Project Snapshot Update: Creative Village

Creative Village is a mixed-use project planned for downtown Orlando where the old Amway Center use to stand.
Creative Village is a mixed-use project planned for downtown Orlando where the old Amway Center use to stand.

Dirt is moving at  the site of the former Amway Center, the first step toward building Creative Village, an almost decade-old plan to build a mixed-use, transit-oriented, urban infill development. Creative Village is planned to be an urban collage of college classrooms, mixed-income apartments, shops, offices, hotel rooms, public art, parks, and "creative space" on 68 acres on the western fringe of downtown Orlando.

The project hit a big bump in June when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed funding for a downtown campus for the University of Central Florida/Valencia College that is planned as a 20-acre anchor for the project. The downtown campus would put some 10,000 students in downtown.


That made the timing for the campus uncertain while the developers regroup.

However a $41.3 million, 14-acre K-8 public school in adjacent Parramore is slated to open in 2017.

 The largest mixed-use project in downtown Orlando is a joint venture between Banc of America Community Development Corp. and a local development entity led by Craig Ustler, owner and president of Ustler Development, in partnership with the City of Orlando.

The initial site work includes creating a new road, utilities, and Lynx Lymmo lanes through the project, expanding downtown's free circulator bus line and creating a new line that will serve FAMU College of Law and cross under Interstate 4. The road construction, funded by a $10 million transportation grant through Lynx, will help break up the parcel created when the old Amway Arena was demolished in 2012 into individual development sites.


Location: Former downtown Orlando Amway Arena site bounded by N. Parramore, N. Colonial, W Amelia, I-4, and W. Livingston
Development Partner: Creative Village Development
Budget: Uncertain
Start Date: April 2015
End Date: Uncertain
Funding Partners: Banc of America Community Development Corp. State of Florida, Lynx
Project Manager: Kelly Moody, City of Orlando
College Students Expected: 10,000
Local Benefits: A vital downtown, redevelopment of blighted neighborhoods, new educational opportunities, redevelopment and cash infusion into disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Description: Office/Creative Space: 100,000 to one million square feet; Higher Education: 300,000 to 500,000 square feet; K-12 education space: 25,000 square feet; Residential Units: 1,200 to 1,500 units;  Retail/Commercial Space: 150,000 square feet; Hotel Rooms: 150 to 200.