Our very own Audubon Park Garden District has received a 2016 Great American Main Street Award, a national honor that recognizes the country’s best examples of comprehensive neighborhood commercial district revitalization.
APDG was recognized for reinventing itself from a neighborhood that historically served the nearby military base into a corridor flourishing with nationally-acclaimed small businesses, an epicenter for Orlando’s farm-to-table movement and its hosting of Zombietoberfest and Bastille Day that bring thousands of visitors to the district looking to partake in these unique, free events, which truly are #alocalthing.
Some of our residents’ favorite small businesses call APGD home like R. Nichols, creator of one of Oprah’s favorite things; Redlight, Redlight, which was recently ranked as the No. 1 brew pub in the state and No. 3 in the country; and one of NatGeo Travel’s favorite destinations, Blue Bird Bake Shop. APGD is also home to local classic Stardust, a vintage coffee shop and cocktail bar where residents and business owners originally gathered to create the APGD Main Street in 2009.
APGD is one of Florida’s first EcoDistricts, connecting its parks with pocket pollinator gardens, increasing its tree canopy by planting 1,000 new trees and working with Rollins College on a program to create a native plant wildlife habitat community. East End Market is home to a six- days-a-week farmers market and an organic urban farm. APGD has also introduced Compost Orlando, a program where bicyclists pick up food waste from restaurants and then deliver it to composting bins at the organic community garden.
APGD isn’t just one of our favorite places to shop, dine and be entertained. APGD is also an economic engine having created 521 new jobs since 2009, bringing $3.5 million in investment to the district and filling empty storefronts, driving retail vacancy to just 2 percent.
We are proud of all we have accomplished together through our Main Streets. I hope you all will join me in celebrating this tremendous accomplishment and I hope you’ll pay a visit to APGD soon to patronize the businesses and congratulate the business owners who make our city such a great place to live.
– Buddy Dyer, Mayor