We told you HERE in October about the two self-described “little old ladies” that were trying to buy a slice of property to add to Lake Eola Park. Well, it seems as if they’ve almost reached their goal.
Lynn Long and Eugenia Sefcik, backed by Orlando native and local philanthropist Ted Haddock, have banded together to form the Orlando Land Trust (Website), as a means of “… protecting and improving local green spaces for the public benefit and the flourishing of natural ecosystems.”
The partnership was formed when a developer expressed interest in building a 28-story tower at the corner of Magnolia and Central on a lot that currently hosts a 7-Eleven, a barbershop, and a locksmith, at 1 N. Rosalind Avenue [GMap].
The Orlando Land Trust (OLT) has proposed purchasing the 5,000 SF parcel to convert it into a public green space, which aligns with the City of Orlando’s Downtown Vision Plan. City Council is expected to vote at an upcoming council meeting on whether to approve a funding agreement between the CRA, OLT, and the Trust for Public Land, Inc., that would contribute to the effort in the amount of $1,225,000 – a caveat being that OLT would need to raise at least $1,625,000 on their own. Commissioner Patty Sheehan recently contributed $50,000 of her discretionary funds towards the cause, as reported by Orlando Sentinel.
At the time of this post, an OLT spokesperson has shared that they had succeeded in raising $1,007,000, but would not disclose what they needed to raise in order to purchase the property, which is seen as a potential new gateway to Lake Eola Park. However, a blog post by Orange Preservation Trust stated that they were aiding OLT in the “… $3.5 million transaction until [Orlando Land Trust’s] non-profit status is completed.”
“OLT is grateful for the CRA’s recommendation to support our work to expand the community’s green-space. We are encouraged by the proposed public/private, collaborative effort with the City for the benefit of all who live in or visit Orlando.”
– Ted Haddock
The parcel of land is in fact landlocked by two neighboring properties; the Rosalind Club to the North, a mid-rise office building to the east, and another building to the east of that, both of which were built in the late 1920s. While establishing actual connections to Lake Eola Park would prove a difficult design challenge, other than simply using the public right-of-way, the concept pitched by the Orlando Land Trust last year was to tear down the brick building and replace it with a plaza that could host public art and benches.
Other members of the Trust’s Board of Trustees include Mayor Bill Frederick, Mayor Glenda Hood, J. Charles Gray, Charles Bailes, III, Steve Goldman, Lynn Long, Mark Line, and Leslie Kemp Poole.
Donations can be made HERE.