PHOTO VIA MILK DISTRICT FACEBOOK PAGE

According to Pauline Eaton, Orlando’s Main Street Coordinator, two neighborhood groups are taking the first steps in joining the official Main Street roster; Conway/Curry Ford and the Milk District.

The Milk District (Facebook) has almost raised the $10,000 in funds needed to be considered eligible to sign up for the City’s matching fund arrangement (a sliding scale of $50,000 to $0 over a certain number of years) for the past few years. Their branding is on point, and they generally have the support of most of the businesses in their area. They’ve been hosting a successful weekly series of food truck events called Tasty Tuesdays to help raise the funds.

The Conway/Curry Ford group is being organized by a handful of local businesses (spearheaded by Edna Trimble of TRU Management Group and Rogue Pub) curious as to whether or not participating in an official City program could help improve their district.

According to the City’s Public Information office, no one has submitted any type of formal application at this time, but Eaton has met with both groups mentioned above and provided information on the program and how it works.

To date there are nine official Main Street Districts (which includes our friends over at the Orlando Tech Association). Since the program began, only one Main Street has been dissolved and that was the Parramore program, which was disbanded after only a few months of being in operation. City Hall declared that Parramore wasn’t ready for a Main Street program, since at the time the Amway Center was still under construction. Click HERE to see a great report by the Orlando Weekly that looked more into the issue.

The Milk District will be hosting an information meeting on July 13 at the Plaza Live about joining the program. More information on that HERE.

Editor’s Note: According to Eaton, despite the rise in interest, the Main Street program has “no ability to take on more districts, financially speaking” at the moment. Which means, unless the City makes some changes to the budget in the new fiscal year, which begins in August, there are no plans to take on any more districts at the moment.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Good luck. We’ve tried to do the same thing with the WesCo district (West Colonial from I-4 to OBT or Tampa Avenue) for the past couple of years. We’ve had meetings and lots of interest, but — without a full time director — it’s hard to herd the cats to start a new organization while trying to run your business too. We were also told that there’s no money in the budget. You’re on your own the first couple of years until you can prove you’re viable financially which means the business owners, property owners and residents have to do the work on their own to foot the bill for at least $40K a year for an employee to organize it and keep the board on task. If you can do it for two years and prove viability, then they’ll see if you can get into the budget going forward. There’s no guarantee, and you need a strong support from your city council representative. Unfortunately for our WesCo district, one side of the street falls under Commissioner Stuart while the South Side falls under Comissioner Hilll, so we’re pretty much on our own.

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