#PrayForOrlando – I have lived in Orlando for 15 years to the month, and the recent event is by far the saddest tragedy I’ve seen occur in this beautiful city. I am also amazed by the love, strength, and pride of residents who are giving blood, donating supplies, providing support, and just being amazing citizens and community members. We are a strong, loving, and open community, and I am so proud to call Orlando home!
Imagine this scenario, you go into the office on a Saturday. On the way to your normal parking spot, you are rerouted by a police officer informing you that the road right in front of your normal parking is closed for an upcoming Trump presidential rally. What would you do? Well if your me, you grab your camera and go (sadly, “professional interchangeable lens cameras” were not allowed inside, so you only get to see outside shots). Yes on my way into work, I stopped at a Trump presidential rally, now honestly how many of you can say that!
Is it Knighttime Yet in Downtown Orlando? Today, March 2nd, 2016, the Florida Board of Governors approved UCF’s plan to build a major campus in the heart of Downtown Orlando within the upcoming Creative Village project. This announcement comes one day after the Dr. Phillips Charities announced a very generous $3 million dollar gift supporting its development; this has brought private commitments up to over $16 million to date. The goal for private commitments is $20 million and for the State of Florida to match with another $20 million to help fund phase 1 of the new campus. Will this round be successful? Or will it be shutdown by a veto pen as happened last year? My guess (and hope), is second time is a charm!
FACT: The world is getting better and better, yet we think it is falling apart!
That statement above is a conclusion I often state when giving a presentation on behalf of the University of Central Florida in front of an audience of real estate practitioners and other business professionals and community leaders. What precedes it is an analysis of paraphrased headlines in from the media. These headlines, like much of the daily discussion in the news and homes, are negative. Yet, each could only be news worthy because of a long-term trend of extreme positive occurrences.
As I am sure none of you noticed, there was almost a full month between blog posts of November and December. Again, as I am almost positive you did not wonder why, I will tell anyway. I was in the process of closing and moving into my wife and I’s first house together and thus other priorities took over. We are now more or less “moved in” and I feel it’s time for me to write about my own personal real estate adventures.
First, let me say that this was a post I have been meaning to do awhile ago with the title “Pray for Detroit”. Then as I am sure you all aware, ISIS attacked Paris (subject of as post) and #PrayforParis became viral. So, I made the decision to hold off for awhile. I should point out that prayers for Detroit (explained below), are not meant to take anything away from the tragedies in California or Paris or Lebanon or well you get the idea. It is instead meant to open your awareness of the realities of economic tragedy, something that gets way less news coverage and when it does it is usually too late and terribly inaccurate or helpful.
Let me just start by saying that this one blog post I had not planned on writing. But given recent events, I felt this is the only one I could write. Paris is a beautiful city filled with amazing people. To be subject to such an act of terror is as unthinkable as can be in this modern world.
Thinking of getting away soon? Why not Visit Orlando!!! Yes, Orlando is where I reside so this advice for you, not me. If you choose to come to the City Beautiful you will probably be helping to make history. What do I mean? Well, Orlando was the #1 travel destination in the United States in 2014 and I think we will surpass that record in 2015. And for you sport fans, we beat out New York City for the top spot! Yes, tourism is currently a major growth are of our economy and that is excellent. Tourism is an EXPORT activity, and a really fun one at that. With non-stop service to Dubai you can one stop to Orlando from almost any major city in the world. Soon, we may even have direct flights from China!
I took this photo during an early morning market tour of Harmony Florida located in just outside of Orlando in Osceola County. Sadly, I was not playing golf that, just doing market familiarization research. Harmony is an interesting town. It is far from the center of “town” (closest city is St. Cloud) but built using many elements of Traditional Neighborhood Design (mixed densities, close lot lines, back alleys for parking, parks built into the neighborhood, etc.).