“Hello, Brendan. I heard Church Street was looking to expand into Parramore … is that true?”
– Bungalower Reader
Parramore could be getting a Main Street again soon, but just not in the way most people would have expected.
Parramore was actually one of the first neighborhoods in Orlando to get a Main Street program back in 2008, but it was disbanded months later by the City which cited dubious reasons for the decision at the time. Read more about that interesting story HERE via an older post by former Orlando Weekly staffer, Jeffrey C. Billman.
The idea of having a Main Street program in one of the most historic neighborhoods in town, especially one that has seen as much development attention as Parramore, seems like a no-brainer, but from what we’ve heard, this time around they’d actually be operating under the auspices of Church Street and not as their own independent district.
From what we understand, the idea would be to hire an assistant director who would work under the current Church Street director, whose main responsibilities would be for West Church, which stretches into Parramore up to the Orlando City Soccer Stadium, rather than appointing an independent organization.
We reached out to Church Street Main Street director Jane Pope for some clarification, but Pope has since announced that she has accepted a job with Enzian Theatre as their Director of Patron Development and was unable to reply on behalf of the program. Board Member Dr. Mary Jo Ross also declined to comment on the possibility of expansion but we received the following quote from Orlando City Hall.
“Through the resurgence and revitalization of Parramore and Downtown Orlando, the City has had a strong focus on utilizing this unique opportunity to further connect our City and bridge the east and west sides of Downtown into one downtown. As you know, we are working on the Under-I park concept, which will further help in these efforts and we are also in conversations with the existing Church Street Main Street District on potential expansions for the district that would include several areas in the Parramore community.”
The Church Street Main Street District currently oversees entertainment district that falls to the east of I-4 up to Orange Avenue. They actually submitted for a possible expansion westward to South Division Avenue back in 2016 which we covered HERE.
The possible expansion is also supported by an even older City document, the Parramore Community Vision Plan, which you can see below.
This possible expansion is still being workshopped by the City and we will share an update as soon as we have one.