I Wish This Was is a series that transforms ignored, vacant lots and properties in Orlando into something the City Beautiful can be proud of. 

Generally we write our own responses to buildings we see around town, buildings that inspire us to wish for something other than a vacant parking structure, or graffiti palette. Yet, we were recently reached out to by Orlando resident and Bungalower reader, Kelley Ramirez, concerning a building that she’d recently acquired.

“We recently purchased the building behind Fournier’s auto shop … It’s a very interesting space (the building has been around since the 1930’s). It houses the dry cleaner office on one end and we are currently trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the space. We have been Colonialtown North residents for almost 10 years and definitely are looking in to adding value to the neighborhood with what we decide to do with the space. I was wondering if you all could post one of those “what you would like to go here” type of posts so we could get some ideas on what the community is looking for. Any input would be greatly appreciated!” – Kelley Ramirez

According to Ramirez, the space was once used to build carriages. The warehouse is located at 1211 Illinois Street [GMap] in the Mills 50 District and is over 2,400 SF.

The interior appears to be all painted wood and shiplap, with some natural light and high ceilings with exposed beams, which immediately makes us think of a whiskey lounge/Wild West atmosphere. Yet with the abundance of drinking establishments in the area, we feel like that’s too easy of an answer.

High on our #BringToOrlando list right now are things like an upcycling boutique (where you can buy discarded art supplies that have been diverted from the landfill for rock-bottom prices or already upcycled goodies), a packaging-free grocery store, a second location of the Poor Porker based in Lakeland (beignets and great retail), or maybe even an eco-hipster-friendly laundromat.

What would you like to see here? If you have an idea for the space that you’d like to make happen, reach out to Kelley Ramirez at [email protected].








Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of Bungalower.com

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  1. local coffee roaster and produce market. We liked winter park Eat More Produce but sadly they are no more and it was a bit too far. The Homegrown co-op is a bit too far from us also.

  2. Artist studios and cafes bistros pubs, etc. Artists seed the neighborhood, then we all know what happens. It becomes hot real estate and the artists have to move on. Used again! 🙁

  3. Open air market with packaged goods, quick eats, beer/wine/coffee tea, comfortable seating areas, a few container gardens. Somewhere for locals to hang and support local entrepreneurs who provide the foods and such.

  4. I would love to see a mix of Poor Porker and Winter Gardens Farmers Market. The eclectic style of Poor Porker with some of the vendor ideas of WGFM. Have a small brewery, good lunch options, coffee/tea, snacks, local goods/arts for sale, live music, heck maybe even a small class vendor section for painting or something.

  5. I’m liking the fresh local produce market, juice bar and healthy foods eatery. Open air concept when weather permits, with glass garage doors where the steel ones are now.

  6. We already have a local organic real farmer’s market near Princeton and Orange with Homegrown Co-op. Been going there for years, but this community doesn’t seem interested in this type of business.

  7. I would love another bank, or 7-11, or maybe another puppy mill; oh wait, those are things I don’t want. Just throwing them out there too.

  8. Love the idea of a zero/low packaging grocer. Something like Fresh Field Farms or Clemons but closer to the DT core.

  9. Would be a great spot for a gourmet sub shop/deli. Think of 903 Mills Market concept. Put wrought iron fenced area outside, open the garage doors and have indoor/outdoor seating. When I say sub shop, I’m thinking a concept similar to the recently departed Brandywines Deli on North Park Avenue. There are zero fantastic sub shops/delis in the downtown core.

  10. There is a boutique in Nashville called Imogene + Willie that is in an old service station. I get that vibe from this. Or maybe a photography studio/event space?

  11. The cement ceiling and wood floors are amazing. Its a beautiful example of deconstrutionism.