Orlando’s longest-serving mayor, John “Buddy” Dyer, hosted his annual State of Downtown address late last month at the Steinmetz Hall in the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and we watched it so you don’t have to.
Highlights from the address included:
- Discussion on the post-pandemic shift in downtown away from office space as more workers choose to stay home and work remotely. The mayor pointed to that shift as one of the main reasons why City Hall is looking to foster a more neighborhood-like feel downtown, by focusing on adding more amenities, increasing safety, and enhancing the overall quality of life.
- The mayor tipped his hat to Creative Village and UCF/Valencia College for bringing so many people downtown, along with new developments like Society Orlando, The Commons, and The Edge which will bring roughly 1,000 new units to the urban core.
- Plans are finally coming to fruition to transform the Creative Village-adjacent Bob Carr Theater into a “town square” for technology” by 2027. The theater opened in 1927 and closed in 2020. The estimated cost of restoring the building is $50 million.
- Working with Travel and Leisure to bring its 900-person headquarters downtown.
- The need to increase safety downtown and combat illegal activity that the mayor linked directly to the urban core’s popular nightlife scene. Dyer applauded actions his staff took to roll out the new after-midnight alcohol permit program, a new specialized downtown patrol unit, and more off-duty police officers on the ground downtown.
- The newly enhanced Downtown Ambassador Program and its efforts to curb aggressive panhandling in the Downtown core.
Dyer is currently running for re-election for what he has publicly stated will be his last time.
“Now I have 20 years’ experience. So I think I’m better prepared to serve the people of Orlando today than I was the first day. But I’m just as excited and more excited probably about the next four years than I was the first four years.”– MAYOR DYER
Watch the State of Downtown below if you feel like you need more info.