Ailing Baldwin Park retail area losing Barnie's Coffee



BALDWIN PARK, Fla. - Eyewitness News has learned the struggling retail area of Baldwin Park Village is about to lose another key business.

The Village, right on Lake Baldwin and surrounded by some of Orlando's most expensive homes, has never come close to filling its storefronts.

Even owners of successful spots said they are fed up.

The open signs stand out because so many stores are closed. A year ago, a new management company took over, promising to revitalize the area and address the nearly 19 percent vacancy rate. One year later, things have remained the same.

"Nothing's changed. I don't see how anything has changed," said business owner Charlie Leduc.

One of the notable tenants, Barnie's Coffee, right on the green at the center of the village, will be next to go. It's not closing, it's just moving out of Baldwin Park.

There are eight empty storefronts on Broad Street. That's more businesses closed than open.

The village management company said some new stores have opened, and a new restaurant will soon move in to replace an Irish pub that left months ago. It said improvements are planned to bring in even more business, which is essentially what Channel 9 was told nearly a year ago.

Whatever the problems, even the most passionate supporters of Baldwin Park said something has to change.

"If more business doesn't come in here, we can't survive. We'll leave," said Leduc.