City of Orlando response to WFTV's Creative Village story

Updated:

A response from a city of Orlando representative to a story by WFTV's Karla Ray on some resident's concerns about development of the Creative Village in downtown Orlando:

1st email response:

Karla,

Does this group not want Parramore residents to have the amenities and quality of life that other neighborhoods have, that is what Mayor Dyer wants and worked has to achieve. 

Additionally, this is an empty lot, there are not any houses on this property, so do they suggest you leave to lot empty which attracts nuisance behavior like overgrown property or crime.  Or would they prefer a vibrant activity center that provides jobs, housing, recreation and amenities like a drug store, grocery center, etc? 

It is egregious to say this project is a gentrification of Parramore. Since Mayor Dyer took office, one of his cornerstone projects has been the revitalization of the Parramore community, through an initiative called Pathways for Parramore, I can provide you with stats on this initiative if you would like including new businesses that have opened, new residential housing and a reduced crime rate. 

2nd email response:

I’ve included some highlights from the last comprehensive report on the Pathways for Parramore initiative which was done in 2011.  

Overview:

In June 2005, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 5 City Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum launched Pathways for Parramore, a complete effort to revitalize Orlando’s historic Parramore Heritage community which had become Orlando’s most blighted community.  At the time, 73% of Parramore’s 2,000 children lived in poverty, 47% of Parramore adults had neither a high school diploma nor GED and the juvenile arrest rate was 2½ times that of Orlando’s citywide rate.

 The Pathways for Parramore initiative came to fruition after a task force was commissioned by Mayor Dyer in 2003 to conduct research and obtain stakeholder input.  From those recommendations, the Pathways for Parramore initiative focuses on five key areas: housing, public safety, business development, children and education and quality of life.  The goal is to restore the Parramore Heritage community into a safe, livable, sustainable and prosperous place for Orlando citizens, businesses and institutions to thrive.

Since the launch of Pathways for Parramore we have made dramatic strides in the revitalization of the Parramore Heritage Community including:

·  The construction of 36 new and rehabilitated single family homes, the opening of 120 new housing units in the past 24 months.

·  Opening of 30 new retail and commercial businesses since July 2010.

·  Since Pathways for Parramore began in June of 2005, crime rates in Parramore have steadily decreased.  Juvenile arrests are also on a constant decline in the Parramore area.  Increased community involvement in preventing crime by growing the number of Neighborhood Watch Block Captains to 19.

·  By engaging more than 2,000 youth living in Parramore, there has been a 80% decline in juvenile arrests and for the first time this year scholarships were provided to youth attending college. 

·  To assist the most underserved homeless population, men, the City has invested in the Coalition for the Homeless to build the Men’s Service Center.