Parramore residents say Creative Village will destroy community

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PARRAMORE, Fla. —

A group of Parramore residents has a message for the city of Orlando: Stop building, and put the people of Parramore first.

The Fight Back Coalition organized a meeting Friday to try to figure out how the people of Parramore can save their community.

Lawanna Gelzer with the Fight Back Coalition has lived in her Parramore home since 1971.

"There's some history here," Gelzer said.

Since then, Gelzer has seen her house blossom into a family business, but says her hometown has deteriorated.

"All we do is see the community systematically being destroyed," Gelzer said.

Gelzer said when the first arena was built, the community lost a hundred homes.

"Those homes have never been replaced. Never been replaced. And systematically, we have continued to lose homes," Gelzer said.

The Creative Village Development is a project that's supposed to bring high-paying jobs to Parramore.

People like Mike Cantone with the Fight Back Coalition think the project has no place in Parramore.

"It would not only hurt this area, it would also displace the residents who have historically called it home," Cantone said.

At the meeting Friday, the Fight Back Coalition expressed concern that the city of Orlando is making false promises to fix their community.

"This community has been promised homes, promised community schools, you name it. It's been promised jobs," Gelzer said.

Parramore resident Beverly Burgess wants the city of Orlando to spend more money on fighting crime instead of putting money into projects like the Creative Village.

"I have witnessed the prostitutes pulling up in my front yard to have relations with their johns on the property," Burgess said.

The Parramore residents hope this meeting is the first step toward fixing what they think is broken.

"This is it. This is our last front. This is our fight and we're going to fight to the end to save what's left of our community," Gelzer said.

The Fight Back Coalition is planning to survey other Parramore residents to ask what they want from city leaders.