A Letter from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
This year, we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Orlando Main Streets – Orlando’s nine neighborhood commercial districts located throughout our city. These districts play an important role in the overall health of the city’s neighborhoods and drive our region’s economy by providing jobs, goods and services for our residents.
Our nine main streets, Audubon Park Garden District, Church Street District, College Park Main Street, Gateway Orlando, Ivanhoe Village, Mills 50 District, SoDo District, The Milk District and Thornton Park District each have a distinctive identity and are home to a variety of locally-owned businesses. Each offer our residents uncommon and handmade goods, culture, nightlife and creative cuisine.
Over the last 10 years, small business successes within these districts have included more than $1.14 billion in private and public investments, more than 1,000 new business openings and the creation of more than 6,000 full and part-time jobs.
What’s more, these districts have come to define local culture, architecture, art and cuisine that showcase “the other side of Orlando”. These districts are the reason Orlando has gained attention from national and international publications including The New York Times, Thrillist, Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, CNN and The Toronto Sun, praising Orlando as a destination-worthy city, and creating list after list with reasons to visit Orlando that have nothing to do with theme parks.
I am so proud of all this program has done for our city in the last 10 years. Because of the Orlando Main Streets, our electric boxes, storm drains and dumpsters have been transformed into locally-painted art pieces and our residents have access to hundreds of one-of-a-kind eateries and shops. But most importantly, the Orlando Main Streets have created a sense of local pride and ownership that is evident throughout the city.
I invite you to join me in exploring all of the unique and vibrant experiences each district has to offer as we celebrate the past 10 years and many more to come.