North Orlando Avenue. The development was completed in 2009.
Winter Park-based Epoch Residential is in the process of transforming the former Parker Lumber Yard into a new 293-unit, five-story apartment complex. Called Maitland Station Apartments, the apartment complex is located adjacent to Maitland's SunRail commuter rail station. The first 31-mile segment of the system (between DeBary and Sand Lake Road in Orange County) began operations on May 1, 2014.
Article by Ennis Davis, AICP. Davis is a certified senior planner and graduate of Florida A&M University. He is the author of the award winning books “Reclaiming Jacksonville,” “Cohen Brothers: The Big Store” and “Images of Modern America: Jacksonville.” Davis has served with various organizations committed to improving urban communities, including the American Planning Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2013 Next City Vanguard, Davis is the co-founder of Metro Jacksonville.com and ModernCities.com — two websites dedicated to promoting fiscally sustainable communities — and Transform Jax, a tactical urbanist group. Contact Ennis at firstname.lastname@example.org