Downtown Orlando development to give residents access to public transportation

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando city leaders held a goundbreaking ceremony for a new development project they hope will change how people view living downtown in the heart of the city.

The Crescent at Central Station will take up the whole block of Orange Avenue between the Orange County Courthouse and Lynx's main station.

Stu Kimball owns Southest Steel and has watched downtown Orlando grow over the years.

"We've seen it grow tremendously with the amount of people and the apartments, condominimums," Kimball said.

Heavy construction machinery has moved into the empty lot across the street from his business, where an apartment community with 279 units and 12,000 square feet of retail space will be built.

Kimball believes the $56 million apartment community will enhance downtown.

"That will foster more building of more restaurants more businesses, commercial space," Kimball said.

The land has been vacant for years and the developer believes the location is ideal.

"It's probably the primier development in central Florida. You just don't find many that have both rail access as well as the Lynx access," vice president of Crescent Communities Jay Curran said.

City officials said they hope residents who live there will ditch their cars and instead use public transportation, like SunRail.