• City leaders' Lake Eola development plans upset residents


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two more high-rise buildings could soon be built near Orlando's Lake Eola.

    The city's Planning and Zoning Board approved the new development Tuesday afternoon, despite a large turnout by those opposed to the plans.

    The proposals call for 26-story and 28-story buildings to go in the area near Rosalind Avenue and Central Avenue alongside Lake Eola Park.

    The projects' plans include bringing more condominiums, along with space for parking and restaurants, to downtown for the Modera Central Development and the City Centre PD.

    Photos: Sketches of Lake Eola development plans

    In a report to city leaders, the proposal includes enhancements to Lake Eola Park, like outdoor seating, a water wall and walkways through an area developers say is underutilized.

    The developer would need to enter an agreement with the city to lease that portion of the park and make those improvements.

    Some residents are unhappy that the plans involve leasing part of a public park for a private development.

    One presenter said adding a 26-story building with nearly 400 residential units along Central Boulevard would not negatively impact traffic.

    Most of the discussion focused on traffic impacts to downtown.

    One board member summed it up by saying it sounded like people want a growing, thriving downtown, just not one with traffic. However, the board member said that does not work.

    Presenters for the development discussed the residents' concerns, saying none of Lake Eola Park would be sold and they're only looking to use about 650 square feet of park space for outdoor seating.

    The next step for the developers is to go before the Orlando City Council, though it is expected some groups will challenge the Planning and Zoning Board's decision.

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